Tuesday, August 15, 2017

15th August, 2017 It's Madness I Tell You

If I had any influence on the Forest I would be calling for a General Strike and for all Commoners to remove their stock temporarily from the Forest as a protest. I have never seen such wicked stupid-ness as I have this year when it comes to the Forest stock, people allowing their dogs to chase and bite the ponies, people disposing of their grass cuttings or windfall apples at the roadside, people feeding the ponies out of car windows or petting donkeys in the middle of the road. Then there's parking all over the grass. We're told people need to be educated, clearly there's no common sense, and there's a degree of selfishness and entitlement that makes me think that it should never have become a National Park.

It's time for some large signs at every major entrance to the Forest, as is in National Parks around the world, setting out the basic rules and the penalties for not following them. Then the rules need to be enforced properly. People are making money out of the Forest and some of that needs to be channelled into the animals that keep it the way that it is.

 Here are some examples of the stupidity we see and hear about every day...

"Me and the daughter were at Boltons bench today and everywhere we looked we could see people stroking and cuddling the ponies and foals. Young child running up to them. We heard a grandmother say to her grandchildren "let me touch it first to make sure it's safe" made me laugh when the the pony got a bit lively and made them clear off sharpish. My daughter is 6 she's been taught not to touch the ponies and donkeys and I love the way she shouts to me "dad those people are touching the ponies, they shouldn't be doing that!" Unfortunately it has no effect. Perhaps a few of the ponies could have a warning poster attached to their sides!"

"This is a plea for dog owners to keep please keep their dogs under control whilst walking on the forest.. we have sadly lost one of our forest filly foals that ran ogdens/gorley common after she had a nasty bite wound from a dog."

"Name and shame these Two men!!! At 6:20pm on the 4/8/17 they arrived at hilltop car park (moonhills) and started scattering two big bags worth of mouldy bread for the forest stock to eat"

Monday, August 14, 2017

14th August, 2017 Old Friends

Recently I went to visit Anna and hold her for the farrier again. These days she comes up to me to ask me to put her head-collar on and I always give her a good groom and a lovely scratch. I will always keep her in my diary since her owners are elderly and can't manage her by themselves. I have a special affinity with this girl, even though she pulls some terrible faces at me and the farrier, her emotions are always close to the surface and she knows what she likes and what she doesn't like. She's all horse.

My ears can go forwards
I took the opportunity to go and see Chancer too. He's still living with all of his Welsh mates on a big hill and looking very well. I took his hat off to say hello and then put it back on again.

Juma was fed up with the flies and looking rather tired this afternoon.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

13th August, 2017 Egg and Chips

It's a long time since I have ridden on a Sunday and reminds me that following a long ride my Mum and I would have egg and chips as our standard Sunday lunch.

Lorraine and I met this bold foal in the inclosure where he and his Mum were doing some secret snacking.

13th August, 2017 Show Off!

A relaxing afternoon at Ellingham Show thanks in part to the warm weather but also the alcohol intake at Spencers the Estate Agents and The Barn Equine Surgery stalls. Cheesy grins from Guy my farrier and Amy, his wife, and my vet. Always happy to be a groupie around the heavy horses too.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

12th August, 2017 Car Wash!

Juma has delegated car washing duties to his tiny little sister while he concentrates on learning his Green Cross Code. Hard to watch as cars dash by between him and his mother on the other side of the road, or slow to take pictures of him as he sets off.

I doubt that foals have evolved to have more road sense, but because there are less foals and therefore less playing, there doesn't seem to be as much dashing about as there used to be. I really don't want to tempt fate.

Although Jack and Jack are in the same field as the other horses with access to all areas, they choose to be alone together and seem to have picked the best gaff.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

10th August, 2017 A Spot of Lunch

Juma is now nine and a half weeks old and had his first visit home  He was intrigued by the buckets and had a mouthful of his mother's food. Straight back out again afterwards and hopefully will come in again just before the drift.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

9th August, 2017 No Such Thing as a Joke

Someone once told me that there was no such things as a joke between a husband and a wife, and declarations that "I was only joking" after the event are really just a cover for the most cutting remarks and criticism.


With horses the words that someone uses to describe their horse, things like the word 'it', when the horse is obviously a male or a female,  'a madam', or swear words, often reveal the way they feel about or see their horse. Saying that those words were 'just a joke' doesn't wash with me. They represent the energy and attitude that someone takes into the field with them when they go to catch their horse. They suggest the mistaken view that horses have a moral code, that they do things to amuse us, frustrate us or annoy us. Why would any horse want to be caught by someone who feels like this? Is it any wonder that  they choose to leave instead?