An early start for all and the weather was more favourable than originally forecast.
Headcollars, ropes, walkie talkies, comfortable boots and we were off to search for the 26 ponies on 450ha site.
Michele Brusey our warden was out earlier with her dogs and reported a sighting of part of the herd – around 7 of them, the catch pen side of Bellever Tor.
William, Lily, Lucy, Oak, Songbird, Joey (Mr Moustache) and Mudge. Maria our pony warden headed off to encourage them into the catch pen armed with a bucket. They know and trust her.
While she was out that way, Maria also managed to round up 3 more – what a stroke of luck!
Dru Butterfield (Co-Founder) and Sue Greenaway (Trustee) headed off in the opposite direction toward Laughter Tor to track down any more stragglers. So unusual for the herd to be completely dispersed.
And there they were! 5 more….. Puddy, Bugeye, YoYo, Pan and Hope.
Dru haltered up Puddy and began the long walk back to the catch pen, the others following along and Sue drove the Land Rover behind. The aim was to get back to the other side of Bellever Tor (a miracle if it all worked out)
Maria came to join the herding party, having secured 10 in the pens. To cut a long story short – the miracle did happen and after around an hour 5 more were secured. Then out in the vehicles again to track down the others, who were eventually found over by the YHA side of the site, but were not willing to follow and took off into the woods!
On the way back to the catch pen 3 more were intercepted over by Postbridge Car Park, Torridge, Freedom and Frost.
John Berwick our farrier then turned up on site and trimmed Torridge’s feet on the track leading to the catch pen. Those 3 were then left to carry on their daily task of conservation grazing as neither Freedom or Frost needed attention.
Then on to the catch pen to trim all the feet of the very patiently awaiting herd.
Day started 8.30am – Day completed 4.30pm. 16 Ponies feet trimmed, that’s 64 feet in total! Miles logged, no idea!! A LOT !
Ponies all released back out onto site and happily grazing as if nothing had happened.
A very necessary, fun but tiring day for all.
Round 2 to be arranged!