This year seems to be passing faster than ever. I can hardly believe that, as I write, we are at the end of October. We have had our final activity day for this year celebrating Halloween and it is time for the Pony Centre to close to the public for the winter.
Many of our riding ponies will shortly be leaving for their well-deserved winter holiday and rest, staying with friends and fosterers. Over the past few months, our gentle giant Jensen (aka Knightoncombe Eric) has been undergoing intensive training offsite with Linzi. He is a quiet, sensible pony and has already calmly dealt with trampolines, quad bikes and curious cows; all useful experience for when he returns to the Centre to continue his training over the winter. We will also be bringing on three more ponies who will eventually join our riding team and allow some of our older ponies to step back and enjoy a more leisurely life.
Staff and volunteers are busy preparing to receive this year’s intake of foals. Last year we had three unexpected late arrivals bringing our total intake for last year to 26. One of these three has been named by one of our Crowdfunder donors as part of her reward and the name she chose is Roly. As Roly’s two pals also needed names staff have called them - what else? - Jam and Poly. They are all being handled and when they have been neutered they, too, will move on to a home or grazing site. Most of last year’s foals have now been homed or placed with conservation grazing schemes in Northumberland, Hampshire and Suffolk.
Looking forward to Christmas, we have pony cards and calendars for sale in our online shop via our website together with other pony-related items that would make lovely Christmas presents.
It has been the most amazing year. Six months ago funds were at an all-time low and we were all bracing ourselves to face the closure of the Pony Centre. Since then, thanks to all our wonderful supporters and your incredible response to our Crowdfunder appeal, that has completely changed. We now have money in the bank and can look forward to a much more secure future for all our ponies. So thank you all.
Please note the Centre is now closed for the winter and will re-open for half term on Sunday 11th February 2018.