Exmoor Antics

Friday, July 19th 2019

Lark and Taurus, the resident Exmoor ponies, had a visit from the farrier this week to trim their hooves. Although the visit went well, the next day the pair were extra wary of people trying to get up close to them. This was unfortunate as they needed to be moved from the heathland back to the moorland before the rain that is forecast for the next few days.

They were tempted to the gate by apples and carrots and at first it seemed to be going well!

However, they knew that something was afoot and after two unsuccessful attempts on two different days, it was 2 to the ponies and 0 to the Reserve Managers!

Luckily, help was only a phone call away and their owner from the North Yorkshire Exmoor Pony Trust was quick to assist and made catching them look very easy!

You never know what you might end up doing as a volunteer at Foxglove; you can be pruning one minute and handling livestock the next.

Once caught, the ponies behaved superbly as they followed a bucket of feed through the reserve and out to the moorland.

After being released on the moorland, the pair galloped about for a few minutes, seeming to enjoy the wider, open space up at Plover's Pool. They ran around a few times and were comical to watch as they leapt over the stream several times.

They appeared to recognise where they were straight away. This is a suitable place for them when it is warm as there is plenty of shade from the Hawthorn trees and the cool pond to wallow in.

They will be left here to graze for a few weeks and will hopefully eat the young gorse and grasses before it is time to go through the whole procedure again and move them to a new patch to carry out their important conservation task!

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