Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Blocking the Road

Along a New Forest lane in the midday heat of a humid summer day. Like a latter-day Stubbs painting, a group of commoners` ponies rest beneath two oak trees that reach across the lane to form a canopy of shade. Every summer day they stand here, as their mothers and grandmothers will have stood before them.

Driving through this little family is a slow and careful business. Sometimes a pony will turn to let you pass. Sometimes you have to wait, and wait, or wave a duster out of the window, hoping for some movement.

Yesterday, I squeezed the car carefully through. No one was behind me, so I stopped to take some photographs. The young dark grey mare is likely to be a half sister to our own Grey Pony. He was born on this heath four springs ago, and lived with this family group until his mother was killed by a car one night. Aged six weeks, he came to us as an unhandled orphan. Now he is a kind, beautiful young gelding who is beginning his education. We hope he may be a riding pony by next summer. The grey mare looks so much like him. I feel sure that the same grey stallion is their father.

Scratching an itch - a balancing act.

Another possible half sister. She looks around four years old.

Just away from the group, a single chestnut mare cropped the new, sweet grass growing between blackened gorse stumps. Controlled burning leaves a stark, twiggy landscape of charcoal branches, until the rain comes and grass grows again. It will not be long before new gorse sprouts from the burned earth. A new supply of food for ponies and cattle in the years to come.


ChrisJ said...

And the new gorse shoots will be tender and green and sweet. Just what a horse's doctor ordered.

Kath said...

OOh I loved the pony photos and news. I think you're right about the grey stallion..

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely to see such nice photographs of a different part of the country.

My Spotty Pony said...

I would be tempted to round them all up and take them home with me. I am sure my pony Spotty would welcome more company!

Bovey Belle said...

The dark grey is the image of your lad. A lovely family group and looking in pretty good condition - one benefit of running less ponies on the Forest anyway.

Rowan said...

How lovely to see the ponies wandering about on the lane - I hope everyone drives as carefully as you do! Those greys are really beautiful, such nice faces too.

Anna at the Doll House said...


I have just come across your blog and have enjoyed reading this and your previous posts.

I am now your newest follower and perhaps I'll pick-up some ideas from you as to where to go and what to do on our next trip to Britain.


WOL said...

I do love your posts about the ponies. The grey mare is beautiful.