Saturday, 10 March 2012

Springtime Ponies "In the Rough"


The temperatures have risen here and today has been warm and sunny. A lovely early spring day of birdsong and opening buds. We had rain earlier this week, so the grass is beginning to grow again. This is a good time to photograph the ponies in our care, so that we can monitor their condition and hopefully prevent too much weight gain and its accompanying health risks.

They are all native ponies and have wintered well on a little hay each morning and evening, plus a small, low calorie feed containing a vitamin and mineral supplement.

The Grey One, our New Forest orphan, is no longer a foal. He is rising five this spring and now stands at around 14 hands high. His coat is as long and fluffy as they come, but underneath this he is well covered. I can hardly feel his ribs, so hay will be reduced now and he will be carefully watched. Hopefully he will soon begin some training with a view to backing him later this year.


Jay has worn a rug all winter and is enjoying the feel of warm sunshine on his back. He has lost a little weight but has a small extra feed of cool conditioning mix for his supper. He is sleek and glossy and I am looking forward to gently riding him again this summer. He and the Grey One are great friends and both have the kindest of temperaments.


Woody has a long back, but he is looking sleek and well despite being in a small field. Another one to watch as the grass begins to appear.


The retired old Golden Girl has wintered much better than she did last year. She will be twenty two this spring. She has kept her weight on and will need a smaller grazing area as summer approaches. Her winter rug came off for the day and she has had another wonderful roll in the mud since this photo was taken!



Our neighbours` cat on the fence. A feral stray who turned up in her garden, he has been cared for and fed so that now he is a fit, fluffy young cat. He does not like being touched but watches me working in the field from a safe distance.


The Ginger One looks wild and woolly after the winter and will need his mane sorting out one day soon.


Chocolate Pony follows on behind.....


....and both of them are well covered after the winter. They are currently in a smaller field and on "Weight Watchers" rations.



Walking back across the fields, I had to undergo the usual camera inspection from the Grey One, who would follow me around all day if he had the chance.....



14 comments:

chinecats said...

They're all so lovely!

Bovey Belle said...

They all look just right my dear - don't want them porky BEFORE the spring grass comes through. They have wintered well and I am glad it wasn't too cold for the Golden One this year.

Give them all a hug from me please. Long distance!

WOL said...

Ponies! Give them all a pat and rub for me.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Just a delight to see these photographs - interesting that you are concerned about them eating too much - the farmer is just the same about any stock we have on the farm.

Our grass is just beginning to grow and the sheep are eating it off nicely - this helps with the silage later in the year as it thickens the grass up.

Country Cottage Chic said...

They all look great!
My two will be moving fields at the end of this month. Their current field has been well grazed but the other one has lovely lush grass so we will have to strip graze & watch them carefully.

Ragged Robin said...

Lovley pictures - the horses are absolutely beautiful - brings back memories of my daughter at pony club a few years back.

Yarrow said...

Wow, your ponies are so gorgeous. The grey, of course, is my favourite, but they're all so lovely :D

Karen said...

Oh, I wish I lived in a place like the New Forest with ponies in the yard.

The palomino is my favorite - the one you call the Ginger One. Does he have a name?

BilboWaggins said...

Didn't realise you have no many, they look lovely. Laminitis was a major problem up here last Spring, came on unusually early too. Hope yours stay clear of it.

Down by the sea said...

What lovely ponies, you have quite a number they must keep you busy!
Sarah

Aunt Jane's Attic said...

The ginger one looks so cheeky! Julie xxx

Dartford Warbler said...

Thank you all for your kind comments!

The Ginger One is actually called Ginger and he IS the cheekiest one. He was an unwanted New Forest foal back in 2001. It was the year of Foot and Mouth Disease in Britain and there were strict rules about moving animals around the country. The Pony Sales were cancelled and there was a surplus of foals.

Ginger had been born on the Forest outside our fields. He is the brother of Woody. I agreed to take Ginger in and he has given us a lot of fun and friendship since then!

Morning's Minion said...

Our Pebbles is about the same age as your old Golden Girl. She had her first spring grooming today--she doesn't wear a blanket.

Rowan said...

Lovely photos - I think the Grey One is a very special sort of pony. He has such a lovely face.