Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Pancake Day

A surprising number of hardy families braved the bitterly cold weather to visit the Pony Centre on Pancake Day, our first Open Day of the year.

We were particularly pleased to see two intrepid ladies who travelled all the way from Northampton to see the ponies, having found us via the Exmoor Park website.

The riding ponies were back from their winter holidays, ready to meet their admiring public and looking forward to being stroked and petted.

Despite the chill wind, it wasn't long before the crowds arrived and the Green Room was filled with shivering people coming in to get warm and enjoy hot drinks, cakes and pancakes.

The pancakes, with a choice of fillings, were particularly popular and by the end of the day we had sold out.

A good day all round and an excellent start to the year. A big thank you to everyone who came and supported us.

Friday, 15 February 2013

PROFILE. Liz, Volunteer in Scotland

We're moving north of the border for this profile and introducing one of our Scottish volunteers, Liz Mercer..
 Liz with Midnight (Photo by Dave Hamilton-Smith)

My story starts one day with a visit to Traprain Law, a very high historical hill on the outskirts of Haddington, East Lothian, Scotland where I live.

Traprain Law

As I arrived, I saw a wonderful photograph of Exmoor ponies displayed on the Notice Board – and a request for volunteers to help with the overseeing of the ponies living there.

My sister, who died in 1999, used to be an excellent horsewoman and taught riding but, although I had ridden as a child, I used to be a little nervous of horses generally – they were so big!!! I also used to have a slight fear of heights. Yet here I was, that day, determined to apply to become a volunteer and knowing that to succeed as a volunteer I would need to let go of those fears.

MIDNIGHT, LIZ AND BOB (Photo by Dave Hamilton-Smith)

Thinking back, I remember feeling really concerned about the welfare of the ponies on Traprain. “Ponies living on such a dangerous place as Traprain Law with all its high ridges!” I thought to myself; and I felt a great need to become a volunteer in order to help with the overseeing of these wonderful ponies. But I was to learn over the next few months that, far from the ponies needing human help in mastering the terrain of Traprain, these wonderful ponies are masters in their own right of adapting to the hardiest of terrains - and they love every minute of it.