Monday, 21 July 2014

Horse Agility Summer Of Sport 2014

We've been working on our Horse Agility entries for July - it's the Summer Of Sport this month so the competition is based on representing the country you come from.  It's a bit tricky as obstacle 3 requires you to wear a piece of national costume or clothing that represents your country - so Peter came up with an England football shirt which was a good idea as we couldn't really think of anything for England...unless wellies or a waterproof count!

We've taken a couple of great competition videos of Peter with Frodo but we're finding it difficult to choose between the two of them - deciding which to submit for the most points!!  If you could edit the best bits of the two videos together I'm sure they'd have 100%.  Whilst we decide...We love these photos of Peter waving the flag over Frodo.

Rocky and Topsy also did super attempts at the course which we have entered (thanks to Peter for letting us borrow his T-shirt and football!) - Rocky was filmed by Peter and Topsy by Margaret.  Topsy's showing her age and looks a bit's good for her to keep on the move and she's done brilliantly again, attempting the curtain for the first time.  Videos are below...

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Monday, 14 July 2014

Tiverton Balloon Festival

We've been at Tiverton Balloon Festival with our fundraising stall for the last 3 days to raise money for the ponies.  Thank you to everyone who visited our stall and came to support us.  It was the biggest event we've ever attended and lots of hard work went into the running and preparation of the stall - so thank you again to everyone who helped.  The weather was quite challenging - very hot on Friday, rain on Saturday and very windy weather on Sunday...all manageable with a good amount of sellotape to hold everything in place!  Peter came every day and helped with the setting up and the running of the stall.  Margaret helped both with the stall and the looking after the ponies.  Catherine and Victoria helped at the yard on Saturday morning...and thank you to Cilla and Gill who donated plants to sell.  One of the trickiest parts was packing up the stall and getting through the crowds in the dark evenings - Toni and Howard very kindly came to help with this, making things much easier!  Anne came too and helped with the stall and with moving all our stock and tables at the end of each day.  Over the 3 days we took £318.90 on our stall.

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Ponies Or Appaloosas??

I didn't get to blog these photos last week as we were busy getting ready for the Balloon Festival...but last weekend the ponies came in from the fields decorated with mud spots...quite unusual!  Frodo in particular looked more like an appaloosa!

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Sunday, 6 July 2014

Silver And Baby Update

Those of you who have been following p4p for a while will be very pleased to see an update about Silver and Baby who live with our volunteer Catherine.  Catherine has her grandchildren visiting from Australia and they are really enjoying spending time with the ponies.  Both Silver and Baby were very frightened ponies...but with lots of training and patience from Catherine look how far they have come...


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Friday, 4 July 2014

Peter And Frodo's Horse Agility Results

Peter and Frodo earlier in the year!
Big congratulations go to Peter and Frodo for their fantastic Horse Agility entry...their results came in at 91 out of a possible 100 points, which is such an achievement, particularly for their first ever competition!  The liberty class that Peter entered is open to all levels and he was competing against adults, all of whom are at a much higher competition level (not starter) and some of whom who are at the equivalent of the "gold medal" level!  All the more impressive is that he came 9th in a class of 11, actually gaining more points than people who are at a much more advanced level than him!  Peter's disappointed that he didn't just wait until he competes in his first Starter Level against people at the same level!  Peter and Frodo make quite a team!  Here's their actual results card:

(The scores are made up of 10 points each obstacle - 5 for effectively negotiating the obstacle and 5 for good horsemanship shown whilst negotiating the obstacle.  Where the rope is marked as ‘tight’ between obstacles, food rewards are given between obstacles or there is a break in the flow from obstacle to obstacle 1 mark will be deducted from the next obstacle’s score).

"Human name Peter Gunn GB
Equine  name Frodo

1.Walk together 5/4 
2. Curtain turn left 5/5
3.Tarpaulin 5/5
4.Figure eight 3/3  
5.Zig zag 5/5
6.Tunnel  5/4 
7.Weave  4/4
8. Gap 5/5
9.Scary corner 5/5
10.Bottle bank 5/4 

Total Score 91
Comments: What a fantastic start! Well done."

The results table can be found on the Horse Agility website on the following link:

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Thursday, 3 July 2014


Some of the haymaking team...clockwise from top left: Cuba the dog, Alex, Heather, Jessica, Angela,
Jo, Edward, Beate, Ted, Catherine (hiding behind Ted!), Jenny, Victoria, Stella, Pete, Roger, Kevin and Robbie.
Other hay moving helpers not in the photo were Hugh, Roger, Russell, and Mark!

Roger rewing up the hay

Richard in the red tractor baling and Roger rewing up

Angela driving the little tractor

Roger, Beate and Cuba

Hay stack getting higher!

Team work to get the bales from the trailer, up onto the haystack and stacked

With Robbie's expert skill we were stacked nearly to the roof!

As always, we'd like to say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who came to help with the haymaking today!  Lots of our usual helpers were out of action with injuries, or had already made other plans so we thought we'd be short of help...but we had a super turnout of helpers - I think the most we've ever had! Our volunteer helpers came from over quite an area to help - some from as far as Exmoor and Chard...and thank you to Robbie for even offering to bring extra machinery down if we needed it!  Everyone worked together as a team, and worked hard too - we had a bumper crop of 734 bales from one field.  The baler was working for a very long time and it was amazing how well everyone did keeping up with the stacking of trailers and the stacking in the barn.  The little orange tractor helped with the hay making for the first time.  Whilst it can only take a relatively small number of bales on its trailer compared to the large tractors, it definitely contributed and played its part.  Angela really enjoyed driving the little tractor for us!

We also need to say thank you's for all the hay making preparation too - a lot happens before the baling day...Roger cut the hay for us, mended the broken hay turner, rewed up for us, and helped with bringing the hay in; Ted has spent hours on the tractor turning hay and Jenny's been supporting him, helped us find our helpers and made sure everyone was provisioned with snacks and drinks, Margaret helped to get the area ready for the hay to be stored in...and Angela came to help all day to make sure all the pony chores were done before the hay making happened.

It's always such a great feeling to have all the hay safely stacked in the barn.  Of course, the biggest thank you goes to Ted and Jenny for helping us and for donating all the hay to p4p for the ponies.

Amazing effort...we're so glad that everyone enjoyed themselves and had fun whilst working hard...thank you so much again everyone!

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Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Haymaking Is Underway!

Freshly turned hay drying in the field

Our neighbour, Roger, surprised us all yesterday by arriving to cut our hay (which we are very grateful for!) now it's a mad dash to get the hay made and stored in the barn before the rain arrives on Friday!!  Ted's been busy on the tractor turning the hay in the morning and afternoon.  There's so much more grass than we expected this year.  Even though we've only cut one field there will be a lot of bales to get into the barn.  The search for volunteer bale movers is underway!

Ted seeing to the machinery after completing the afternoon turning

Tess supervising the proceedings

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Saturday, 28 June 2014

Frodo And Peter's Horse Agility Liberty Challenge

Peter and Frodo have tried their first ever Horse Agility competition course today...there was no starter course for June, so he's gone straight for the Liberty Challenge (Bronze Level) with Frodo...which means doing the course without using a leadrope.  Peter's 10 years old and he's been volunteering with us since December.  This was a fantastic effort and we've entered him into the online competition...I hope the commentary doesn't lose him marks but it was an impressive effort so we wanted to submit it.  The video was rapidly running out but thankfully it did last until the last obstacle!!  Well done Peter and Frodo!

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Saturday, 21 June 2014

St John's Fayre

We've all had a fantastic day today at St John's Fayre in Witheridge...lots of lovely photos and I couldn't choose one or two of the best so here's a selection!

Group photos!

Angela and Frodo

Faye and Frodo

After the parade

Catherine and Victoria on the p4p stall

Margaret and Frodo

Frodo "meeting and greeting" in his pen next to the stall

Peter and Frodo together on the long walk home

We've had such amazing weather - probably the best we've ever had and everyone has put in so much effort to make it a special a huge thanks to everyone involved who could make the day possible.  We also raised £205 on our stall for the ponies...and Angela did an amazing job raising £31 of this from taking the donation bucket to the audience during the parade!  Frodo was outstanding - walked brilliantly all the way there and back and strided out every step of the 8 mile round trip!  Any period of time at the parade or stall where there was waiting about he was more than happy with his nose in a tub of hay or a haynet!!

Thank you very much to Sara, Maddie and Alexander for coming out to take part in the parade; Peter for escorting Frodo on his adventures down the lanes and doing a super job helping on the stall; Ann for giving Peter a lift so he could get to Witheridge; to Angela for coming all the way from Chard to help with the stall, working the crowd for donations, and helping walk Frodo home; Margaret for helping to get everything ready, running the stall, and dismantling everything at the end of the day; Jenny and Ted for the beautiful flowers, for ferrying us about to our cars in Witheridge and back, and for the help with the poo-picking in the yard; Cilla and Paul for all the photos they took; and to Catherine and Victoria who came on Friday to help get Frodo ready, and who walked Frodo to Witheridge first thing this morning as well as helping with the stall; and to Gill for letting us borrow her parasol bases to make Frodo's pen.   Great job everyone...and thank you everyone for your was the best St John's Fayre we've ever had! 

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Monday, 16 June 2014

Frodo's Pen Practice

We're hoping Frodo that will be doing a "meet and greet" session after the parade at St John's Fayre so we've been trying to work out how to make a portable pen for him.  Today we think we've cracked netting and parasol bases with poles.  Obviously the pen in the photo is much smaller than the one we'll construct on the day but we wanted to see how Frodo would feel about it.  Not a problem at all!  He's quite happy munching on the hay whilst the plastic netting is moving about.  He'll be staying on the headcollar and leadrope at the Fayre and won't be loose so this should be perfect.

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