Friday, 19 December 2014

Extra Snacks

The weather's been so miserable the last couple of days we've had to resort to providing some extra snacks of hay...we're trying to feed enough but not too much to encourage any weight gain!!

"Did I hear you say there are extra snacks?"
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Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Out Of Action!

Sorry for the delay in blogging everyone!  Not only has there been a lot going on, Faye's been out of action with an ear infection...and now poor Margaret's out of action with a cold - we hope you feel better soon Margaret!  This meant that unfortunately we couldn't make it to our last fundraiser of the year at Eggesford...but thankfully we still have lots of "thank you"s to mention!

Firstly, a big thank you to Hazel-Ann who has put a lot of time and effort into restoring (or should that be rehabbing?) and decorating Jenny's rocking horse that was donated to raise funds for the ponies.  It must have taken a lot of work - including restoring the mane and tail...which is now made of real horse hair (which Jane's horses very kindly donated when having a trim!)!

Thank you to Tattwa, Penny, Liz, Pamela, David and Kaye, Graham, and "The Dartmoor Pixie" for their donations for the ponies - it's so kind of you and we really appreciate your help...a big thank you from all of us...

...And Well Done to everyone who's been using Easyfundraising when ordering their Christmas purchases online! Since the newsletter was issued we've raised an extra £14 and I know there's still some more to arrive...thank you!

Faye would like to thank Margaret, Catherine, and Victoria for stepping in to look after the ponies whilst she recovered from being ill!  Having been away for just a couple of days it's amazing how much the landscape has changed - it now looks properly wintry - the vegetation looks bare, the mud is starting to take hold and the ponies are getting hungry, coming back from the field in the middle of the day...time to start laying on some extra hay rations......ponies are looking great though!

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Tuesday, 9 December 2014

More Fundraising Efforts

It's been very busy the last few days, not only with looking after the ponies and getting the chores done in the shorter daylight hours, but with fundraising too.  Saturday was cold, dry and sunny which makes for lovely photos!
Topsy fluffed up in the chilly weather - we did have hail mixed with a bit of snow!

Dan and Bobby on the move...

Group photo...well...4 of the 6 at least!
Margaret and Faye were at Eggesford on Sunday at a gift fair and raised just over £112 for the ponies.

Tonight we've had our fundraising stall at the Tiverton Free Spirits meeting and raised £ thank you very much everyone again for your support for the ponies!

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Thursday, 4 December 2014

"Thank You"s And Horse Agility Results

Thank you everyone who has emailed or been in contact after receiving their newsletters...the newsletters are nearly all sent out, just a few left to go!

Thank you to David for his donation to the ponies to buy them some special Christmas treats - that's so kind of you!  Rachael has donated one of her hand-made patchwork blankets for us to sell on our Christmas stalls...and it is lovely to hear from Liz that PJ had a very successful summer and had some great successes!  PJ won at Woolsery show (so perhaps was there with Lulu??)  and was 3rd at Okehampton show in the Performance Pony Class.  PJ's injured his leg and is on box rest so we hope he feels better very soon!

Thank you too to Diana Lewis from the North Devon Animal Ambulance who offered their horse ambulance trailer if we ever need help transporting or rescuing a pony - that is such a amazing and generous offer, and we really appreciate it!

Meanwhile...back at the farm, at the weekend we constructed the Horse Agility course just in time to enter the November courses with Frodo, Rocky and Arthur.  It's Peter's first time competing at a higher level with Frodo...

...And well done to all!  Peter did really well - scoring 94 out of 100, which is such an achievement being on a higher level.  We just a need to brush up on the starting and stopping without using the rope and there'll be no stopping these two!  Vanessa said "What a good round, nice work Peter".

Rocky won 2nd place with 97 points and Arthur had 96 points which gave him 5th place as there were a few ponies tied for second place.

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Tuesday, 2 December 2014

December Has Arrived!

December has arrived so it's time to post about the last calendar photo for 2014!  As beautiful as it is, snow is actually quite hard work if you keep animals!  This photo was taken in the "herd field" - looking back at the details of the photo it says it was taken on 25th November 2005 at 12:21 - so Paul has just dispensed a lunchtime feast for the ponies!  The field was a little way from the farm so must have been quite an expedition to get out there with the hay...but that's all in a days just never know what the weather is going to throw at you next!

If you'd like to order a p4p calendar for 2015 please do get in touch as there are only 6 copies remaining!

Oscar has settled in really well and has already become very popular with our volunteers, most of whom have met him now...and he's also becoming known for his great love of cheese for training treats!  Peter was very popular on Saturday because he'd unwittingly arrived with cheese sandwiches and 2 types of cheese flavoured crisps for lunch!

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Friday, 28 November 2014

Our Latest Newsletter Is Published!

Our latest newsletter has just been published and we're currently in the process of posting them out, so hopefully you should get your copy with all the pony news soon!

In the meantime, we'd like to say another big THANK YOU to the Tiverton Free Spirits - this week we raised £51.61 at their meeting from the sales of necklaces and keyrings!

You might spot us in the local papers this week with our official announcement of Neil Parish MP becoming our patron.

We're hoping that the weatherman's promise for sunshine for tomorrow is true as we'd really like some photos of Oscar in the sunshine!

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Monday, 24 November 2014

Oscar Has Arrived!

Meeting Oscar
Very excitingly we have found a new dog for Ted and Jenny!  We went to The Dog's Trust in Ilfracombe today to visit Oscar who we had seen on their website.  He's a 12 year old Bearded Collie who was looking for a home and we felt he would be perfect for Ted and Jenny.  Everyone at the Dog's Trust were so very friendly and helpful today and they even managed to organise everything so that we could take him home today!  Our volunteer Catherine is one of their home checkers and she came with us to meet Oscar too.  He has separation anxiety issues and was getting very upset being left in kennels every night - he'd even broken a tooth trying to get out, bless him.  As soon as he arrived at Ted and Jenny's house he was so happy and relaxed - after having a look around he laid down flat out and slept before having his dinner.  I think he's even smiling in the photo below :0)   

"Ooh treats!"

Just after grooming with his 2 woolly's cold out tonight!
Oscar this evening...I think there's definitely a smile there!
On our way to the Dog's Trust we stopped over at Catherine's.  Ted and Jenny were able to see Silver the pony who used to live at their yard...up until he was rehomed to Catherine, and they met his companions Baby and Willow for the first time.

 And on top of all those lovely stories...I've just got home to find this gorgeous photo of Jenny, Bartie, Barnaby and Bisto who have been out adventuring this weekend...well done everyone :0)

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Saturday, 22 November 2014

Christmas Without Cruelty Festival

We've had a super day in Exeter today at the Christmas Without Cruelty Festival.  We had a stall to raise money for the ponies and had such a great time meeting such lovely people - lots of animal minded people and it's nice to catch up with friends and supporters too!  The festival has such a friendly atmosphere and has a great ethical dimension as all the products on sale must be produced without cruelty to humans or animals.  As you can see we had quite an array of beautiful gifts on offer and we are very grateful to everyone for their support...we raised an amazing £365.10 for the ponies which we think is our most ever at an event...THANK YOU!!

We must say a big thank you to Catherine and Victoria who were kind enough to look after the ponies for us this morning...and got things organised for us this afternoon - we really appreciate it!

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Friday, 21 November 2014

Barnaby and Busy

I just had to share this as it really made me smile...

...I had an email from Jenny to say "Just a quicky, i thought you would both like to see this photo of   Barnaby and Bisto playing in the school yesterday afternoon, he's bareback and was trotting and even cantered around a little.   After this i did some free schooling / playing with him and he even popped a few small jumps".  

Doesn't Barnaby look fantastic up there???!!  Well done Barnaby and Busy!

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Thursday, 20 November 2014

More Research Results Surrounding Dartmoor Hill Ponies...Meat And Passporting

As Dartmoor Ponies have been on television yet again this week...I thought it would be useful to share the results of our recent research with you...

Margaret's been doing some research, and we are pleased to say that the following shops and suppliers are committed to not stocking pony, horse or equine products...I think it's fair to say that most expressed their shock and disgust that it had even been suggested:
  • Tesco "I wish to confirm that Tesco does not sell any horse/pony meat and there won't be any UK retailers that do.  It is not illegal as such in this country but it's not something we sell or have any plans to".
  • Waitrose "I can confirm that Waitrose has no intention of using or stocking horse or pony meat now or in the future".
  • Sainsbury's "I can confirm that we do not and will not sell horse or pony meat in our stores at any point".
  • Morrisons
  • Asda
  • Lidl
  • Aldi
  • Budgens and Londis
  • M&S
  • The Co-op
  • Harrods
  • Booths
  • Fortnum & Mason  "We have absolutely no intention to offer Dartmoor pony meat for sale, now or in any future instance".
  • Wholefoods Stores
  • Palmer Harvey
It is also interesting to note that Defra have also confirmed our understanding of the current passport laws, which means that it is illegal for adult moorland ponies to be passed into the human food chain unless they have been passported as foals.  Most ponies on Dartmoor are unpassported (because their owners choose to benefit from the derogation) so would not currently qualify for any proposed scheme.  The clarification from Defra states: 

"Since 28 February 2005, all owners of horses, ponies and other equines in the UK have been required to have a passport for each animal in order to comply with European legislation. This also applies to horses owned before that date.  Passports are important food chain documents, which show whether a horse is eligible for slaughter for human consumption.

The administration of certain veterinary medicines (including bute) renders horses unfit for human consumption, therefore this information must be recorded in the passport by the prescribing veterinary surgeon.

It is an offence to fail to obtain a passport for your horse either by the 31st of December in the year of its birth, or six months from the date of its birth, whichever is later. If a passport is issued for a horse outside of these timescales, then it must be signed out of the human food chain and cannot be slaughtered for food.

There are derogations (specific exemptions) that apply to defined populations of Dartmoor, Exmoor and New Forest Ponies; specifically those registered in the relevant studbooks or lists and living wild or semi-wild within the designated moors or forest.

These animals do not have to be identified unless moved off their home areas; treated with any veterinary medicinal product; or brought into domestication, including within the designated area.

Adult ponies can only go to slaughter for human consumption if they have been fully identified through a horse passport within the normal deadlines as outlined above.  Derogated ponies under 12 months of age may be moved direct to slaughter without a passport, but they must be identified with a rump sticker (that bears a unique number and date of application), and be slaughtered within seven days of the date on the rump sticker"

It would be nice to see some media coverage supporting the farmers and breeders who are trying to change Dartmoor for the better...the Commoners' Council are still yet to act despite the fact that 92% of the pony keepers want change...and somehow the 8% are the ones getting all the media coverage!

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