Thursday, 20 September 2012

Horse of the Year Show

It's almost time for HOYS again.

The Moorland Mousie Trust has been attending the interactive feature at HOYS since 2007 as a joint effort by both the Exmoor MMT and the Northern MMT based in Northumberland.

We take an Exmoor pony up to the NEC in Birmingham the night before the first day of the show and, for the last three years, we have taken Cadbury who did a fantastic job.
At the show, the pony is stabled outside each night and then enters the indoor stabling area during the day where the public can meet him and learn more about the Exmoor breed and the work of the Charity.

The pony is supervised by volunteers and staff who chat to the public at a stand opposite the stable. It is a great environment - very busy but lots of fun - and getting to see the odd equestrian celeb helps keep the motivation going! We always come back with grand aspirations of teaching the ponies new tricks or training them to jump puisance!

This year the pony we are taking is Almond.

Almond is a five year old gelding and one of the friendliest ponies you could ever meet.  He was purchased by the trust in 2007 when he was a weanling colt at Brendon Sale.  He has always been a softie and was straightforward to train thanks to the positive and trusting methods used by Linzi and the rest of our staff. He is now enjoying life as a riding pony at the Exmoor Pony Centre.

However, for the next few weeks, during the run-up to HOYS, he will be living with Linzi in Barnstaple so that he can get in a little bit more exercise and (hopefully!) arrive at the Show fit and slim. Fingers crossed! 

 Next month we'll have an update and let you know how he got on.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Kerrie - Part-time Centre Assistant

This is the second of our 'People Profiles' and this time it's the turn of Kerrie, one of our seasonal helpers.

I have been riding for almost 22 years so horses have always been a big part of my life.

I first started at the Exmoor Pony Centre as a volunteer in March 2011. Having recently moved to West Somerset I thought it would be a good way to meet like-minded people and get to know the area better. I started as a seasonal helper in the summer and have been here ever since!

The role as a centre assistant is very varied. In the busy summer season I spend lots of time talking to visitors about the work we do, and delivering taster sessions and taking treks out on the moor. We are very lucky to cross a couple of fields and get straight out onto Winsford Hill with no road work. The moor is very beautiful in all weathers, even in the pouring rain - which we seem to experience rather a lot of! I love the fact that you see so much more wildlife from the back of a pony.

The ridden ponies we work with are all lovely; they each have their own personality and seem to know who needs looking after. It’s difficult to have a favourite but I do have a soft spot for Dylan who is always a very trusty trek leader!

During last winter I was lucky enough to learn about handling foals from my colleagues and I am looking forward to improving my technique over the coming winter. There is always so much to learn but luckily the ponies are very good teachers!


Saturday, 1 September 2012

Adopt-a-Pony Day

Sunday, 9th September is our annual Adopt-a-Pony Day.

The Centre will be open from 11am till 3pm and all the ponies available for adoption will be here to meet you.

If you think you might like to adopt a pony, or would just like to know more about how it all works, then please come along. We would love to see you.

There's more information about the Adopt-a-Pony Scheme here on our website.