Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Christmas Ponies

Our ponies in Scotland are taking time off from
their conservation grazing to wish everyone a 
Ponies on Berwick Law
Ponies on Traprain Law

Thanks to Sylvia Beaumont, volunteer on Berwick Law, for the photos.

Sunday, 18 December 2016

The Pony Pub

This natural rock basin on the upper south west corner of Traprain, 
just below the summit on the side facing Haddington,
is a favourite watering place for the ponies of Traprain Law.

Photo artwork by Sylvia Beaumont

Thursday, 1 December 2016

Naming the Foals

Each year we chose a theme for naming the foals. Guess what the theme for this year is!

Meet Cola, Fanta and Dr Pepper, three of foals to arrive at the Pony Centre this winter. 

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Closing for the Winter

The Exmoor Pony Centre will close to the public at the end of October for the winter season and re-open in February 2017.

We will be busy handling the new intake of moorland bred foals and preparing them for finding new homes.

The Centre will be open for one day on December 18th for our Christmas Activity afternoon from 12 midday until 3 pm so do come along and see our festive ponies and even get some last minute shopping done.

Tuesday, 1 November 2016

November Newsletter

Autumn is the season of the gatherings when the free-living herds of Exmoor Ponies are rounded up and brought down off the moor to their home farms. After being checked and registered, some foals will return with the mares to the moor to live until the next year’s gathering.

The moorland enclosures are only big enough to support a certain number of ponies if they are to remain fit and healthy and co-exist with other grazing livestock as well as other users of the landscape. This means many of the foals cannot be returned and have to be found homes elsewhere or face the prospect of being culled. As a herd consists of many mares and usually only one stallion, it is mainly the colt foals that face this uncertain future. 

The Moorland Mousie Trust buys in as many of these surplus foals as it can afford, bringing them in to their premises at the Exmoor Pony Centre while it is closed for the winter.Here, staff and volunteers work with the foals, gently and sensitively teaching them to accept a headcollar and lead rope, allow their feet to be lifted, to enjoy being groomed and generally preparing them to find new homes where they can lead useful, happy lives. The foals are inspected by a vet, wormed, and the colts neutered.

The Trust would like to encourage anyone interested in buying a foal from a moorland herd, or taking on a youngster from the charity, to get in touch. Taking on a moor-bred foal can be an extremely rewarding experience and the Trust is always available to support you and your four legged friend. 

This is the Charity’s most difficult time of year financially. While the Centre is closed, visitor income drops away while winter feed and welfare costs for these foals soar to around £5,000. This winter a volunteer is raising money towards this by being sponsored to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. You can read more about this by following the Just Giving link on the right.

Finally, the Moorland Mousie Trust, the charity which runs the Exmoor Pony Centre, is looking to recruit new trustees from the Exmoor area.  If anyone is interested in becoming a trustee, we would love to hear from you. Equine experience is not essential. We are looking for motivated people with an interest in local charity and business.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Yuk! Has someone spiked my water?

I just couldn't resist posting this picture! 

This is Thistle, one of the 13 Exmoor ponies that conservation graze on Traprain Law near Edinbugh. He's probably just caught a whiff of something in the air, hence the lip curl, but it looks for all the world as if he has tasted something nasty.

The photo was taken by Liz, the volunteer pony checker, who visits them daily to make sure they are are all fit and well.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Anchor Herd Gathering

Anchor Herd Gathering 2016
 Anchor ponies being herded down the  lane from Mounsey Hill Gate towards Ashwick. They were all rather strung out this year so not such a good photo as a couple of years ago when they came down bunched together.

Anchor Herd Gathering 2014

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Ben & his Boys

This is Ben, the border collie standing guard over his 'flock'.
He belongs to Liz, volunteer pony checker for the Exmoor ponies on Traprain in Scotland and, as you can see, he takes his duties very seriously.


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Making Progress

Thanks to my generous sponsors, I'm almost a third of the way to my target with another month still to go!

These are some of the foals who will be over-wintering at the Pony Centre.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Looking for Sponsors

Have you ever heard of NaNoWriMo?   No?  Well, I confess it has very little to do with ponies - but, please, bear with me.

It stands for National Novel Writing Month and every November a lot of crazy people shut themselves away to write a 50,000 word novel in 30 days. It's something I have always promised myself I would do but have always managed to find an excuse to chicken out of.

What I needed was an incentive. So this year I am stepping up to the challenge in aid of the Moorland Mousie Trust and Exmoor Pony Centre, to raise funds towards their £5,000 winter feed and vet bills.

Every donation, however small, will make a real difference, so please consider sponsoring me. I'm a short story writer, not a novelist, so this will be a real challenge for me.

Visit my Just Giving page for more information, or go to my Blog to find out more about me and follow my progress.

Finally, many thanks for reading this.

Friday, 7 October 2016

October at the Pony Centre

More of our ponies have found happy lives away from the centre; some on conservation grazing sites and others at foster homes. One of our very special little characters Monty, aka Jenny’s Prince from herd 23 on Withypool, has gone to a home near Bridgwater keeping company with some Shetland ponies. For once he is the biggest pony in the paddock! He was always a super star and right until the moment he drove off down the lane he impressed us by loading beautifully into a large horse lorry with no hesitations at the size of it and the ramp he had to climb!

Four of the ten yearlings we took in over the winter have already been gelded so we were able to offer them space with a group of ponies travelling north to live right at the top of England near Rothbury in Northumberland. We would like to thank Alan Walters Horse Transport for a superb professional job of getting them safely to the other end of the country. The entire group of nine ponies have all settled well at their new home.

Sometimes we are called on to help where people are unable to keep their ponies.  This was the case when Leicestershire Wildlife Trust was unable to keep their herd due to difficulties in managing their vegetation supply. We collected their five ponies and sent them north to Juliet Rogers at our northern base where they have been re-homed at a wonderful conservation site.

In early May we sent three ponies, Igor, Ivan and Titch, to graze with Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust at a lovely site called Wigpool.

We have also been receiving fabulous updates about our foster ponies around the country, who are undertaking all sorts of jobs some taking part in pony club activities, others doing agility and proving what a wonderful versatile breed the Exmoor pony is.


Our next open day is celebrating Halloween. Come and see us on October 27th, 12-3pm and enjoy all the usual activities. Groom a pony. Have a ride. Enjoy refreshments in the Green Room. We look forward to seeing you!

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Christmas Cards & Calendar

Christmas Cards and Calendar are now on sale

in our shop and our online shop

September Newsletter

It has been a busy time since our last newsletter.

The Exmoor Pony Centre has hosted several events within the Exmoor Pony Festival, including the popular bbq and quiz evening, an Authors event and the Anchor herd Open morning. We were present at the Exford Show and have also been busy with our popular activity days and a full diary of treks, tasters and group fun riding sessions. During this busy period we have been lucky to have the continued support of our wonderful volunteers a well as the help of some students volunteering for work experience too! 
We continue to find homes for the ponies in our care and have recently sent nine ponies from Exmoor to a conservation grazing site at Cartington in Northumberland. Another pony will be going to a foster home in Derbyshire in early September. 

Looking for something to entertain the children during October school holidays? Why not join us for a Halloween themed afternoon of activities including pony rides on Thursday 27th October 12-3pm. 

Autumn sees the annual Exmoor pony herd gatherings, a wonderful tradition and an important part of the pony herds management. 

It is also the time when the charity starts preparing for a new foal intake. Last year’s ponies have been handled, gelded and re-located making space and resources available to take in more of the unsold surplus ponies from the moorland herds. 

We are busy preparing for Christmas already! Christmas cards and 2017 calendars are in our shop (also available via our website) and Tracey Gemmell’s new book about an Exmoor pony, “Dunster’s Calling”, is available on Amazon. Tracey is generously donating a percentage of her sales to MMT. 

The Exmoor Pony Centre is open to visitors between 10:00 and 4:00 on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the summer. Email: info@exmoorponycentre.org.uk
Tel: 01398 323093


Monday, 6 June 2016

June Newsletter

The next event at the Centre is our 10th Birthday Bash on Sunday 24th July from 11am to 3pm with all the usual activities; pony grooming, children’s crafts, refreshments and riding for those over 4 years old.

One of our very first ponies, Barney, is also 10 years old this year and will be celebrating with a birthday party on Wednesday 27th July at Dunster Country Fair.

Our charitable aim is to give as many Exmoor ponies as possible a better future and a fulfilled life.  This month we have rehomed many of our ponies to foster homes and conservation grazing sites throughout the country.

The riding ponies are back on site for the summer and bookings are now being taken for our popular taster sessions and for trekking on beautiful Exmoor. Please note that all rides and adoption pony visits need to be booked in advance.

We have a vacancy for an experienced rider to lead treks and help with riding activities generally and, of course, we can always use more volunteers for everything from mucking out to office admin. Please get in touch if you would be interested.

The Exmoor Pony Centre is open to visitors between 10:00 and 4:00 on Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the summer.

Friday, 29 April 2016

Children's Pony Competition

Open to children up to the age of 16

Are you doing the Moorland Mousie Pony Competition?
Looking for Freddy's birthplace?
You can use the list of labels in the right hand column
to help you find your way through the blog.

Open Day at the Exmoor Pony Centre