Sunday, 7 October 2012

Forest Ponies on a Fine October Morning

On Friday night we had heavy rain, but Saturday morning brought blue skies and sunshine. Enough to gently warm the soaking land. Up on the heath, our local herd of New Forest ponies, owned by Forest Commoners, were resting in the sun with their damp coats drying to a glossy shine.

The ponies look sleek and well after a summer when wet weather caused a good crop of grass to grow on the Forest. These mares did not have a foal this year, but a strawberry roan stallion visited in spring, so their swelling bellies may be a sign of foals to come next May. 

If this young mare is in foal, it will be her first. 

She dozed in the sunshine, just waking enough to pass the time of day as I came nearer.

Her muzzle shone like silver velvet.

Three mares, drying their backs and standing in the yellow-browns and greens of early autumn bracken.

The old black pony`s coat was  gleaming.

Nearby her best friend, Snowy the white grey, is surely in foal.

She has been losing the black pigment in her skin in recent years.

Always the grumpiest in the herd, we call this mare Baggage, because she is one! Often she bites, kicks and bullies the other mares into submission and will never tolerate the touch of a human hand.
It was good to see her calm and contented today, enjoying the rare hours of sunshine.

Such a change from so many cloudy, grey, wet days. 
There were mackerel clouds..........

.....and mares` tails.


angryparsnip said...

Envious of the fact your have New Forest Ponies so close and that you know them. They all look so healthy lets hope they stay that ways as winter is coming.

cheers, parsnip

crafty cat corner said...

Lovely post.
I remember seeing the ponies when we visited my son in the New Forest some years ago.
You live in a beautiful place.

Mum said...

Old black pony's coat is gorgeous. It was a lovely day here as well.
Love from Mum

Anns Art said...

Nice to see the ponies enjoying the sun. I noticed the Daily Mail (online) did a piece about the drift the other week, think they have only just discovered it! - made it sound like the wild west, typical newspaper stuff.

The Weaver of Grass said...

Lovely ponies DW - wish we had them wandering round here, We have Dales ponies but they are quite rare now.

chinecats said...

I drove through early Saturday, it was so beautiful with the early morning sun. The ponies look healthy, nice to see just before winter gets a grip.

Down by the sea said...

Such a lovely post the ponies look wonderful and so healthy and content.
Sarah x

Em Parkinson said...

Oooo, I love New Forest ponies; more than Dartmoors actually which I probably shouldn't say! So lovely to see them close up like that. Baggage is very handsome, if a grumpy mare.

Crafty Green Poet said...

they're such lovely ponies!

Bovey Belle said...

Glad to see them all looking in fine fettle. Not so long ago they'd have looked nothing like as well-rounded or with shiny coats.

I take it that is Young Snowy in the picture? Is her mum still around, or was she taken off the Forest as planned?

Rowan said...

Lovely post - it must be so enjoyable to be able to see these ponies on a daily basis.

Morning's Minion said...

A lovely walk and interesting to meet the ponies by name--animals, be they horses, dogs or cats, are such individual personalities.