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A shiny new pony

When I was walking the dogs this morning, I met a brand new foal and his Mum. His legs weren't quite working properly yet, and his mum was still trailing afterbirth. I am not sure why she chose the spot right next to the busiest carpark with footpaths either side busy with people and dogs, but she did.


Baby pony looks just like his Dad, who with his various wives, has the job of keeping the grass in the park trimmed. I think they are Dartmoor ponies.

I am slightly worried about what happens to all the baby ponies: there seem to be six or seven new ones born every year. I *hope* they all get nice homes!

Bonus photo of a bramble flower looking frail and lovely.

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( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
lil_shepherd
30th Jun, 2011 08:11 (UTC)
Well, they aren't pedigree Dartmoors! (They don't look like pedigree Dartmoors and piebalds and skewbalds aren't allowed anyway.) They may be the scrubby type of pony that now runs on Dartmoor but the mare looks too good for that. In fact, she looks more like a decent New Forest type.

I'm very much afraid that the market for feral foals and yearlings, never good, has dropped through the floor - even the meat market. What I am hoping is that the foals are handled, and taken away as yearlings to be brought on.
bunn
30th Jun, 2011 15:34 (UTC)
They used to have a sign up saying the ponies were from some Dartmoor pony group, but that was a while ago so perhaps the arrangements have changed: I admit I'd wondered about the colour!

The ponies that graze that hill are much taller than the ones you see on Dartmoor itself. I guess somewhere on Dartmoor there must be real Dartmoor ponies, but the ones I usually meet look more like woolly miniature hippopotami.
lil_shepherd
30th Jun, 2011 19:37 (UTC)
There are very few 'real' Dartmoor ponies on Dartmoor - indeed, there were very few 'real' Exmoor ponies on Exmoor when I rode a real Exmoor pony there about forty years ago. There are a couple of accredited herds, but they are kept separate from most of the ponies on Dartmoor. These are rounded up as yearlings and sold at auction - often for as little as twenty quid.
bunn
1st Jul, 2011 08:05 (UTC)
Yes, this has been the case for many years now - in fact I've heard of them going for much less than twenty!

A couple of months ago I found the skeleton of a dead pony on Dartmoor. It was in the process of being picked clean. Everyone seems to think Dartmoor has way too many ponies.
lil_shepherd
1st Jul, 2011 13:20 (UTC)
With good horseflesh extremely cheap at the moment (as a look in Horse and Hound will testify) and Irish breeders trying to unload their spare stock over here, because they bred far too many horses and then the market crashed, and the credit crunch affecting many people who would otherwise like to keep horses, I'm afraid there are going to be a lot of heartbreaking stories around soon.

I follow an American blog which has recently had dreadful stories about several hundred horses being abandoned without food and water (one of the people who did this also abandoned his granny!)
inzilbeth_liz
30th Jun, 2011 12:07 (UTC)
Oh adorable baby! Sadly I fear you're right to be worried as don't suppose the outlook for him is very good. I think purebred Dartmoors, like the Exmoor, can still sell for reasonable money but this one, being skewbald, can't be pure. Maybe his colour will work in his favour though as he is pretty.
bunn
30th Jun, 2011 15:36 (UTC)
Most of the babies on that hill seem to be skewbalds: I'd wondered about the colour! I hope it does help him find a home.
puddleshark
30th Jun, 2011 14:52 (UTC)
Foals are just so cute when they're at that gangly stage...

No, sadly, there's almost no market for the smaller breeds of native ponies, particularly when they're unhandled. But a lot of conservation bodies are using ponies to graze heathland these days, so even if baby never gets a good individual home, she may grow up to be a 'heathcropper'.
bunn
30th Jun, 2011 15:45 (UTC)
Oh, I hope they do! It seems to be a fairly nice life for them, loafing about in a herd and socialising and wandering over to the water troughs in long lines.

They are very cute and inquisitive. I have to be a bit careful with Az when they are very new like this one as he is just a little too interested in them then - I think they may look a bit too much like deer at that age. Once they get bigger they often want to come and touch noses with Az (as in icon). Possibly they think he is a sort of small longleggedy foal...
demon_rum
2nd Jul, 2011 05:30 (UTC)
you officially have an awesome life and that is all. Ponies giving birth by the side of the road? YES.
wellinghall
2nd Jul, 2011 13:30 (UTC)
Aw, so cute! That's two posts of pics of foals on my FList in recent days :-)
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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