Thursday, September 14, 2017

14th September, 2017 Fly Me to the Moon

Auntie Joan and the Rottweilers are due to look after the house for a week while David and I travel  to Suffolk for a week where we will be walking, eating, and visiting Karen and lovely, lovely Moon. We also hope to meet up with IHRT Bridget Colson who is based in that direction.

14th September, 2017 Come on Aileen

Despite the tail end of Storm Aileen, it was a lovely day for a ride and always a pleasure when we can take all three riding horses out together. We encounter the more sedate type of tourist at this time of year and it's always lovely to stop and have a chat with people who might be on a walk, or painting the view. Certainly the view from my saddle is always glorious and Théoden's ears are just the best in the world.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

13th September, 2017 Paint My Pony

This beautiful watercolour was painted by artist Claire Martin and is just such an accurate and characterful reflection of Nelly with Juma. It's not the first time that one of my photos has been used as the basis for a painting but I am especially pleased to see one of my own ponies. I'm hoping to get all of my photos onto a stock page shortly.

13th September, 2017 No More Early Mornings

Except that I couldn't sleep because of the howling wind and worrying about acorns....

The 'in' horses were all fine and we're restricting their access to the oak trees to some extent.

The 'out' horses were all fine too and happy to be 'in' ponies for breakfast.

Henrietta was none too keen on getting up...

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

12th September, 2017 Back to School

We like to think that our young horses are well educated and with Guy as our farrier they certainly get the very best education in...military history. He told us this fascinating story..."So, long, long ago and far, far away in Abyssinia (that's Ethiopia to you and I) there was king who when he was under siege decided to shoot himself with two ivory handled pistols. As he lay dying he said to his eldest son, who was 11, take care of the family and the family lands. When the British found the boy they could have shot him but instead one of them said, "No, I'll take him home and he can go to Rugby." Which he did. That boy unfortunately died two years later but his younger brother went on to have a son of his own who, after World War II, started to work for Shell who were drilling for oil in Ethiopia. When they were successful, this grandson took Shell to court proving that he owned the land and the court found in his favour. Well played, as they say, well played.

Monday, September 11, 2017

11th September, 2017 That's All Folks

Yesterday came and went in a flash, and it was lovely to see so many people and so many ponies,  all enjoying themselves quietly over some challenging and colourful obstacles. The field looked as if it had been the victim of a paint-ball fight, primary colours everywhere. We raised £450 for the Exmoor Pony Centre.

Meeting up with a horsey lady recently I was reminded that I don't need to be involved anymore when she regaled me with a story about a horse that wouldn't stay still to be mounted. You just need to shout "Stand! so that he can hear you," she said. As I was about to respond I felt David's finger run gently all the way down my back. "Ah yes," I thought, "I could just walk away." So I did.

As a former Recommended Associate with no portfolio, I was pleased to be told that I would now be an IH Ambassador. I've been looking for a hat and a sash.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

7th September, 2017 Gentling Drifting Away

It was Woodgreen Drift yesterday and I just popped up to fetch some of the new car stickers that are now available advising people of the MAXIMUM speed limit on the Forest.

The stickers are available through New Forest Roads Campaign Facebook Page

Inevitably I got talking and therefore saw the first large group of ponies come in at a very gentle place, pursued by just two Commoners...

...who set off again to get some more just as I left.

I returned later by which time the Agisters and Commoners had got quite a few more in along with some foals (all probably by Applewitch Diversity). The mares had their tails cut into the appropriate shape for their area, and the foals were branded prior to being turned back out for another year.

Whatever anyone thinks of hot branding, Andrew is absolutely brilliant at it, always clipping a patch of hair first and then just touching the ponies momentarily with the iron. For now it is a necessary evil for the identification of a substantial mixed group of ponies in mixed ownership. J, left, is recording all of the information needed for the ponies to be passported including the positioning of whorls and any white markings.

This mare, having been released herself, waited dutifully for her old friends before they set off back to the Purlieu.

My own ponies were rather less effort to bring in. Nelly shares her hard feed with Juma but doesn't look too impressed.