I had written a long blog post at the end of last year but it seems to have disappeared so here is a summary leading from our last blog post. We held a gelding clinic in November after your generous donations all the geldings were successful. Four geldings have returned to the moor and we still have funding for 2 more ponies for the future. We were also able to take in 4 foals from this years drift who we have been working with over winter. Two of these ponies are now enjoying some grazing in a foster home. We are not sure if we can keep taking in foals due to our need to be able to keep capacity for ponies whose circumstances change and have to return to us. It is a very uncertain time due to the ongoing Covid Crisis.
At the end of the year we received a little boost from one of our local supporters Mandy Haxby who organised a Santa Horseback Ride through Callington and local villages. As well as it being a lovely event for local people Mandy organised a collection for Hill Pony Resources which raised £400 for us. We held an Advent Calender fundraiser from our Facebook page (organised by our Trustee Claire Bruff) and this brought in £200 in donations and feed, which we were very grateful for. We were also very grateful to receive a grant from Support Adoption For Pets of £4000 for boarding costs and Vet costs. As this has been quite a tough year fundraising wise you can imagine that we were very grateful to receive the above it has ensured that we can keep running. So thank you from all of us for helping us to keep running !
Autumn is a time when the ponies on Dartmoor are drifted in to farms where they are sorted and either returned to the moor, sent to market to be sold, taken in by charities or for many PTS and used for meat. Despite reports that many sold at this weeks auctions we know that these are just the tip of the ice berg. Drifts will continue over winter and for many ponies there will be an unfortunate ending. We believe that by removing stallions and breeding only to meet the limited market that exists for these ponies in private homes there will be less suffering and waste of life by the ponies. We have in the past both run and supported castration clinics. If mares and geldings run on Dartmoor there will be less foals born and therefore less wastage of innocent life. As a result of less available ponies they would become sought after and farmers could ask a reasonable price for the ponies. Gelding the colts instead of shooting them also gives them a few more years chance of a positive future when they could go into a domestic home or conservation project. They can also live more naturally in a herd learning herd behaviour and dynamics.
Due to our rehoming success this year we have space to help a few ponies find homes and we would also like to try and help a few colts return to the moor as geldings but we are asking for your help to support this. Each castration will cost £164.50 and we would like to help as many as we can, we are currently looking at 8 but would like to expand on this if at all possible. So we know it is a huge ask in the current economic climate but if you could help us by making a small donation we could try and help a few of these lovely ponies. Please note we currently only work with farmers who do not run stallions themselves and are already making efforts to reduce the numbers on the moor. We hope to find homes or return the ponies to the moor and we will also be taking in a few fillies in order to handle them and find homes for them. If you are able to make a donation our Paypal address is email@example.com and our bank account is Hill Pony Resources Group 165810 20581513. If you are unable to donate at this time please can you share our post as the further it goes the more chance we have of achieving our goal and the outcome for these ponies will be a better one. Thank You so much !
October 2020 A message from Co Founder Angela Pitts "Well .... I should have written this a while ago but I’ve found it really hard to find the right words.
This year I turned 60 and have now hung up my Hpr hat.
It’s really hard to say goodbye to something that’s been a huge part of your life for over 6 years but it was my long term plan as after being involved in animal rescue in one way or another for more than 30 years, it’s now time for my family and my own ( many ! ) rescue animals including my own small herd of ponies. So I won’t be putting my feet up any time soon!
Dartmoor hill ponies will always be in my heart, I live amongst them every day up on the moor so will always keep an eye on their welfare albeit in a supporting way rather than hands on.
I’m enormously proud of what Mary and I have achieved with Hpr, both of us individually taking in a few ponies and then joining forces in the hope of saving a few more, little did we know how it would grow !
It’s been hard work but seeing our gorgeous ponies in their new homes makes every minute worth it, we really have met some amazing people and made new friends for life.
Of course we could never have achieved all we did without our wonderful and dedicated volunteers, also several great pony owners that came on board and believed in us.
And of course all of you, our followers, some of you have been with us from day 1 and some have recently joined us, Hpr wouldn’t be here with out all of you.
Mary and are in regular touch, we had a catch up yesterday and she knows she can call on me if she needs to.
Thankyou every one
Good luck and Thank you Angela from all of us at HPR and especially the ponies you have helped to save !
Lockdown is now easing and we welcomed back help from Tina Allen and the help from new volunteer Fliss. Without regular help we cannot survive as there are just too many ponies to work with and provide for. So if you are considering volunteering we really do need you. If you don't fancy working with the ponies themselves we do need help raising funds, sending out newsletters, selling donated items etc so please get in touch :)
We were pleased to hear that Gracie and Fynn have settled in well at their foster home at EAQ Manor Farm in Somerset where they will be assisting young learners. They are loved by all - this is really good feedback. We know how fabulous Hill Ponies can be in the right homes and we love to hear how they are getting on.
We were very grateful to receive a grant of £500 from the Phyllis Mary Trust to help us during the Covid 19 crisis. This and our regular supporters are keeping us running until we can resume attending at markets, car boot sales etc.
Thank you everyone for continuing to support us.
Since our registration in March the world as we new it has been turned upside down by the Covid 19 Pandemic. In the UK in order to prevent the spread the country has been on "lockdown" only essential workers have been permitted to work and the rest of us are permitted only to leave the home for essential items and for exercise. Running HPR has been a little challenging recently due to lack of help and concern about the lack of funds. Where the ponies are situated in Callington area my immediate household is only able to care for the ponies. We are however lucky that new volunteer Jenny is able to check on the ponies at one site on her way home from her essential work as a teacher - this has been a little help to us.
I am not sure if you remember little Ava who was orphaned in the summer we brought her into the field at Lee Moor and contacted Mare and Foal who very kindly agreed to take her in as we did not have the space or manpower to care for her. Well this lovely colt came back and stayed by her side over night so that she was not alone. Unfortunately there was no room for him to go with her and we had to turn him back out again - we were reluctant to do this but at the time we had no choice.
It was only at a later date we discovered that he was Ava's older sibling and so he too had been orphaned when his mother had died we realised that this was why he had come back to care for his sister. We decided that he too should have a chance of a good life as so often it is the colts that are pts. So when an opportunity presented itself at a later date we brought him in and the farmer very kindly agreed to have him castrated, he then came to us when we had a little space.
It took a little while for him to be accepted with his herd mates particularly by Ginger the bossy mare! He is such a sweet pony and it is sad that he lost his mum and his sister but quite a common occurrence for ponies from the moor. He is coming along with his training and will be ready for rehoming soon though I am not sure we can prise him from his new friend Ginger.
If you would like to help us care for Flint while he is with us either by sponsoring him or making a donation towards his hay, feed, farrier costs we would be very grateful. Thank You :