Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Chulmleigh Old Fair

We had a really busy and enjoyable day at Chulmleigh Old Fair today with our fundraising stall for the ponies!  Margaret came over early in the morning to help get the stall set up and Jenny had already donated her little rocking horse and hobby horses to add to the stall.  With the help of Gill and Anne we were able to stay at the Fair until 4pm...whilst Margaret looked after the ponies at the yard!  Thankfully the weather did hold out for us and there were only a few rain showers.

We raised just over £229 for the thank you everyone for your efforts and of course to the organisers of the Fair who put so much effort into making the event a big day out for everyone!

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Thursday, 23 July 2015

Firsts For Faie and Faye

Our young volunteer Faie was able to be our first volunteer to ride Arthur today and they were both brilliant together...a great start to the school holidays!!

Learning to ride bareback and how to control your
horse without the use of reins!

And for turned out to be the day when she learnt to drive the big tractor!

Kes and Oscar's group photo!  The also had Pat the dog visit today
as well!  
 Thank you to Anji who came to volunteer today and who took lots of the photos for us!

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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Special Visit And Big "Thank You"s!

Julie and Topsy
Big "thank you"s to Thea, Julie, Diane, Harriet and Tracey who came to visit on Saturday afternoon.  They brought lots of gifts for the ponies (including lots of apples!) and items to sell on our stalls to raise money...and lots of lovely delicious snacks and treats for everyone to enjoy during the afternoon.  We are very grateful for their donations too - just over £54!  We really enjoyed their company and how understanding they are of our work for the ponies.  They really love being able to do some interacting with them too.  Thea is very kindly running a workshop in September to raise funds for us too!  Such amazing support!

Diane and Arthur

Treacle soaking up the atmosphere!

Margaret is working very hard for us at the moment too so needs a special mention!  Not only has she been putting in extra hours at the yard but she's also been busy harvesting more fruit to make jams and marmalade which is proving to be very popular!  She sold £20s worth in one transaction yesterday so it just goes to show how popular it is!  Thank you Margaret!

We're also dog sitting at the moment and enjoying having a special big dog about - he has such long legs he seems to have extra-ordinary ways to fit himself into spaces that he wants to get in to!

Exhausted after a day's work!

Determined to sit in this chair!
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Friday, 10 July 2015

July's Flying By

July is flying by so quickly - there's so much to do and seemingly not enough time to get everything done!

Thank you to Margaret for coming to the rescue this morning.  A punctured tyre meant Faye was later than usual but thankfully Margaret was able to cover looking after the ponies at very short notice!  As dedicated as ever, she spent most of the rest of the day picking Gooseberries ready to turn into delicious delights to sell on our fundraising stalls to raise money for the ponies.  Thank you to Cilla and Jenny for donating their supplies of Gooseberries from their gardens!

 Arthur's been working on his ridden work.  There's lots of new courses to work on as part of the Horse Agility Summer of Sport.  One of them is Equagility, a ridden course.  It would be nice if Arthur can take part but we'll see how we get on!

Just finished a super session - good boy Arthur!

Snoozy Dan - photo from earlier this week!

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Thursday, 2 July 2015

July's Photo

These two little foals are spending some quality grooming and bonding time together - so far they'll have had virtually no human contact other than seeing the occasional tourist or walker go by.  They're quite accepting of you quietly watching and observing them.  Once you get to know a group of wild ponies, you will often know them better than their owners (who rarely seem to check on them at all!).

You'll know where the herd will be depending on the time of day or the weather...they'll even come and share a gorse bush with you when the weather comes down hard.  It's amazing how sheltering a gorse bush can be, just best not get too close to it!

The herd works together as a group - and they'll adapt to the situation if necessary, including moving or roaming about at the pace of their slowest member...much more tolerant than we are as a human society - we could certainly take a leaf out of their book!

The problem is of course, that these foals will only have a couple of months before their world is turned upsidedown - unwanted by human society they will be "dispatched" and then forgotten by their's soul destroying come the autumn to go back out to find the herd you knew and ponies have "disappeared".  To an owner the pony might be unwanted - to the herd they may have a crucial role to play...but all this is because the "management" of the ponies isn't for the ponies themselves at all.

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Monday, 29 June 2015

Arthur In The Sunshine

Look how shiny Arthur's becoming at the moment!  I remember telling him when he first arrived with us (very nearly a year go!) that Arthur is a name given to brave ponies... I was thinking about the legend of King Arthur (I couldn't think of any other Arthur's I knew at the time!!)......he was quite nervous back then and I wanted to focus on the feeling of bravery not fear...Now he might be going for the full knight in shining armour effect to follow on from his display of bravery at St John's Fayre last week!
Do you think Arthur's smiling in this photo??

Group photo!

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Wednesday, 24 June 2015

All Grown Up!

Between autumn 2011 and early 2012 we helped to rehome a herd of ponies from Dartmoor.  All the ponies were rehomed, but quite a lot of the foals needed to have some basic handling before they went to their homes at registered charities based all over the country.  You might remember this YouTube video we made about 4 foals who went to The Horse's Voice charity in Leicestershire:

Well the foals are all grown up and congratulations to George and Ozzie who were rehomed together at the weekend and  They've grown into such big boys!  Thank you to Pat and her team for all the hard work and care that they have given to the 4 foals.

At the weekend we also had an email from Roy at The Pit Pony Sanctuary to say they were on their way to see a potential foster home for the pony known as "Fearless" - she was such a confident foal right from when we first met her!  I expect she's quite a big girl now too!

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Monday, 22 June 2015

More St John's Fayre photos...

Thank you to everyone who has been sending through their St John's Fayre photos!  Here's a few to share...

Margaret manning the stall (Charlie in the background!)

Ponies towards the end of their time "meeting and greeting"
next to the stall.
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Saturday, 20 June 2015

St John's Fayre

I know there are more photos of today to come...but in the was finally the big day of St John's Fayre!!  It's such a big operation for us to get co-ordinated with 2 ponies, the parade and the fundraising stall.  The ponies have been in training since March!

We've all had such a busy and successful day.  The fundraising stall was busy all morning, particularly with the sale of tombola tickets and plants.  The ponies walked all the way to Witheridge (about 4 miles) and then took part in the parade.  Arthur was brilliant and was such a good boy for his first ever parade.  Then, after the parade they had a "meet and greet" area next to the stall.  People paid to feed the ponies slices of apple, which they (both the ponies and the people) absolutely loved!  Then it was time to walk the ponies home again whilst the stall was still in the last phase of the event.

We've raised our most ever amount for this annual event - £250.29!  Peter and Faie did a fantastic job, raising £30.54 in their donations bucket.

This was by far the biggest event we've done in recent years and we are very grateful to everyone who has helped and participated some of the many ways to mention - Peter for coming early to help with the mucking out and preparations this morning, Faie and all her family who helped so much in so many ways through the whole of today, Catherine and Victoria for helping with the walking of the ponies, Archie came to help with the parade and walking ponies home, Charlie and Margaret manned the stall all day, Jenny gave lifts to people and helped so much with the preparations too (newsletters, laminating, plants and Ted helping get donation buckets prepared etc), Margaret again for all the extra help with the preparations particularly over the last 3 weeks, Gill who also prepared plants and helped get the gazebo sorted for our stall this morning, Warwick and Sue for allowing us to leave all our pony snacks and supplies in our driveway, Terri for keeping all our workers supplied with tea, coffee and water at the event.  Paul and Cilla visited too and took more photos!    

The ponies went straight out in the field when we got back - galloping off, not seeming tired from their day at all...Rolling also was very high on the agenda and they were very quickly covered in mud least they stayed clean for about 21 hours, which were the important hours that we needed!!

Well done Arthur and Frodo, we are very proud of you!  And we're proud of your younger volunteers who all worked so hard for the ponies today....thank you again everyone!

And finally...thank you so much to the lovely lady who was selling pet beds at the fayre...she drove out to find the ponies walking on their way home to donate £20 of her takings for the day to the ponies - so incredibly generous of her, and we are very grateful to her!

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Friday, 19 June 2015

Frodo and Arthur Are Ready To Go!

Frodo and Arthur are all clean and ready for their adventure to St John's Fayre tomorrow!  Frodo's got a lightweight rug on tonight in an effort to keep him clean.  Arthur ended up having two baths...he was sparkling clean after the first bath (looking quite like a cavalry pony being all black) ...and then he went and rolled in an extra-ordinary amount of mud!  So a second bath happened after Frodo was clean and then they were both kept away from the mud patch!

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