Recommended Care for Ponies
Can you make sure fencing is secure and there is a fresh supply of water and can be checked at least once a day to make sure they are happy and well?.
When your ponies arrive they really need to be stabled for at least a week until they know you and about eating food from a bucket. Here we start them on Dengie Alpha A with Oil and gradually add course mix until they realise it is yummy. We put water buckets in old car tyres to start with as they tip them over endlessly until they work it out. If you want some one to head collar train your ponies we can start them here, this costs £50 per pony.
(IF YOU WISH, WE HAVE INFORMATION SHEETS AVAILABLE ON VARIOUS ASPECTS OF TRAINING YOUR PONY and WE ALSO HAVE ADVISORS WHO WOULD BE DELIGHTED TO ASSIST YOU or find someone who can.) Sarah Weston has also written a very good book on training semi feral ponies.
Worming is recommended as soon as you feel they have got over the trauma of leaving Dartmoor and establish a regular programme thereafter, information sheet available. Keep your passport safely you will need to produce it for veterinary treatment or to sell your pony.
We wish you all the best with your pony and may you have as much enjoyment as we have from these amazing custodians of Dartmoor.
As a final note, please beware of the temptation to overfeed. These ponies are used to walking 20 miles for their breakfast, if overfed can lead to digestive and laminitic problems.
The Dartmoor Pony
by Maggie Duffy
Born in the dark grey granite dell
on a morn of russet chill,
Damp heather now will be my bed
on this moorland, heath and hill.
And when my mothers milk is dry
tough grass will be my fare.
No fancy bran and oats for me
I bother not, nor care.
My ancestors have trod the path
where now my hooves will tread,
Their ghosts a thousand silver manes
of mists above my head.
I neatly pick my way between
the granite shale and stone.
I’ll find water here to quench my thirst
in this unforgiving home.
I’ll learn to seek some shelter
‘neath some craggy hill or Tor,
When winter wraps it’s cold, cold hand
around this Devon moor.
Or I’ll huddle with my brothers
while our velvet muzzles blow
Soft streams of breath that welcome
those of our kin, that we love and know.
When springtime comes we’ll shed our coats,
leave tufts upon the wire
And that will line some blackbirds nest.
It’s all his heart desires.
And Summer sees us postcard pretty.
We’re soft like eiderdown,
The moorland seems to show us off
like jewels within her crown.
And when the warm sun’s memory
is all we have to hold,
The rain beats down upon our heads,
the wind is cruel and cold.
We’re driven to the local sale.
The folk will come and stare.
We stand as we await our fate,
will no saviour be there?
And will the Dartmoor pony be
a legend of our time?
Once so fierce and proud a race,
but now we’re in decline.
We were your long time heritage
upon your land and leases.
And now our worth is far less than
some Thirty Silver Pieces!
I’m still as sure and fleet of foot
as any noble steed.
Come on Devon people, hear my call,
so great now is my need.
Maggie Duffy is a singer, songwriter and poet. The Dartmoor Pony is performed as part of Maggie's show 'Dartmoor Historical & Hysterical'.
Find Out more here www.maggieduffy.co.uk