Thursday, 28 June 2012

A Foal Beside the Road




This afternoon I drove home across the Forest after spending a few hours with an old friend in Brockenhurst. We worked together for over thirteen years so it is always good to see her again and catch up with her news. The roads were quiet so I stopped and got my camera out when I saw this sturdy New Forest filly foal grazing beside the verge.

In recent years, the Verderers and New Forest commoners have reduced the number of stallions running on the Forest and have also reduced the time when they are able to find the mares. Thankfully there are now fewer foals being born and their quality has improved. This is good for the breed but also better for the individual youngsters, who should hopefully find good homes or be kept to graze the Forest and become future brood mares.

 This filly could well be one who stays with her family group for the rest of her life, hefted to the particular area of the New Forest that is her home. She was not sticking close to one mare so I couldn`t work out who her mother was, but they were all nice ponies in good condition after the warm rain which has encouraged the grass to grow.



A confident youngster , growing well. All she needs to do is to stay away from the road, especially at night......


9 comments:

Morning's Minion said...

Wyoming had miles of areas that were designated as 'open range' so in addition to wild animals one had to watch for cattle or horses in the road. I think of England as being heavily populated, even in teh country, so it seems strange to me that the New Forest ponies aren't contained.
The efforts to control the breeding make sense.
I am so envious of your rain and green grass!

Noelle the dreamer said...

Beautiful! Thanks for sharing,

chinecats said...

I find it hard to keep driving through the forest when I see them so close to the roads! Just want to get out the car and move them back a bit, especially as some car drivers don't bother slowing down at all. They do look healthy, though!

Bovey Belle said...

Good to see them with some condition on them - I used to hate seeing the mares looking like hatracks . . . A nice chunky foal and reasonably traffic-wise already I should think.

ChrisJ said...

All very interesting information to me. I think all I have learned about the New Forest ponies I have learned from you and one or two other blogs. I'll keep visiting.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Oh dear, BB. Do you sometimes find them dead on the road at night? It happens here with deer and sometimes with lambs on the moorland - but somehow it seems much worse with lovely little foals.

angryparsnip said...

I am so intrigued by the fact your live near a place called the New Forest and when you dive you can see mares and folds. They look wonderful.
I do worry about the roads and drivers who seem not to care.

cheers, parsnip

Anna at the Doll House said...

It is so wonderful to see creatures that are still truly free, even though they must learn to live with the dangers of our modern world.

Here, we sometimes catch sight of badgers foraging in the garden in the dead of night. So, far I have spotted one adult and four fluffy-looking cubs. I wonder where they live - I think I would feel much more at ease with ponies.

Thank you for your visit. Mary Wollstonecraft would have been much happier to see a New Forest Common than an artfully contrived landscaped garden.

Anna

Karen said...

One way they keep the pony count down up on Assateague Island in Virginia is the famous pony swim and penning by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department on the Fourth of July.

I've seen the wild ponies on Assateague, but never the pony swim as we go in the fall. I understand the whole operation has grown by leaps and bounds and the tourist outnumber the locals there by ten to one.