Wednesday, 14 June 2017

Dartmoor hill ponies

I couldn't resist sharing this little mare having a roly poly session on the moor.  The Dartmoor hill pony is NOT the shining dark brown darling of the show ring (complete with little tot on board in a leading rein class).  These are feisty little mongrels whose ancestry dates back to the Medieval times, when they were described as being of all sorts of colours, including grey, piebald and skewbald.

Since then, many other small breeds have been added to the mix  - especially in Victorian times when, like the New Forest breed, other stallions were used to "improve" it.  The little grey mare looks as if she may have Welsh Mountain ancestry.  Elsewhere on the moor I saw a pony who looked like a mini-Highland, in colouring and looks.  Shetland was another popular inclusion.

A touch of Shetland in this one I think.

This was the stallion in charge of this little herd.  I think he's quite a nice type - very deep and compact.

A couple of his mares - I think the mostly-black piebald could be his daughter.

Another daughter, probably just a two year old in age.

The grey mare rolling again.

Here she is upright.  Her foal should be born in the next month or so.

Finally the traditional Dartmoor.  This is Laddie, who was the pony who was used in the filming of the Edwardian Farm, which took place at Morwellham Quay.  Originally unhandled, this pony was "started" (getting used to being handled, and then ridden etc) by a local horse whisperer.  Tomorrow's post will be about our visit to Morwellham Quay.

We had a busy day here yesterday.  I bought two trays (7 lbs in each) of plums and tomatoes for £1 each at the greengrocer's at Abergwili on Tuesday.  Half of the plums I stewed up and froze, and half of the tomatoes went to make a Summertime Chutney, with home-grown courgettes from the freezer, peppers, onions and spices.  A jar went straight away, along with just the prettiest Fuschia (Mrs someoneorother!) to our neighbour who had fed the cats for us before son Danny arrived to stay the weekend.  I'd quite forgotten how much I enjoyed chutney making and will probably do some more today.  I found a lovely recipe for Orange Chutney, which has preserved Ginger in it, and thought that would be a nice one for Christmas gifts.  I've also got a plum recipe . . .

I am trying to work my way through emptying the freezer of its oldest inhabitants and chutney is a good way to tackle the oldest veg.  Tea (for me at any rate, as my OH doesn't "do" pasta in any way, shape or form) is going to be Ravioli with a tomato/peppers/onion sauce - you sense a theme here?!

With the sunshine, we were lured out into the garden yesterday to tackle the collapsing trellising.  I had bought 3 panels a couple of weeks back - we still need a 4th - but the 3 are up and when I have found the plastic ties, I will refasten my rambler roses across the new panels.  Whilst we were doing this, I also had a huge tidy up of plants in the bed behind the trellis (it was the only way I could reach it!) and now have room to tuck in a couple of White Foxgloves I bought as small plants for 50p each earlier in the year.  They have grown on well and need to get in the soil and grow on. 

It was pouring with rain when I got up this morning, but the sun has come out now and hopefully we can get some more work done outside, but pollen levels are very high and I don't like to push my luck, especially as I have tests with the Respiratory Nurse tomorrow.  Still, so far, so good - I'm better than I was, and the pollen hasn't really hit my lungs yet.  Quite often in June I end up in A&E and/or on Steroid tablets to get my breathing back to normal.  Hay fever doesn't affect my nose any more - just goes straight to my lungs.

Much reading still being done, and I am now on Val McDermid's The Mermaids Singing.  I treated myself to the DVD box set of the tv series Wire in the Blood, which originated from her novel, and very good it is too.

Back later. Enjoy the sunshine.


  1. Dartmoor Ponies: hardy and temperamental at times was my experience and so too can be horse whisperers,
    there is one that I know a few fields away...

  2. Love your comment on horses and their folk Heron's View! I have known recalcitrant of both species - and more than a few good 'uns too of course.

  3. Those photographs of the grey mare rolling are a delight to look at BB.

  4. I was lucky to catch her at just the right moment Pat. Interesting to see she still has most of her winter coat and the others were in various stages of moulting still - I think Dartmoor's like Northumberland and just had 3 seasons!

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