Sunday, July 30, 2006
I spent the first weekend of July doing one-to-one work and a small demonstration at a livery yard on the Isle of Wight. Phew! What a scorcher as the papers always say. It was extremely hot in the sand school. The following day it was off to Exmoor. Regrettably the Open day couldn't take place because the building hadn't been completed but I was able to work with the new staff, Laura and Caitlin, who are both wonderful and some of the ponies that the Exmoor Pony Centre will be using for trekking. I was happy to hear that these ponies will be rotated so that they have a break from trekking and that they are going to live out full time when they are not working. It was also a great opportunity to go and see Billy Milton and Liony. We took Billy out for his first walk on the roads and he loved every minute of it - he has such courage and was happy to take the lead in front of Merrion and to go up to things like tractors and give them a jolly good inspection. Liony is living at Twitchen Farm at Challacombe; yet another lovely place that does bed and breakfast for horses as well as people. Liony looked extremely well and has, at last, filled out. David and I went down to the Dartmoor Pony Centre at Brimpts Farm, Dartmeet and met Dru the project manager. She told us all about the scheme for the preservation of the Dartmoor Hill Pony and to increase the marketability of the Dartmoor colts. Once again, it all comes down to sensitive early handling.
During my first quiet week in months, I went to Malvern to see my Grandad, Pye. He was in good health so we went off to see my cousin Rosie who works for Weston's Cider in Much Marcle (Fred West country!). Unfortunately I am no relation to the Westons but I they always look pleased to see me anyway. The visitor centre is excellent and the cider too but the highlight was being able to groom their Shire horses and to meet their new arrival, Duke. Rosie's husband Tom has recently taken over the reins, quite literally, and drives their team through the middle of Ledbury.