Pony Mad

As we said goodnight, David smiled at me and whispered “Pony Mad.”

With a warm feeling of contentment, I put my head on the pillow and reflected on his words.

Yes, guilty is charged! Our little Exmoor pony family, all 5 of them, were well and in good hands.

Tanya + ponies

Yesterday we visited http://www.chateau-de-laumiere.com/ where 2 of the ponies, Dovetail and Galaxie are being taken care of by Tanya. We spent a relaxing hour or more hanging out with the ponies and chatting in the sunshine. I came away feeling happy and so very lucky to have crossed paths with Tanya who had one point was looking after 4 of them!

Eiderdown + Willow March 2017

When Tanya’s circumstances changed, ours did too. It is a curious thing about life, how things work out. It was fortuitous that Elliot was back at our home in France in April 2016 and was able to commit to looking after Willow and Eiderdown on our “track system”. JaxTrax was designed and built for them, to mimic a more natural lifestyle for horse’s and all the benefits that go with it.


Shortly after their arrival and quite out of the blue, I had an email from Julie. She had our only boy, Finch. Her circumstances had also changed and she asked whether I would be interested in taking Finch back. Well of course I would. I had missed him so much. I just had to pass it by Elliot as he would be his caretaker. When he agreed, I was over the moon. Finch came home to be with us again.

DG settled infor 1st night

Meanwhile back in Scotland, Charli takes care of Dream Girl as if she were her own.

I can now return there, refreshed from my break and happy that all our ponies, big and small are in the very best hands. A heartfelt thanks to Tanya, Elliot and Charli for making it all possible.

Pony mad, maybe, but how lucky am I?

Nature Matters

Nature intended and therefore equipped the horse not only to survive, but to thrive, without human intervention.

Is it natural for horses:

  • To live in family groups, herds
  • To have a pecking order within that herd
  • To live outdoors 24/7 – animals of prey, fright/flight
  • To forage on the move for up to 20 hours a day
  • To walk in to water to quench their thirst and to hydrate their hooves
  • To self-groom by rolling or by using their teeth/ trees etc. to scratch and/or to mutual groom with another herd member
  • To paw the ground to find minerals then grinding them to a powder with their teeth.
  • To self-medicate, seeking out herbs to regulate parasites
  • To find shelter from inclement weather
  • To self-trim their hooves by covering all kinds of terrain over long periods of time
  • To thermo regulate their own bodies, their natural rug being a layer of mud!

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L’Entente Cordiale for Cosmic Pluto

“And if it doesn’t work out for you I will be happy to take him back.”

We mean well at the time, it is our farewell gesture as the animal we have nurtured is driven off into the distance to a new home. We don’t really expect to be put to the test now, do we? But if we are, what do we do? It is taking the responsibility of the animal in question to another dimension, n’est ce pas?” Cosmic Pluto” living over 1,000 miles away in the deepest countryside of centralFrance, through no fault of his own, put his breeder in this impossible predicament. Continue reading →

Three Exmoor’s, One Agility Course and Two Girls having Fun!

When I saw Caroline show “Oui Oui” (Noddy to us!) at our local Western Show she was about 6 years old (middle of photo). I knew then she had what it takes and admired the way she managed the headstrong little Shetland. She performed a “Halter” in hand class and won first prize (blue rosette in Western!) No sooner was she out of the arena, overcome with emotion, she burst into tears! Before anyone had a chance to ask her, she uttered in a choked little voice “je ne pleure pas pour moi, je pleure pour Oui Oui (I am not crying for me, I am crying for Noddy!) Out of the mouth of babes!

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Caroline’s introduction to Exmoor Agility

Caroline is back to help me work with the ponies. She has been absent several weeks due to extreme weather and a family holiday. I was keen to introduce her to our starter agility course. She was so excited at seeing Finch and the other ponies that she and her mind were all over the place. What better way to concentrate the mind and calm her down than to explain how we were going to approach the course! First of all we both walked it on foot. Continue reading →

Exmoors well prepared for “The Big Freeze” in Central France

The snow fell only once this winter 2012. The two weeks that followed have been the harshest since 1985, with temperatures ranging between -4°c to -19°c. The ponies have been preparing themselves since the searing heat of August 2011, and therefore they have coped remarkably well. How wise they are with their thermal undercoat for insulation and their long thick greasy overcoats. They are truly well adapted for the weather in this mountainous region of the Auvergne. The “hair streams” resembling a well used wax jacket play a very important part in diverting the wet away from their bodies and protecting them from getting chilled. Their fanned tail too. And don’t you just love their unique thick and floppy manes/forelocks that appear to become “one”, as they lower their heads and eat to survive?

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