I have always loved ponies of all shapes and sizes. It often seems that, for a lifetime now, I have been shaking my head fondly – hands on hips – at example after example of the irrepressible character of ponies that knows no bounds. A swiped mouthful of hay here, a ripped rug there, a pinched sandwich, a stable toy planned to keep boredom at bay for the winter worked out within seconds… Ponies’ intelligence, their resilience and their spirit are second to none and throughout my life with my own boy I’ve become very well acquainted with that unique streak of stubbornness, mischief and loyalty.
I really enjoy learning more about Charmer’s breed in particular and following other Fell ponies – easily done as I’m by no means alone in my love for them. The Queen herself has a soft spot for them and chooses them for her riding horses. At 92 years old she is still spotted hacking out her pony Cartonlima Emma regularly – a high-profile testament to Fells’ reliability and temperament.
Cartonlima Emma – Bob Langrish
I like to keep up with my boy’s own breed lines too, tracing his ancestry through the Fell Pony Society and following his family – to my amazement learning that several of his half brothers and sisters do very well on the showing circuit, his half-brother in fact champion at the Horse of the Year Show the last 3 years running.
Horse & Hound
It’s absolutely amazing to see and I love to watch them excel while enjoying life at home with their scruffball brother, as defined by his big character as he is his donkey-like ears, shaggy mane and jaunty trot. ❤
Most of all, though, I just love to see ponies being ponies, living as natural a life as is possible, their hardiness another of their admirable traits. I try to create this in miniature for Charmer as much as possible, letting him live out with his fieldmates when he can and enjoy ambles through the woods; but there is nothing like seeing it on its biggest, truest scale. A blog I absolutely love to follow is Mitch McFarlane Photography, documenting journeys to find and photograph British native ponies in the wild – from the Shetland isles to the Dales to Exmoor – and giving a beautiful insight into ponies at peace in their own little worlds.. ♥️
I would love to visit some of these places myself and have the chance to observe these amazing animals in the wild – starting in Cumbria to get back to Charmer’s roots. Recently, Fell ponies have been making headlines as part of the “Fix the Fells” project, carrying equipment up the hills to restore popular footpaths and keep trails open.
It’s amazing to see these incredible animals doing what they were born to do, so ably finding their path and carrying loads.
Back home, I’m sure my boy would argue that he contributes to society in his own way, entertaining walkers along the coastal path, keeping the grass under control in his field and enjoying a little downtime too…
…Still, we stand in awe of those ponies contributing to such a huge project and harnessing their heritage in their task; and all the beautiful ponies around the country and world flying the flag for our lovely native breeds in so many different ways.
Happy Friday all and have a lovely weekend. X