26 April 2013


Yesterday afternoon, as Snippet and I turned for home, he lagged behind searching for rodents in tussocks. We were in an area close to Trigger's field where the land drops away and areas are impossible to see from even high up. I walked on but stopped when I heard high pitched neighing  and the thundering of tiny hooves behind me. Snippet shot out of the gorse with Foal A in hot pursuit. What a feisty little thing he is. No fear. I imagine Snip woke him up by mistake. Not a mistake he'll want to make again any time soon. Bizarrely, there was a sense of protecting his mum as she appeared behind him looking completely relaxed. She knows Snippet well. The foal trotted up to her having given up the chase, looking very proud of himself. I managed to catch him as he slowed down having seen me:

And here he is going back to mum:

Yesterday I also saw.....

Another Meadow Pippet

Water Crowfoot flowers emerging

A female Wheatear - sorry....rubbish was miles away!

Foal number 3 from last year looking completely ridiculous. He's about three feet high still.

A very relaxed sheep
This morning when I went to feed Trigger, I found Daisy and Ida hanging around the wall to the field. I hadn't seen them for a few days so I was delighted.

Believe it or not, the two of Ida lying down were taken after I came out of the field. Much more relaxed than Foal A....Snippet was trotting around her and she fell asleep!

Later on today, Colette came to trim Trigger's hooves. It's the first time I've had to actually catch him for nearly six weeks. When I feed him, I just give him a brush and a rub, and keep the mares at bay. I don't use food to catch him; I think it sets a bad precedent. Those high minded principals nearly went out of the window today I can tell you. The wild mares associate me with a battle for food and, as I casually strolled over to Trigger, complicated rope headcollar in hand, they started their relentless onslaught, despite the fact that I clearly had no food-based items about my person. Ten minutes of trying to keep calm with a panicking Trigger trotting around, araby tail in the air whilst shooing three persistent and extremely annoying Dartmoor madams away and I was getting close to losing my cool. However, I held it together and my highly strung boy at the best of times eventually responded to my deep breathing and what I call my calming tube train position....legs slightly bent; centred and solid (as if riding a rocky train with nothing to hold on to) so as to relax him to the point of licking and chewing. This achieved, I tied that stupidly complicated rope halter knot in haste and led him back to Colette, standing patiently at the gate, trying not to laugh I think! Hooves trimmed, I trudged home, only to have to go back again two hours later with food; a walk in the park compared with the earlier shenanigans!

The Dartmoor madams

It's been a long day. School library duties this morning and lots of other bits and pieces, none of which have exactly gone to plan. I'm looking forward to the weekend; I hope you enjoy yours. Until next are some cheeky sheep peering at me this morning.


  1. Oh I do love those foals! Nice to see Daisy too.
    The sheep look very relaxed, must be the sunshine!

  2. Oh do love both foals, although Ida does seem especially sweet. Those sheep all look as though they have been placed in position for the ideal photo shoot - no way would they oblige if they knew they were getting the pose just right! :)

  3. Em, you pack so much of interest into every post! How quickly those foals develop a distinctive personality. Their hooves look so new and dainty. How comical that foal protecting Mum from Snippet--but not good if he'd gotten too near those flying hooves.
    Thank you for your commiseration and encouragment with my new camera head-banging--I think I've achieved a practical 'work-around' for loading the photos.

  4. Oh Em, what a beautiful spirited youngster the foal is! And the sheep look pretty content!

    I hope your week is ending on a good note!!

  5. Em your photographs are so delightful - I get a real taste of Dartmoor and your life, which I have to say looks poitively idyllic. I suppose that, like mine, it has its ups and downs but aren't we both so very lucky to live in such beautiful areas?

  6. Beautiful photos - the foals are just adorable. Glad you managed to see Daisy and Ida again :)

    Well done on eventually getting the harness on Trigger!

  7. Rusty D - The sunshine is lovely but, even with the sun, it was only one degree centigrade this morning!

    Kath - And yet nobody wants them. It's such a shame. Oh for tracts of land to house them.

    Ann - Two seconds later those sheep had become their usual shambles!

    MM - Snippet got kicked by Trigger very soon after T arrived. He's been much more careful since. I wish those dainty hooves stayed like that. After a couple of years they're heading for the Aladdin's slippers look.

    Kim - Much better today thank you despite the cold. Good news from the farmer who owns the field Trigger is in: he says he can stay on there for the time being, which is great. No grass, just friends. You can't have everything!

    Weaver - Despite the hardships of living here, I wouldn't want to be anywhere else. We are incredibly lucky.

    RR - It was a struggle!

  8. That sounded like quite a challenging day! Love the photo of mum and foal reuniting. I confess to knowing next to nothing about horses/ponies but are Ida's legs particularly long? She really is a beauty. I also loved the last photo of the sheep, perfect!

  9. Ida is going to have to be Ivor! From nowhere a willy has appeared! I looked really hard and there was nothing a few weeks ago, then, there it was. Shame - he won't stand a chance unless his owners are felling benevolent. Ida was such a nice name too...

  10. awwwwwwwwwwwwww he was looking out for his Mum.... Love the way she is just standing there being a good Mum to him. I can hear her talking to him.
    The sheep just crack me up. you can almost hear them saying "yep here she is again with that @#^$%* dog again !

    Does Trigger know he has his own posse ?

    Lovely photos as always.

    cheers, parsnip

  11. Trigger is dominated by those ladies. He doesn't stand a chance!

  12. What lovely foals although I must say number 3 from last year is a bit scraggly.

    Love the Dartmoor Madams!

  13. He's like a comedy pony. Not really my type!


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