9th December 2017
Male animals need their dignity, so it’s just possible that doing up a stallion’s forelock in a girlie plait could do some serious injury to his macho image in the company of other boys!
We have given our new stallion -
Our other stallions are such a well established gang that we did not relish upsetting the balance by introducing Bo, but at last we have done it. As usual we allowed them to take turns to sniff and squeal over the low stable walls, and earlier this week we got them all together. We had the equine dentist on Wednesday so we deliberately kept the two boys that she tended in overnight afterwards so when we put Bo out, followed by them, everybody’s attention was divided to such a degree that the introduction went very well, and I am happy to report that there is no bullying from any quarter. The only thing is . . . I kept his plait in, so he could see the others, and the electric fence . . . so do they now think he is a cissy?!!
5th December 2017
Here’s a great pressie idea for a Shetland pony lover from www.shetlandoncanvas.co.uk. This charming picture is of Tawna Cordelia who was bought as a foal by Carole Laignel for her Gue stud, and is photographed in this pretty summery scene in Shetland. Cordelia is a full sister to our mares -
This image is available as a 500 piece jigsaw puzzle or as a printed canvas picture. The photographer -
It’s worth looking through the photos, just to see the incredible landscape that our hardy little ponies originally hail from!
2nd December 2017
Awww . . . our handsome, gentle, lovely stallion Tawna Tristan is sold and has already gone off to his new home. He is such a well mannered boy -
26th November 2017
Lucky, lucky ponies! It’s almost December, and we wouldn’t normally expect to have a fresh, grassy field for our ponies, but in the last couple of days, not one, but three groups have moved into lovely new pastures.
Apart from the foals who are at Tawna, all the other ponies are away from the homestead. The brood mares are now in a field that hasn’t been grazed for nine months. The fillies are in two little meadows bordered by a small river that last had horses twelve months ago, and the stallions are in a fabulous big field -
We are privileged to now have use of the latter field, but the boys will have to share it with possibly up to eight deer which are often seen there. In the summer we will have to sub-
17th November 2017
What speed those little pony legs can achieve!…..
We have just had a beautiful, still, sunny day and I think the ponies have appreciated it as much as we have. This afternoon I have been out in the field with the mares, trimming feet. Whilst I worked on any one pony which was tied to the fence, I was surrounded by nearly all the other girls who were watching . . . or interfering. The favourite trick being lifting items out of my ‘foot bucket’ with their teeth and depositing them on the ground, or knocking the bucket over -
Suddenly there was a commotion and little dun and white skewbald Marina shot off down the field at a rate of knots. She disappeared out of sight then came back into view, galloping at full tilt until she reached the herd. This stirred up the others and off they shot -
It’s pretty obvious where Norman Thelwell found his inspiration . . . those determined faces, with noses thrust out, ears flat back and manes and forelocks flying, combined with round bellies above a blur of legs was hilarious. It was all very entertaining. Meanwhile one or two girls really couldn’t be bothered -
12th November 2017
The Central Scotland Shetland Pony Group has just held it’s Youngstock Show and we’re delighted to hear that several of Tawna Rubus’s youngsters, bred by John Lawrie at the Milday stud made their mark once again. Most notable was that 2 year old piebald colt -
Two yearling fillies by Rubus took both the first and second prize rosettes in their class, while yearling colt -
It’s extremely heartening for us to know that our mares and stallions are producing youngsters who are proving themselves in the showring time after time. If they are consistently in the ribbons, then we must be getting it right! Now that Rubus is back on home turf in Cornwall after two seasons in Scotland, he ran with several mares this year. We only had one foal by him this spring, so fingers crossed for more in 2018!
Another show this weekend, this time at our end of the country, was organised by the South Western Association of the Welsh Pony and Cob Society (what a mouthful!). Pam and Vic took their gorgeous/glamorous Tawna Moonshine who once again won his open Shetland 4 years and over class, and then took Reserve Ring Champion, standing below an Exmoor stallion. A very strong wind noisily rattling trees against the sides of the building, combined with having his class halted while the Welsh cobs thundered around the whole indoor school several times caused the little chap to get quite stressed. Pam says he was fine before his class, but the noise and big horses really upset him so he wasn’t on his best form today. Nevertheless those are more great results under his belt -
5th November 2017
Our final show of the season wasn’t our best with regards to results, but it was still very enjoyable. There was a good buzz with plenty of ponies and spectators. No classes were huge, but on the whole there were fair entries. Of course I was taking more notice of the mini classes where the high quality of the animals was very apparent.
Toby had a busy day with four classes: he won the Young Handler championship with Luna, and then stood third with her in the foal class, with Rosetta in fourth. Luna was also second in the Novice Youngstock class which I thought was a particularly good result amongst much older ponies. I love watching Luna trot -
Tia Maria was our mare entry this time, and I was very pleased that she won a second too. She is a very beautiful mare and is a full sister to Luna. What’s more, those two and Freckles all share the same mother (Twinkle) -
There was a cold wind today, so we were all glad that the show ran very efficiently with the ring steward ‘kicking on’ and keeping proceedings moving briskly, and the judge making quick decisions. A good end to the SW Group’s three shows and well done to all concerned.
4th November 2017
Two more of our babies have flown the nest this week -
Our attentions have since been taken up with preparing for our last show of the year -
At least we will not have that worry of the time change like last week. I know the clocks went back -
30th October 2017
Well, our girlies certainly did the biz yesterday, and with very complimentary comments from both judges. Rosetta -
Besides the showing aspect, it was a very nice, relaxed day with a good atmosphere, quite a lot of spectators . . . and LOTS of chat. Several people fell for Rosetta -
It’s not every day that one of our ponies has an armed police escort! Agnes is seen here flanked by Toby’s dad and his work colleague who were on patrol nearby and popped in to say a quick hello.
28th October 2017
We’re looking forward to tomorrow and the first of our two Autumn youngstock shows -
Toby and I have had a few training sessions and the fillies seem to be going very well -
Something I’ve learnt about Rosetta in this process is that she is a ‘digger’. When tied up, she gets impatient and starts pawing the ground ferociously. If I shout at her, she will pause, look at me for a few seconds with those meltingly beautiful big eyes -
We have also prepared Freckles and Agnes for tomorrow’s show. I love ringing the changes by taking different ponies out, and Aggie hasn’t been to a show for years. She is gorgeous and one of our favourites . . . and being dark chestnut, is an easy colour to prepare at this time of year. This Autumn’s wet and dreary weather has let up at just the right time, and we have had a few decent days this week, and tomorrow is forecast to be dry, with a colder northerly wind. That is ideal because if it’s too mild the foals, with their big thick coats, can sweat up with the unfamiliar experience of travelling.
24th October 2017
Besides the anticipation of Bo arriving last week, we also had slight sadness knowing the first of our 2017 foals was to fly the nest. The lovely Lily Longsocks has only moved near the sea in the South of Cornwall, and her new owner is hoping to do a little showing with her, so it shouldn’t be too long before we see her again.
We had scheduled to deliver her the same day that the hurricane was due to hit. All the forecasts were so dire that we postponed the trip, and we set out two days later. Being a ‘veteran’ of lorry travel, we took Crackerjack along for company and they travelled well despite the very twisting route. Audrey and I enjoyed seeing Lily’s new home at the head of a beautiful wooded valley, and meeting her two new Shetland-
Although there will always be a tinge of melancholy when one of our babies leaves, it gives us immense pleasure to know that they have gone to a really caring long-
21st October 2017
Who is this handsome chap?
Introducing our new stallion -
Although we have occasionally bought back a pony that we have bred, it is actually a great novelty for us to buy a new pony so we have been very excited. The only thing we ever buy is a stallion, or colt with stallion potential, and as we do our homework to choose the right one, we aim to keep our stallions for a long time!
We really like Bo -
It isn’t as if we are short of stallions, but as all our mares are home-
11th October 2017
All the foals are weaned now, and nicely settled -
I completely forgot to go in to the orchard and cut down the offending plants -
7th October 2017
September was a very wet month here in Cornwall, and there’s still no sign of an Indian Summer, but we managed to catch the odd dry day last month to take photos of the foals who are all growing up quickly.
We prefer images of them standing naturally in the field . . .but boy, is that difficult! If I’m on my own they just keep coming towards me, noses out-
It’s great if Audrey is there to draw their attention away from me, and best of all is if her pretty collie dog -
Take a look at all the updates on our ‘Foals’ page.
25th September 2017
Would you believe it . . . at five months old, Charlie has suddenly STARTED to cast his foal coat! He did drop the hair from just his head and lower legs back in the summer, but then stopped. He didn’t have a health or condition set-
We have been marvelling at how exceptionally soft his coat is. Audrey and I both have long-
19th September 2017
Excitement can be quite infectious and our friend Maria in Lincolnshire certainly spread her enthusiasm amongst us last weekend. She was preparing to take her three year old black gelding -
Amos did her proud by winning two classes and coming third in another, also qualifying for a championship show. We are so pleased to hear that he has earned his stripes at last. He is actually on our website’s home page -
Meanwhile back at Tawna, Audrey and I have just weaned three of the foals. Being a March baby, Crackerjack is of course very well developed, as is Amos’s full sister -
14th September 2017
With no colts to be castrated this year -
Our foals this year have surprisingly few white markings so we didn’t have to spend long with the red pen on the forms, but interestingly three of them have a double whorl on their forehead, and Charlie has a whorl on each of his cheeks. The vet did the micro-
10th September 2017
‘Mr Lush’ has done it again! Today, with no Shetland classes to enter, Pam showed him in the M & M small breeds adult class at the Cornish Association of Welsh Pony and Cob Society’s show -
What made it even more special for Pam was that the judge, who is a breeder of all four sections of Welsh ponies, told her that he had picked his two champions especially for their extremely free movement. What a marvellous season Moonshine has had . . . and full marks to Pam and Vic for keeping him in good shape when so many -
9th September 2017
Here is another group photo -
The judges went through a range of preliminary classes -
As lovely as he is, I didn’t expect to get anywhere with Rubus as he has put on so much weight lately. He’s out with the other stallions and we haven’t tried to control his waist-
Also that day Toby was competing for the Young Handler championship. He prepared and showed his own pony, Tawna Izzy Wizzy, who he had groomed and polished to within an inch of her life, and had also turned himself out immaculately. He too was short-
At last little two year old -
How I wished I had my camera the other day -
However I did get this nice pic at Tregony show a few weeks ago. It shows our lovely mare Clementine (tucked behind Toby on the left), and THREE of her sons -
23rd August 2017
In the Shetland showing world the ‘biggy’ is naturally The Breed Show and the 2017 show was held in Scotland last weekend. It must have been a mega-
As far as we know there were no actual Tawna ponies there, but the Milday stud had some tremendous results with ponies sired by our stallions:
Tawna Cousin Jack’s (owned by the Milday stud) offspring were 3rd in the geldings, 2nd and 5th in the young yeld mares,and 1st in the brood mares.
Tawna Rubus’s (leased to the Milday stud for two seasons) offspring were 3rd and 6th in the yearling fillies, and 1st, 2nd and 4th in the two year old fillies. Well done John and team -
18th August 2017
Phew, that is the fourth and final show of our ‘silly season’ over and done with. Chagford show is a really charming event set in a beautiful valley on the edge of Dartmoor. They have had a Shetland section for many years, and I can remember showing our ponies there -
It was a very successful show for our ponies again: a second for Cherish in the yearlings, and a first for Clementine in the thirteen-
When it came to the championship we were rather surprised that there were SPSBS rosettes for the juniors as it wasn’t stated in the schedule. Therefore it was a great thrill when the judge pulled forward Jack as Reserve Junior Champion . . . for the second time in his short life (the other time being our County show -
Now all that upheaval is over we’ll try and catch up on some jobs at home, although the weather is not very conducive.
14th August 2017
It was a good day for us in all ways yesterday at the Tregony show -
Did I say last time that Clarius had surprised me with his good behaviour? Well forget that -
Our star performers were our beautiful Clementine and her foal, Crackerjack. Clemmy is looking marvellous, especially considering she is fifteen years old AND doing her foal extremely well. She won both the veteran and mare classes, was Reserve Miniature Champion and Reserve Supreme. It was nice to see two Tawna stallions in the veteran class too -
Today we have started preparations to get the stallions into their winter quarters. Once they have been moved -
10th August 2017
It’s been more than six weeks since the last show where we competed, and now we suddenly find ourselves half way through ‘the silly season’ when we have four shows in nine days.
Yes, two shows down, and what contrasting days they have been. Yesterday Toby and I set off for Camelford Agricultural Show in the wet. Prep in the preceding days had been difficult with all the rain, but the early part of the day itself was absolutely dreadful. The showground is exposed to the elements from all directions, and boy, did it rain, backed with a strong wind.
The Miniature Shetland competitors braved the deluge for the classes to kick off at 9am, but with no explanation to us, judging didn’t actually begin for another 35 mins . . .during which time we trudged/squelched around with our ponies to keep warm whilst getting soggier and soggier. The rain was relentless, the skies were dark and everyone felt thoroughly gloomy, when suddenly before the final mini class it was as if someone had flicked a switch -
My clothes and boots were so heavy with water that I could hardly run and I didn’t feel that I showed Rubus to his best advantage so I was delighted with his first prize and championship. He’s a very special boy and it’s always a pleasure to take him out in public. Little Cherish earned herself a very credible second place with Toby. We eventually drove home in sunshine after being towed out. The lorry wheels didn’t even have a chance to spin in the mud . . . it just sank!
But the weather had taken it’s toll as we discovered this morning. Ready to set sail to Okehampton Ag. Show we found that water had got into the electrical system of the lorry and was having all manner of strange effects. Andrew to the rescue, and after trial and error he got us mobile -
Two different ponies on board this time -
7th August 2017
Would you believe it . . . Charlie/Parsnip has earned himself yet another name -
Some weeks ago, when I arrived at the farm to check them I could hear some agitated high-
Since then, he has done the same thing again, but it was amusing that this time Marina was much less concerned -
Recently the stallions have been taken away, and the mares and foals have been moved into a different field. Today Charlie AND his mum were missing . . . found them peering through the fence from the neighbouring field! I think he had probably pushed through the gap between two ill-
In the past week all the foals have had their feet trimmed for the first time. They were surprisingly well behaved. It’s only natural for them to put up a fight when they are used to moving around at will, but find themselves restrained. However we have done a bit of halter training, and whilst they have been loose in the field I have been touching their legs and picking up their feet. For the most part, they so love attention that they don’t mind too much what I do.
5th August 2017
Whilst I was away judging last Sunday, I’m pleased to say that our local Tawna-
Pam decided to show Moonshine in the M & M ring -
Toby had a marvellous day too, with Izzy. It was his first show without me but he was in his element, keeping himself busy by entering two classes in each of two different rings! He had 1 x 3rd and 2 x 4th in the show classes, but by far his greatest success was in the Young Handlers. It was for all-
27th July 2017
One group of ponies were making a lot of fuss a few afternoons ago -
We have been shifting around some of the ponies recently -
Funny how a name sticks sometimes. We have named Marina’s pale palomino colt Champagne Charlie, but for some reason I have never felt quite comfortable calling him that. Recently, in conversation with the lady who lives beside his current field, she mentioned that her daughter was entranced by his light colouring and had named him Parsnip . . . it’s no good -
Congratulations to the owners of two Tawna geldings at yesterday’s New Forest show: Anne with Smartie Pants had a first in the yearling class, and Fiona with Midas had a third in the gelding class. Good results, but not good weather from what I gather . . . but there’s nothing like a nice rosette at a County show to help you forget how soggy you are!
23rd July 2017
This weekend has been really pony orientated for Toby and myself. Yesterday we started halter-
In contrast, today we got our glad-
Meanwhile nearer home the Lanivet Horse Show clashed on the same day. I’m very pleased to say that Tawna ponies had a brilliant day for their owners. In the M & M section Moonshine was first and Reserve Champion, then under a different judge he won his Shetland class and was Champion. Needless to say Pam was chuffed to bits with her gorgeous boy who is looking stunning this summer. He draws compliments wherever he goes. Her gelding -
These ponies, and dare I say it -
16th July 2017
There was tremendous jubilation in Cornwall last Friday . . . at long last the A30 near us has been fully opened following major road works to dual a three mile stretch across Bodmin Moor, and build three bridges.
It has been a huge undertaking to keep the traffic -
Personally I am really looking forward to taking the direct route to the A30 in our lorry, and to then be able to head east to any horse shows. For over two years we have had to take a tortuous route across the tiny back roads of Bodmin Moor. We haven’t any shows for a few weeks, so the anticipated pleasure of an easier route in the lorry will have to wait!
At long last our ponies have got rid of their winter coats. Most of them are fat and shiny but have been clinging on to their belly fluff -
11th July 2017
Life has been sooo busy of late that there has been little time to update events on our website.
Back tracking to the end of June, and the Royal Highland Show, no less than three of Rubus’s sons were successful. They all carried the Milday prefix from the two seasons when Rubus was on lease there. The mini youngstock class had so many ponies forward that the three year olds were split into a separate class. In the one and two year old class, first and second prizes both went to Rubus’s two year old sons, and a yearling by him took sixth place -
A few days later it was our turn to get busy . . . and BUSY was the word -
Toby and I decided to just show Rubus and Cherish in the NPA show which started earlier, then the same two again at the Group show + Toby entered four classes with his own pony -
The day started exceptionally well for us, with Rubus and Cherish winning their classes, then winning Champion and Junior Champion respectively. Rubus repeated his win in the Group show (different judge), but Cherish was demoted to third. Once again I was honoured to show Pam’s Tawna Moonshine for her, and he won two classes and Miniature Gelding Champion.
However the greatest accolades must go to Toby and Izzy -
The day passed in a blur and I know other Tawna ponies had good placings….but it was a job to keep track! Anyway, well done to everyone who took part, but I must make special mention of young Jessica who looked so smart, and showed her piebald pony, Tawna Moonshadow (full brother to Moonshine) expertly to win the younger Junior Handler class -
18th June 2017
I’m pleased to say that several other Tawna ponies achieved noteworthy results at our shows last weekend. The owners of all the ponies we bred did them justice, but of particular note at the Royal Cornwall were Fiona’s Tawna Midas with a second place in the gelding class, and Jane’s Tawna Blue Moon with a third in the two year olds.
At Sunday’s fun show, Pam had two of her lovely geldings primed and ready for action. I was given the honour of showing Tawna Moonshine for her. I love that pony -
Pam’s boys had a superb day -
14th June 2017
In the past few days we have been to two very contrasting shows. Last Friday our County Show was big, crowded, muddy, noisy, formal, busy . . . oh, and did I mention -
It’s not a good sign when some lorries have to be towed IN to a big show, but that was the Royal Cornwall on Native Pony day. We immediately abandoned all hope of sparkling white socks on Cherish. The show-
It was marvellous to see four Tawna youngsters in the yearling class. Although I thought they all looked good, it was Cherish who was placed highest with a second prize. In an unusual move for us, we took a mare and foal. Thanks to Clementine foaling in March, I felt her colt was old enough to cope with the stress of a big show. Toby and I have been halter-
Clemmy is an extremely beautiful mare and, as the judge commented, she moves very freely and tracks up well, so I was very proud that she won her brood mare class + Reserve Mini Champion. What really amazed me was that her foal -
Sunday was Toby’s day, with his first show with Izzy. He had prepared her to perfection, and she travelled in her ever-
1st June 2017
Here are a very photogenic pair -
Just over a month ago Toby became the proud owner of his very own Shetland. Toby has been coming and helping me with the ponies for just over a year now, and in that time he has more than proved his interest and dedication to the breed.
His family knew he’d fallen for Tawna Izzy Wizzy, so when his birthday was approaching, it was pretty clear what special present he’d like! Izzy is a young skewbald mare -
Toby carefully introduced her to the family’s two thoroughbreds, and it wasn’t long before she was able to share the field with them and apparently she is now the boss!
Izzy absolutely loves people, so is thoroughly enjoying all the attention Toby is lavishing on her. They are having lots of fun together -
28th May 2017
Our second show of the year today -
It was great to see the mini classes well supported. Our yearling, Cherish, didn’t fair well in the 1, 2 & 3 year old class, although I was extremely pleased for Wendy with Tawna Gloriana placed 4th -
We didn’t have too long to wait until it was Toby’s turn in the young handlers. Now 13 years old he has moved into a different age category, which at this show went up to 18 years old. Cherish is tiny and Toby is very tall, but he paced himself just right to show her well for a first place. Not to be out-
Next outing for us will be our County show. In the meantime we’ll try and get out some more of those winter coats. Despite a mild winter and very warm weather recently, the ponies are hanging onto the fluff.
26th May 2017
Photos of all this year’s foals are now on the Foals 2017 page, which also shows the ones we are offering for sale. If the page doesn’t generate, try clicking on the ‘refresh’ button -
24th May 2017
WE’RE BACK!!! Hurray! Something strange happened at the beginning of April, whereby I suddenly couldn’t publish our website updates to the remote ‘host’. The problem wasn’t at our end, and I’ve had to wait for Andrew to get technical advice to overcome it. Needless to say, I haven’t got a clue about this stuff, and have been very patiently waiting for Andrew to have the time to sit down and get to grips with it….which he’s now done!
So much has happened in the time we’ve been “off air” -
Not only are they healthy, beautiful and all different colours, but also the ‘filly fairy’ has been smiling upon us! We have some pics which we’ll hopefully get onto our foal page in the next couple of days. I’m so keen to share them . . . although some of our friends who live in the vicinity couldn’t wait and have been to see our babies for themselves!
1st April 2017
Spring must have sprung . . . I saw our first Swallow last evening . . . and the midges are biting! This morning there are two Swallows wheeling around and burbling in that joyful way. I have never known them to arrive here so early, but it is very uplifting to see and hear them.
If you want a thrill, type “Woah Shamrock” into google and take a look at the youtube video!
The rider is Toby’s Dad who is a relatively inexperienced rider. The horse is Shamrock -
P.S. There were no serious injuries
28th March 2017
Toby and I had a great day on Sunday -
It was lovely to see so many friends and have a good catch-
I was tickled pink to see two cuddlesome ‘Tawna Teddy Bears’ at the show with their owners. Looking so chunky hairy and adorable were T. Smartie Pants -
Back in Cornwall a mixed show was also held on Sunday, at the County show-
25th March 2017
All week I have been anxiously checking the weather forecast for this weekend. For some time we have had drizzle and fog, or cold rain with strong winds, but today is glorious wall-
We have been eagerly looking forward to it, but getting the ponies ready in that vile weather was worrying. However the change has enabled us to get three ponies cleaned up -
23rd March 2017
I really should have checked our new baby’s credentials myself before reporting the arrival . . . turns out I was given false information and she is in fact a HE!
He was born when I was away for the afternoon, so when I returned, Andrew who had been to see the foal (but obviously had not examined him in detail!) told me about it and he and I went up to Tawna in the fading light to get the mare and foal in for the night. I didn’t want to upset the foal with torchlight -
Never mind, he is very much a bouncing baby boy -
21st March 2017
Well our ponies certainly like to keep us on our toes . . . we have our first foal! I have been concerned that Clementine has been developing an udder very early -
It’s a horrible night out there, so it’s good to know that mother and infant are tucked up in a nice dry stable tonight. The foal is strong, and doesn’t look in the slightest ‘under-
Jane Gillingham of the Mignon Stud in North Devon is offering the lovely mare Tawna Tarantella for sale -
16th March 2017
Two of our ponies have recently travelled to their new homes in Germany. Sage and Coriander were bought and paid for before Christmas, but have only now been transported. We have received news from their happy new owners that they are settling in well. This photo of Corry was taken the day before she left Tawna -
Meanwhile at Tawna, I have brought three of the probable earliest foalers into a field visible from the garden at Tawna, so Audrey can pop out across the lawn and look up the field to see them. They shouldn’t be producing for a while, but it’s sensible to check them more often now.
8th March 2017
The oracle has spoken! Every day I have been eagerly studying the mares in the hope that I can detect growing baby bumps. You would think after all these years that I would be able to tell, but quite frankly, we have been fooled so often that I try not to raise my hopes!
Audrey had not seen the brood mares for quite some time so I was pleased when she came and cast an eye over our girls last week. She agreed with me on all but one that I didn’t think were pregnant. As a result I have shuffled them around so that all the expectant mums are together in one place. I’m still a little doubtful about Dolly Dimple . . . but she has got a long body, which could conceal a foal, and she will be a first-
Charisma is in-
This morning I saw Marina’s baby having a good old kick at her mum’s side. I thought the mare was shivering at first, after several days of rain, but then realised what was happening. Celeste is expecting her first foal. She’s always been a little bit stand-
21st February 2017
Hearty congratulations to John Lawrie and his friends with their Milday ponies for achieving fantabulous results at the recent National Stallion Show in Scotland. The show title is misleading as there are a FULL range of classes for Shetlands, Clydesdales and Highlands, and they were really well filled too -
Our gorgeous Tawna Rubus has most positively left his mark following his two seasons on lease with John. Milday ponies won no less than FOUR of the mini classes with three of those winners being sired by Rubus . . . and the fourth winner was sired by John’s own stallion -
8th February 2017
Several weeks ago I thought I’d try the mares with a bit of hay. So far this winter they have had plenty of grass to roam over, but mindful that there isn’t much nutritional value in grass in January, and that there are greater demands on their bodies as their foals grow in this final term of pregnancy, I felt it time to dish out some additional feed. It was good to see them appreciate it . . . to roll on! For the most part, they didn’t even bother to come and taste it -
Four of the mares had quite an upsetting week, last week. I brought them home to Tawna for a visit from Gill and Emilia -
The following day, I had not yet returned them to the more distant field with the other mares, when the Cornwall Air Ambulance had to make an emergency landing in our ‘Foaling Meadow’. Knowing it was on it’s way, Audrey rushed out to get Cherish and Clarissa in to safety -
26th January 2017
Shetland ponies do have a reputation for being little mischief makers, and that is certainly true of our two filly foals/yearlings. At this time of year they spend most of their time in the meadow beside the yard. The ground is several feet higher than the lane which runs alongside, and with no leaves on the hedge now, anyone passing along the lane can see into the field fairly easily. This applies in reverse of course, and the fillies are attracted when any horses go along the lane, and invariably bomb around the field in excitement.
The reactions of passers-
However earlier this week Audrey witnessed a very different reaction. Looking out of her bedroom window, she saw a rider on a grey pony in the lane. She was stopped, but the pony was obviously spooked. Surprisingly our two were quite calm -
8th January 2017
The year has kicked off already for the SW Shetland Pony Group with their AGM today. This will be the Group’s 25th year. Audrey and I have been members since the beginning….gosh where has that time gone? The meeting went well today and the Group is looking very positively to the future. We have been extremely fortunate to have a strong committee to steer events, and everyone’s enjoyment of their own ponies, and their passion for the Breed in general is evident. Several of our hard-
Our friend, Anne, is organising a Charity Shetland Show at Bridgewater, Somerset on 22nd April, in aid of Riding for the Disabled. She is looking for sponsorship -
1st January 2017
1st January 2017
The start of a brand New Year and we at Tawna send our very best wishes to friends -
Now that we have passed Christmas, there will be growing anticipation as foaling-
The mares are looking gorgeous, and there appear to be quite a few ‘baby bumps’ . . . but so many of them completely fooled us last year that we must wait and see . . . so EXCITING!
21st December 2016
The big day is almost here. We wish all our friends in the Shetland Pony World a wonderful Christmas and a brilliant 2017!
12th December 2016
Toby and I have been to a super social outing. There was plenty to eat, crackers, paper hats, groan-
It might be a mad dash for some to complete stable/animal duties beforehand, and travel to the venue, but well worth the effort. Following the meal there was a raffle with a huge selection of prizes, an auction which also raises money for Group funds, and the announcement of various accumulator show points categories.
The results of the latter are a closely guarded secret, and because our Group covers a geographically very wide area, we often don’t know which ponies have been doing well beyond our immediate locality. The results are gathered from up to six affiliated shows, each with a different judge. Therefore we couldn’t have been more pleased that four Tawna ponies received extremely beautiful rosettes in acknowledgement of their sustained success: 1st for Freckles in mini youngstock, 1st for Celeste in mini mares, 1st for Viceroy in mini geldings and 2nd for Nutkin in the same section.
There was added excitement for us this year with a section that we have never been involved with before -
Andrew has just updated photos on our ‘Foals 2016’ page -
30th November 2016
What can our ponies be thinking about? We have just had a really beautiful day -
It might be a few weeks yet until Christmas, but Pam and her twin grand-
Once undressed, Boy George then won the small breeds 4 and over class, and was judged Reserve Champion Gelding of the whole show. What a brilliant little all-
14th November 2016
What a MEGA day the Milday stud from near Edinburgh had at last weekend’s Central Scotland Shetland Pony Group’s Foal and Youngstock show!
Milday yearlings = 1st, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in mini yearling class.
Milday foals = 1st, 3rd and 4th in mini foal class, and winning foal -
Milday ponies also gained a 1st and 2 x 2nd places and overall Miniature Champion in the other youngstock classes, with two of those fillies having Tawna Cousin Jack as a grand-
It’s a long way away, but if anyone wants further details of the Shetland show at Cholwell next June please ring Tessa on 07887 604 399.
13th November 2016
Ooooh . . . naughty girls! Yesterday I found all the mares merrily feasting in our neighbour’s grass field. They were having a very nice time, and weren’t particularly keen to return to their allotted field, but as they were all pretty full they eventually agreed to file back through the gateway. When I found the connecting gate wide open I was relieved that at least they hadn’t gone over the hedge. Only the day before I had noted that it was closed, but hadn’t inspected the fastening. It seems the rope tie had mysteriously disappeared, so it only took a rub and scrub from a hefty Shetland backside to swing it open.
Animals like to keep us on our toes . . . only the previous day, in another set of fields, a different neighbour’s bullocks had broken into the stallions’ field . . . and they HAD gone over the hedge!
11th November 2016
Time now to settle into winter mode. It’s been a beautiful Autumn here in Cornwall, with extra bright colours, and the fallen leaves carpeting the ground have been vivid, dry and crisp. But now the rain has turned them into mush and the ground beneath is slippery.
A few frosty mornings has meant the lorry was quite sluggish to start, but we managed to fire it up and have transferred all the mares across the parish into their usual winter quarters this week. One of the fields has been un-
The division between the two fields is mostly a sturdy Cornish hedge, with post and wire fencing in a few places where the hedge fell down many decades ago. Ideally we will restrict the mares to one field before moving onto the other, but I found today that the deer which frequent these fields have loosened one of the stakes, and the ponies have already found the weak spot and squeezed into the adjoining field!
The showing season has only just finished for us, but already we have a few dates for our 2017 diary. One is a new show to be held at, and run by, Cholwell Equestrian Centre in Devon -
6th November 2016
Phew! I think we have finished showing for 2016. For today’s SW Shetland Group’s Autumn show we gave due consideration to the colour of the three ponies we entered, and having plumped for minimal white markings our prep was so much easier! It’s a very difficult time of year to get ponies presentable -
All three did us proud. Our 2 year old mushroom colt -
It was a good end to our season, and we were pleased for Pam whose Tawna boys -
31st October 2016
As Halloween Horrors go, this little group is right up there with the best! Green skin, black teeth and finger nails, spider’s webs, skeletons and witches brooms were all incorporated in this great fancy dress entry for St Austell Bay Equestrian Club’s Halloween horse show. The scary lady is none other than our friend Pam who was accompanied by her eight year old twin grandchildren Elissa and Naomi at their first ever horse show. Luckily Tawna Boy George took the sight of all the spooky costumes in his stride, and the group won the large class. Great fun!
30th October 2016
The time change last night made for an easier early start for today’s show. The daylight came in quite quickly, with the bonus of a beautiful day -
Theirs was the first class of the day. It was lovely that Martha’s new owner, Jane, was able to take her for her show debut. Both the babies behaved and performed extremely well and we could not have asked for a better result than first and second, with Clarissa standing at the top. She’s a ‘big strong gal’ with an Exmoor-
Victoria received second prize in the two and three year old Shetland class. Star was fourth in the adult class. As glamorous and lovely as she is, she is carrying considerably too much weight and although the judge didn’t comment on this, I’m sure it would have been a major factor in her decision. We had a great time and caught up with loads of friends.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in Cornwall today, Tawna Boy George was doing something completely different . . . but more of that next time!!
29th October 2016
Aww…two of our lovely babies have flown the nest this week. On Monday, Gloriana’s new owner brought one of her own ponies in her trailer to accompany Glo on the return journey. The grey mare was unloaded and they were introduced -
On Wednesday Smartie’s new owner collected him. I have to say that he was our absolute favourite and we will miss him most of all. We have received photos of him with one of his new Shetland companions -
Meanwhile on Friday, Martha who is going to live less than a mile from here, was taken for a few hours to meet her new horsey friends, inspect her personal stable and have a pampering session, before being returned to Tawna. She is travelling with our ponies to the Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s Youngstock show tomorrow and will be ‘transplanted’ properly on Monday.
19th October 2016
All too soon it is weaning time for the foals, and we have to prepare them to leave us for their new homes. Our gorgeous colt, Smartie Pants, has had two little parts of his anatomy removed by Hazel, the vet. All went smoothly and whilst still with his mother, he really did seem to take it all in his stride. All the foals have been microchipped and their registration papers sent away to the Society.
As usual we have taken our time and gradually accustomed the babies to being separated from their mothers. Now they are completely weaned and nicely settled -
We loaded the mares up and took them to a field well out of earshot, and with the least possible grass -
Back at Tawna we are highly amused by Martha . . . when she neighs. If she hears us talking she sometimes calls . . . and her voice is ENORMOUS. It doesn’t match the sweet little miniature Shetland filly foal image at all! Her mother is Marina, who is a quiet, unassuming little mare, but funny enough, Marina’s filly last year -
6th October 2016
There was something completely different on the cards recently . . . Miniature Shetland show-
Toby and I (minus ponies), headed off to Cholwell indoor school in Devon where they were holding a friendly unaffiliated show-
What a great group activity for our mini equines -
Earlier in the year our beautiful dark chestnut mare -
22nd September 2016
Funny how ponies overcome ‘deafness’ when food is on offer! We don’t normally need to feed our adult ponies, apart from some hay in the depths of winter. However a neighbour has given us a vast tub of windfall apples so Audrey and I are dishing out very generous helpings. We roughly chop the fruit to make it easier for them to eat . . . and they are loving the seasonal treat. Every day each group of ponies is surprisingly alert to our arrival, and they don’t need calling twice! They munch away with the juice dribbling. The apples are very fragrant so the ponies’ breath smells lovely too. The only down-
We have put newly-
19th September 2016
There was a minor panic here last evening. As I was preparing tea, my husband Andrew came in to say he was worried about Florence, the Shetland companion to our part Arab, Jasmine. Florence had disappeared and Andrew had already had a quick scout around to find her. Jasmine was going potty in our back fields, galloping around and calling. The two equine friends are running in fourteen acres, but much of it is wooded, or marshy with copses of willow and gorse. My husband spotted that I was making pasties -
We advanced into the trees, but it was quite dark and as my night sight is appalling I was stumbling and tripping over fallen branches and roots. Jasmine, in quite a flustered state, followed me for a way then turned tail and crashed out of the trees again. I felt rising panic about her little friend when I heard Jasmine returning to me. Turning to look, who should I see preceding her but one fluffy little Shetland -
14th September 2016
Uh, Uh, our ponies have been misbehaving again! The men have come back to install the super-
However I could be absolutely sure it was not Sage . . . because we had already brought him back to Tawna to clean up and take some better photos. Check him out on our ‘for sale’ page -
11th September 2016
Sparkle and Bling were to the fore at our final show of the summer season . . . though not, I hasten to add, in the Tawna Team! Toby and I -
It featured plenty of Shetland classes (with a panel judge who travelled from Wales), running alongside the Welsh classes and M & M classes. The unusual appearance of all the twinkly stuff was in the Concours d’Elegance classes. Both the in-
In the earlier formal classes, four Tawna ponies caught the judge’s eye. I showed Clarius in the 2 & 3 year old class to take first prize, with Pam’s Nutkin standing in second place. Interestingly they are full brothers! Toby was in charge of showing Freckles . . . and didn’t he do a splendid job! First prize yearling, junior champion, and second prize in the coloured class, plus he himself won second prize in the young handlers 11-
3rd September 2016
It’s inevitable that amongst all our ponies, certain ones become favourites. From the time he was a foal, one of my absolute favourites has been Clarius. Now two years old, he is for me, ‘the complete package’ -
We’ve avoided the hassle of showing a colt this year up until now -
Clarius was not desperately naughty . . . but he was in high spirits and found it all very exciting. He stood second in his M & M class -
The rules of this show state in bold print that all stallions must wear a blue ribbon in their tail. Although Clarius is only two years old, I felt it appropriate that we comply with this request. After the show I drove home via our land at the far side of the parish to drop off Clarius in the field with the other stallions. It wasn’t until some time after I had been home that I realised that I hadn’t removed the blue ribbon….OOPS! I hope the others don’t tease him too much about it -
1st September 2016
STOP PRESS NEWS! After four months of growing bolt upright, Cherish’s mane is at last falling over in a more civilised manner . . . and it’s going on the right side. The punk hair-
28th August 2016
We have a super-
Earlier in the summer he qualified for the Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s Young Handlers Championship, held alongside their Champion of Champions event. So this morning I drove a rather nervous twelve year old lad and the lovely Celeste to the county showground for the final.
Personally I have never been involved in this competition, so neither Toby or I knew quite what to expect. I did warn him that the other youngsters have probably been doing this sort of thing all their lives and more likely than not were leading ponies that they regularly ride. But in the very short time that Toby has been handling our ponies he has been quick to learn, observant, and clearly understands show procedure.
He looked super-
25th August 2016
Hearty congratulations to our friends in the north on their show results from last weekend. At the Viking show on Shetland Carole from the Gue stud won many prizes including a second in the mare class with Tawna Cordelia. This unusually coloured skewbald mare is a full sister to two girls still here at Tawna -
Meanwhile at the central Scotland Shetland Group show John’s Milday ponies impressed the judge in many classes. We join in his celebrations because these ponies have strong Tawna connections: Tawna Rubus is the sire of 1st and 3rd prize yearlings, + winning foal (and I think the 2nd prize as well). Tawna Cousin Jack sired the 2nd prize yearling and the 2nd prize mare + other Milday winners have Tawna Sherbert in their pedigrees. Brilliant results all round.
Recent news here is that due to a change in circumstances the purchaser of Marina’s foal -
20th August 2016
Two annual milestones have been passed this week. On Tuesday we carried our hay -
On Thursday we attended the last of the shows in the ‘silly season’ -
Just recently we have been taking photos of our youngstock -
16th August 2016
What a jolly time our stallions are having at the moment. Contractors for BT are laying ducting for super-
15th August 2016
Toby and I felt we could cope with three ponies at this show, so in addition to the same two as last week -
The day started well with Toby winning his large Young Handlers class. Celeste was very up-
I tried a different head-
12th August 2016
Going to shows on two consecutive days is pretty tiring for all concerned, however as both agricultural shows are only about an hour’s drive away for us, and both have a good range of Shetland classes affiliated to the SPSBS we feel we should make the effort.
The two days could not have been more different, weather wise. At Camelford everyone was thoroughly drenched after a long drawn-
Luckily our ponies’ results were less erratic. At Camelford Freckles was 2nd and Reserve Junior Champion. Later she also won 3rd prize in the mixed M & M yearling class under a different judge, while Celeste won 2nd prize in the fourteen-
Checking my emails when I got home, there was super news from the other end of the UK. At the Cunningsburgh show on Shetland itself, Tawna Tilia was first and Tawna Cordelia was second in the yeld mare class, with Tilly then taking the Reserve Championship. What a thrill for us to hear that two girls bought direct from us as foals by Carole of the Gue stud achieved such success in their natural homeland! Congratulations to Carole, Martin and all their helpers for these and several other good results with their ponies.
8th August 2016
A new name to achieve show ring success is yearling filly Tawna Blue Moon. Her owner Jane won 3rd prize with her at Honiton Agricultural Show and also the special rosette awarded to the highest placed GEMS member. Moon is an extremely beautiful and feminine little girl and we hope this will lead to many more prizes.
At Tawna we are marvelling at how the foals’ appearances are changing . . . or not, as the case may be! The oldest foal is piebald Cherish and she has completely cast her baby coat and is a very striking inky black and (almost) snowy white -
Cherish’s field mate is big, strong bay and white skewbald, Clarissa. We know from when she was born that she has white socks, but until about 10 days ago the whole of her legs were so pale that it was totally impossible to distinguish the extent of the socks. Then suddenly all the baby fluff came out, her knees and hocks became black, and the socks reappeared!
Gloriana started life as chestnut and white, and she too has cast her coat quite suddenly to reveal her most attractive grey and white markings. All that remains of the chestnut is a sprinkling on her rump -
Meanwhile black filly -
1st August 2016
It’s always nice for us to ring the changes sometimes and take different ponies to a show. Therefore it was especially exciting yesterday to take not one -
Our chosen girls were yearling -
All went well and they were absolute stars in the show ring. We went into the mixed M & M classes and both strutted their stuff calmly amongst the bigger ponies. Pansy won the yearling class, with a Dartmoor in second and a standard Shetland in third. The judge was very complimentary about her active movement. She has got the most amazingly long stride for a tiny pony -
However I was most chuffed with Tarantella being placed sixth in the 4 years and over class. There were thirteen forward, most of which were large breeds, and many excellent quality animals strode around the ring. The eventual winner was a Fell with a Welsh cob in second place. I was extremely proud that Tara held her own very well in that company. Updated pics of Tara on our sale page -
Meanwhile at last week’s New Forest and Hampshire County show, three year old Tawna Fudge won third prize in a strong class of thirteen Shetland entries. After winning the gelding class there last year, Tawna Midas had to settle for fifth place this time. Well done Anne and Fiona.
24th July 2016
It’s been a mega-
Of course the journey itself must have been an eye-
19th July 2016
Wow! What a busy time it’s been with ponies leaving Tawna! Last Thursday, golden girl -
Today our sweet little strawberry roan mare Roseanna has undertaken an amazing trip to her new home on the island of Bryher -
Meanwhile, our beautiful mare Scarlet is heading towards her new home in Yorkshire. It was unfortunate that the arranged trip for today coincided with the hottest day of the year, but the professional transporter delayed picking her up from Tawna until late afternoon so that she would be travelling in the cool of the evening . . . how good was that! We are particularly sorry to see Scarlet leave us -
17th July 2016
After the flurry of shows over the last few weekends it was nice to stay at home today and to be able to get down to some basic jobs with the foals. This morning Toby and I brought three mares and foals (Martha, Gloriana and Ringo) into stables at Tawna.
We put head-
Besides combing their manes and tails, we trimmed their feet and wormed them. None of the babies appeared particularly worried by any of these lessons . . . so, all in all, a very successful morning’s work. It’s very pleasing when the foals are not frightened, and we build their trust and confidence.
12th July 2016
How quickly the annual tasks with the ponies come round. Last week we took the stallions away from their girls, reacquainted them with each other over the low stable dividing walls, and then shipped them all off to a fresh field where they should remain until next spring. They all know each other, so after the initial screams and squeals there wasn’t too much agro and they have all settled very well. There is an occasional challenge but on the whole they are very peaceful.
For the past few years we have taken the stallions away right after Liskeard show, but we are a week earlier this year because we need to put most of the mares on a diet. So we have gathered the mares and foals onto good pasture, and practically all the rest have been assigned to one of three ‘slimmers’ world’ areas of restricted grazing.
It’s ironic that this year thanks to slightly reduced herd numbers, combined with the weather conditions we have more grass than ever before . . . but we also have more mares who have missed foaling and therefore started the summer overweight! However now we have sorted everybody into appropriate groups we should be able to manage those waistlines far more efficiently.
10th July 2016
The murky, misty, drizzly weather did not spoil our enjoyment of Liskeard show yesterday. It is a lovely, traditional agricultural show and the horsey community are well-
Looking around at the opposition I did not have any high hopes, but was actually very pleasantly surprised with our results -
After a few further classes it was Toby’s turn in the Young Handlers -
There was just time for a snack and drink before Toby and Celeste’s final class . . . and the one we were most looking forward to -
For almost all the ponies, the spookiest part was the carpet. At home I had laid a bit of carpet on a well grazed area and Celeste didn’t mind walking on it at all after the first encounter. However the grass was very long in the ring so the carpet was actually suspended off the ground. When a pony stepped on it, the carpet moved so, not surprisingly, that freaked-
Toby and Celeste did a few practices at home and successfully mastered the elements . . . but nothing could prepare our little pony for the racket and activity at the show. During this class, in the nearby main ring there was a vintage tractor parade with accompanying booming loud speaker commentary, there was a band playing, and in an adjoining ring a pony club riding display team with fluttering flags. All this was truly a test for an inexperienced pony. The class included three veterans who were not fazed at all -
4th July 2016
Yesterday was a long day for us at the SW Shetland Group’s summer show. We set off at 7am and by the time we had been delayed in the ongoing A30 roadworks on the return journey, and I had topped up with diesel, it was after 5pm by the time I was unloading the ponies . . . and the show was only about 40 miles from home!
Due to the running order of the classes we were able to take a third pony this time, and chose our favourite stallion, Rubus. He is a very well-
Toby and I had to stay alert to ensure we didn’t miss our classes. The venue is a super indoor school -
Toby started the day with a well-
In the intervening ‘breed’ classes Freckles ended her winning streak -
26th June 2016
I must admit I was the odd one out as an all-
There was a slightly nervous wait for Toby then until his Young Handlers class. It was evident from the two younger age group classes that the ponies (all Welshies) were being led by their normal little jockeys who undoubtedly deal with them all the time and the ponies appeared to be leading rein types who were well used to going through the procedure in the ring.
Celeste was the only ‘green’ pony there and Toby showed her very confidently to win second prize -
The Miniature Shetland show classes however belonged to Pam and her geldings. Tawna Nutkin won the youngstock, with our Victoria in second place, and the little shiny black hunk known as Tawna Boy George impressed the judge to win his four and over age group and take the championship. He flashed his tiny little white socks for some fantastic trots -
25th June 2016
Mmmm . . . we have a Raspberry scented pony! Tomorrow is the Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s Summer show and Toby is entered in the Young Handlers class -
Toby wanted to bath and prepare her himself today, and he and his Mum chose the Raspberry scented shampoo and conditioner for Celeste . . . hence the deliciously perfumed pony!! She is looking absolutely gorgeous and we are all excited to see Toby with her -
16th June 2016
Rosella’s colt foal Ringo’s little white elbow patches which just overlap onto his ‘girth’ are quite unusual, so I thought it interesting when I caught him sleeping flat out in the field the other day, to discover he also has a little white patch right underneath -
11th June 2016
It was a one-
In the super, thirteen-
Gemma’s Topsy Turvy was placed third in the three year old class, adding to her list of successes. Several other rosette winners . . . and it has to be said that the Royal Cornwall is not very generous with rosettes!! . . . are either by, or out of, Tawna ponies, so we were very pleased for everyone. The big bonus was that the weather was perfect (after warnings all week of heavy rain on Friday), which considering the mini classes took over four hours to judge, must have been appreciated by everyone.
5th June 2016
Well, what a clever girl our Freckles is! At today’s Jubilee Native Breeds show she notched up a win in the yearling class, Junior Champion, overall Miniature Champion and Reserve Supreme Shetland Champion . . . all that, and only one year old!!
We have never been to this show before, but when we learnt that they were running a full range of affiliated Shetland classes with a panel judge, we thought it would be nice to support them. It was a lovely show and there were plenty of good quality ponies there. As has become the norm, the Shetland breed classes were the most popular ones of the day. The rosettes were particularly nice and we received surprise bonuses -
With Toby’s able assistance this morning we were soon ready and -
This week, Tia Maria was down to 3rd place in the mare class, but Tawna Nutkin did Pam proud by winning the 2 and 3 year old class. Other Tawna ponies in the ribbons today were piebald gelding, Moonshadow -
Way across on the other side of England this weekend, our friend Maria took 3 year old chestnut filly -
3rd June 2016
Just heard from Fiona Lawrence who is at the Royal Bath and West show in Somerset where her handsome dun gelding -
29th May 2016
The secret of the ‘Elly Belly’ is out! Last evening she FINALLY foaled, and after all our anticipation and worry that it was going to be a large ‘over-
Today was Cornwall’s Open Show -
This was a big event -
Toby loves handling the ponies and would ultimately like to do some in-
Our lovely mare -
24th May 2016
Just about every other year, this past weekend would have seen us heading to Exeter to show ponies at the Devon County Show, but when entries had to be made back in March we were uncertain at what stage we’d be with foaling so we decided to give it a miss . . . not that it would have made any difference (in hind-
Fudge’s mother is Flair who we sold a couple of years ago, but last year she returned to Tawna to be covered by Nutcracker and we’re very pleased for her new owners that she has recently produced an adorable colt. He is the apple of their eye -
18th May 2016
Come on Ella! She still hasn’t ‘popped’. Last evening her movements, behaviour and attitude gave every indication that she was about to foal -
Two nights ago Audrey watched Ella just after bringing her in for the night. She made me laugh when she told me she could very clearly see the foal moving violently in Ella’s side . . . “Forget just ‘kicking’…” she said, “…that foal was doing the Hornpipe!!!” Several of our friends are also waiting for their mares who are, like our Ella, lingering having looked fit to burst for weeks.
9th May 2016
For the past few nights our ‘pink pony’ -
Further suspicions were raised as I drove over the road and didn’t see Audrey’s bedroom light on . . . not normal once the foaling alert has gone out. Nevertheless I hastened across the yard to the foaling stables, talking aloud all the way so as not to alarm the ponies. There, I wasn’t all together surprised to see Ella staring at me with a quizzical look . . . as if to say “ Why are you here?” That’s Ella on our home page -
As I chatted to her and took out some droppings, Audrey saw and heard me on the screen in her bedroom, and called out the window to ask what was happening. It was a very still, warm night, so we were able to converse quite easily across the intervening little paddock. All a bit daft in hind-
5th May 2016
After the rush of excitement with the arrival of our first four foals, there appears to be a bit of a lull. Rosella has got a very slight udder, but the others aren’t showing anything at all.
However, elsewhere this year’s first foals by Rubus have been born following his lease to the Milday Stud near Edinburgh for two seasons. Last year he produced 6 fillies out of 11 foals for the stud. So far he has produced a hat-
2nd May 2016
We have decided to call Marina’s filly Martha -
The oldest two foals and their mothers have already been shipped away from the homestead at Tawna to be with their respective stallions -
30th April 2016
Our youngest foals have had visitors today. Naturally, when they saw a group of people enter the field, the mares headed straight to the far end, but once we had caught the mothers, their babies seemed to remember some lessons from earlier on this week. A day or two ago we brought them in and spent some worthwhile time scratching and handling the foals, and today they were pleasingly confident . . . after only one lesson. It gave me a chance to get some photos -
27th April 2016
Great excitement here . . . not one, but two new arrivals! When we brought Clementine in last night she had milk drops on her teats so we knew she wouldn’t be long. Audrey watched her on the cctv, and sure enough, she started before 8 p.m. We reckoned she was due about a fortnight ago, and judging by the size and strength of the foal, it is ‘over-
All this activity must have inspired Marina next door because by 11 p.m. she had foaled too! She was right on her due date. She hadn’t shown any physical signs that she was about to foal, but over the last couple of days we had noticed a change in her behaviour. She had been spending a lot of time beside the gate, looking through at the mares and foals, and had been very fractious and squealy when Clemmy was close to her when they were led into the stables. Her baby is tiny and black, but may turn blue roan as it is by Sprite . . . and both foals are FILLIES!
26th April 2016
Another of our friends has kicked off the show season with splendid results with her Tawna pony on her first outing. Due to someone else pulling out at the very last minute and leaving space on the lorry, Fiona decided to take Tawna Midas to a show on the County showground. The “Golden Boy” won his class, then excelled by gaining Reserve Champion from eight mixed classes where he was only beaten by a ridden New Forest. The judge was particularly complimentary about his business-
24th April 2016
The technology gremlin has been at work on our website -
Our new foals have had two lots of visitors/admirers today. The mares have calmed down a bit now -
22nd April 2016
Photos of our first two foals are now on the FOALS 2016 page.
20th April 2016
Would you believe it . . . another mare has overtaken Clementine! Last evening our little grey and white mare, Gizelle had a sweet little skewbald filly by Tristan, outdoors. Gizelle had been coming in, under the cctv for a few nights, but more as a next door companion for Clemmy than because we thought she was that close to foaling! There is nothing clear-
This is Gizelle’s second foal. Her first was two years ago -
18th April 2016
Audrey and I may have missed out on going to the show, but we were chuffed to hear that Pam and Gemma brought home prizes with their Tawna ponies. Pam’s geldings started their season well with a 1st and Reserve Senior Champion for Tawna Viceroy, and a 2nd for Tawna Nutkin in the juniors.
Gemma had a 3rd with Tawna Topsy Turvy in the youngstock class, but Gemma’s daughter Madi surpassed her mum by claiming a first prize rosette in the Young Handlers class with Topsy. Madi’s younger brother also did a sterling job in this class, coming second with a home-
Back on the ranch (Tawna) we decided it was high time to move the yearlings away to what will possibly be their summer pasture. We would normally have done it in March, but delayed due to the wet ground conditions. We loaded the fillies up with no trouble. Of course Freckles and Mojo have been to shows so know about the lorry, but Pansy hasn’t had much experience in it . . . yet she barely hesitated before walking up the ramp. It’s great to have young ponies with so much confidence. The fillies were pleased to see a fresh field and had their heads down right away. I wonder if the flush of grass will help flush out those winter coats?!!!
16th April 2016
Yippee! Our first foal has arrived.
We prepared the foaling stables weeks ago -
At last, it’s time to see what those big tums conceal . . . so exciting! Our duty of care to our pregnant mares means that sadly we will not be able to attend the SWSPG Spring show tomorrow. We were disappointed when we learnt that it would be held later than normal this year, as we knew we should be foaling by then. Even if the mares had not started, they were likely to be very close, so we took the decision early on to stay home. Shame, but our girls are more important.
9th April 2016
I always think of the previous year’s babies as ‘foals’ right up until the current year’s ones start to arrive, but realising that Mojo is technically now a yearling, we decided to get some updated pictures of her yesterday. Her two skewbald contemporaries were far too disreputable to photograph, but Mo was fairly clean. Unfortunately the continuous muddy conditions during the winter have resulted in most of our ponies losing their feather. This is not a good look at any time, but is even worse on yearlings with their exceedingly fluffy top halves! Despite this we think Mo is looking very nice -
Winter coats are certainly starting to move -
3rd April 2016
It’s been a trip down memory lane lately since we got a big, heavy, mystery box down from Audrey’s attic, to find that it was stuffed full of old rosettes. We used to write details on the back, so it has been marvellous to recall many ponies from the past who played a major part in our stud, and to see the names of hugely experienced judges who were very influential on the breed.
The rosettes seem to date back to about 1972, at which time we had standard Shetlands. There are a number of 1st prizes and championships won at Devon and Cornwall’s County shows, plus Shetland Society specials for riding and driving. The latter were for Lakehead Romeo -
In the breeding classes, some of the earlier names that appear on the back of the rosettes were home-
26th March 2016
Here’s an Easter Bunny to make you smile! I actually photographed him a couple of years ago. I was out in a field taking pics of the ponies when he jumped out of a patch of long grass, almost under my feet. Instead of scooting away, he went a few yards then sat up and looked at me. It was only afterwards when I looked at the photos on my camera that I saw he was sticking out his tongue!
21st March 2016
When will I ever learn? Close encounters with Shetland ponies at this time of year whilst wearing a fleece jacket is really not a good idea! I’m very pleased with myself because I have been catching up with foot trimming. The ponies hooves are looking tidy, but my navy fleece is looking anything but…
Being bent double while trimming the feet, I am naturally in close contact with the ponies whose coats are beginning to shift now, and the fleece fabric attracts and hangs onto the loose hair. Try as I might, it doesn’t want to brush off so I end up looking like a multi-
Talking of hairy ponies, we have received the first show result news of the year from Anne from near Bath who owns Tawna Fudge. At yesterday’s Wessex show she won 2 x 3rd and 1 x 5th (young handler). Anne says Fudge has a tremendously thick coat so the judge had quite a job to evaluate the pony underneath! Well done Anne. We hope the beautiful Fudge emerges into her summer silks before too long.
16th March 2016
Check out our sale page -
At long last we are having a dry spell . . . and what a difference it makes. The ground is firming up; where it’s been badly poached, the ponies little feet are now patting it all down again! The water troughs for two groups of ponies which need to be manually filled have had to be topped up this week . . . for the first time in the WHOLE winter! The rainfall has done it up to now!
The brood mares, who are the only ones having hay, seem to be less interested over the past couple of days. Although there doesn’t look to be any movement in the grass, I think it must be moving a tiny bit.
13th March 2016
Look out for two show quality young mares on our sale page -
11th March 2016
It’s been a sad start to our foaling season. We weren’t expecting the first mares to produce until April but our lovely Fuchsia had problems and started a full month before her due date. It was a breech birth with just the tail coming. While waiting for the vet, I managed to get one back leg in position, and he soon got the other leg and delivered it . . . dead of course, but thankfully Fuchsia is ok and is not pining. It would have been a pretty, blue roan and white full sister to Pansy and Violet. Such a shame, but we are glad that Fuchsia’s pregnancy didn’t go full term with a breech foal . . . delivering a bigger baby might have caused serious damage.
26th February 2016
It’s nice to know we provide so much entertainment for our ponies! Andrew and I have been working on the road hedge of one of our fields. He has been cutting and laying the scrub and trees on top of the bank, and I have been out in the lane clearing the branches and logs as they came down. This has caused great interest amongst the stallions whose field it is. As soon as Andrew starts work they come from all quarters and stand inside the fence to watch. I found it quite amusing when all I could see from out in the lane was tops of heads and furry little pricked ears all lined up in a row. When Andrew wanted me inside the field to keep the boys back as he felled some bigger trees, I had the Dickens of a job to drive them away.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the lane, a group of eight fillies and young mares have been ‘helping’ me every time I have opened the gate to drag the tops into the field. There have been umpteen trips through that gate and for most of the time the girls have been lingering just inside -
15th February 2016
. . a frosty, sunny day . . . and not a drop of rain ALL day. Here are our brood mares who are looking well, and rotund. We’re getting excited about what’s in those big tums as we gave a lot of consideration to the mating combos that were made last year. Roll on spring time.
. . . And here is Mr Reynard, catching the rays in the mares’ field. I wasn’t able to get very close before he spotted me and slunk away over the hedge.
7th February 2016
Eek!…TICKS…and I don’t mean the sort you put in boxes!
Whilst giving Florence a piece of carrot I noticed several little black dots on her muzzle, between her nostrils. Her skin there is pink and the hair is white so they showed up clearly. On closer examination I found they were tiny little ticks -
I have only once seen ticks on any of our ponies before -
Presumably the presence of ticks in February is yet another indication of our exceptionally mild winter. We have barely had a frost which would undoubtedly kill them off . . . although I should think they must have developed snorkels to survive the rain! It has been a very odd season indeed . . . last week, a relative in Australia phoned Audrey to wish her a Happy Christmas! I know there is a time difference, but…..!!!!
24th January 2016
I made our pregnant mares very happy yesterday when I moved them into a fresh field. It hasn’t got much grass, but it is a fresh pick and ponies always like a change. I have been hoping for a drier spell before doing this but there’s no sign of that. It was only a case of opening a gate, and our girls didn’t need asking twice. They were overjoyed and after the briefest taste of grass they were off -
We have decided that it is ridiculous to keep quite so many stallions for our number of mares, so after much deliberation, have decided to offer Sage for sale. Up-
11th January 2016
The South West Shetland Group held it’s AGM on Sunday morning and a loyal band of members travelled from Cornwall, Somerset and Devon to congregate for a coffee and chat at the Bridestow village hall with the beautiful backdrop of Dartmoor visible out of the windows. We learnt that membership numbers are staying pretty constant which is good, although more would always be welcome. The annual fees are very modest at £8 for single membership, £12 for families and £4 for juniors (16 and under). Members don’t even have to own a pony -
Finances are healthy and the committee have three Group shows lined up already. Unfortunately for Audrey and me, the spring show is going to be in mid-
Both before and after the meeting the main subject on everyone’s lips was the wet, and most conversations seemed to be based around how much mud everyone has, and how they are coping with it. In view of the fact that everyone’s ponies are wet, muddy and thoroughly bedraggled, it shows our optimism in looking forward to brighter times and summer shows!
9th January 2016
The weather conditions yesterday were a real treat -
When I checked the mares yesterday morning they were grazing out in the middle of the field -
We buy the odd sack of carrots at the feed merchants, and dish out pieces as treats in the winter months. The ponies absolutely love them, but they don’t get them every day. Whilst they are crunching them up, it gives us a chance to check they are eating properly and don’t have any teeth problems. Recently Audrey gave me a basket with some slightly shrivelled home-
1st January 2016
It’s the start of a new year and we send our best wishes to everyone for a healthy, happy and successful one, filled with lots of fun times and memorable events.
Looking back at 2015, we had a good year here at Tawna, but tinged with sadness as we said a final goodbye to two important equine friends who were put to sleep. Our exceptional mare Tawna Merryn, who produced so many top class offspring and was one of our all-
However there was much joy with the birth of eight gorgeous foals . . . and in 2015 the fillies outnumbered the colts for once! The anticipation . . . and tiredness . . . at foaling time is an annual ritual which is all forgotten once we see each strong, healthy foal trotting along beside it’s proud mother. Finding wonderful new homes for our ponies and making new friends all adds to the pleasure of breeding.
Naturally we enjoy competing in breed classes at affiliated shows with our ponies -
The forthcoming show season seems a long way off -
23rd December 2015
Nearly there . . . tomorrow is Christmas eve, and in a few days’ time all the fuss and bother will be over. We have been receiving lovely updates from owners of Tawna ponies, along with their Christmas greetings. It is exceedingly satisfying to hear that our babies have settled well in their new homes, and that their owners are getting so much pleasure from having them around.
Our ponies here at Tawna will all get their Christmas morning carrots which they enjoy, and it looks as if it’s going to be another wet and mild day for them. It’s been a very dreary November and December, but all the ponies are looking well thanks to an abundance of grass, and we are already speculating as to which mares are in foal.
Last week, Dolly Dimple finished her companion duties with a neighbour’s Welsh pony. The pony was left on it’s own when our neighbour’s big warm-
Here’s wishing all our friends in the Shetland world a Happy and Peaceful Christmas
from Audrey, Fiona and Andrew.
17th December 2015
Fox hunting is illegal with hounds . . . but what about with Shetland ponies?! Our three filly foals thought they’d try it recently, and I think the fox got quite a fright! They were in the meadow overlooked by the house at Tawna, and when Audrey glanced out of the window, she saw a big fox poking around in the corner of the field. He was so preoccupied sniffing the ground and generally minding his own business that he didn’t notice that the foals had spotted him and were closing in. When he finally realised, he was practically cornered as the stock fencing runs along that hedge, so he took flight back across the field. Audrey said he showed a tremendous turn of speed along the full length of the fence, but the foals were hard on his heels. No doubt they were disappointed when he slipped out behind the barn and they lost him. It certainly gave Audrey a giggle.
We like our ponies to have lots of character and personality and our filly foal, Mojo, definitely provides plenty of entertainment. On another occasion when Audrey looked out at the foals, a neighbour was riding along the lane beside the foals’ field, on her Arab. The three foals were grazing at the far side of the field, but Mo spotted the rider, left her pals and went bouncing down across the field with her tail straight up in the air. She stopped on tiptoe, head right up and stared -
On another day when Audrey let the f oals out in the morning, Mo spotted that the barrier into the hay/straw house was open. Quick as a flash she nipped in there, bounding right across the straw at speed, and came to a halt when she was so deep in loose straw that she couldn’t move her legs! We had a big round bale of straw which has gradually been falling apart as we have taken from it, and her little legs had sunk down -
13th December 2015
Mmmmm . . . feeling contented and mellow after a splendid Christmas lunch with the SW Shetland Group today. It was good to round off the year with this happy event and wish everyone all the best for the festive season. Sadly a cold prevented Audrey from going -
Following the delicious meal there was a monster raffle with loads of prizes, an auction, and the presentation of several accumulator awards for points gained since the first show in March. I actually lost track of the winners and positions, but was very proud that so many Tawna ponies featured and that their owners have been out and about with them. There were seven Tawna ponies mentioned: Victoria, Topsy Turvy, Clarius, Midas, Lowenna, Morvoren and Ariel. These are all based in Cornwall, so often compete against each other which makes it all the more difficult to gain points, so well done to everyone. It didn’t come as a surprise to me that Clarius won his miniature youngstock section as I knew he had maximum points, but it was a lovely surprise that Lowenna won the mini mare section . . . a really beautiful quality rosette for each, and a box of choccies -
22nd November 2015
Is there any breed of pony with a more inquisitive nature than a Shetland pony? Probably not, and in our experience minis are more curious and ‘into things’ than standards. Of course it’s this quality that gives rise to stuffy ‘horsey’ people often disliking Shetlands because they are ‘naughty’. Well yes, they are mischievous, but I maintain that is because they are highly intelligent . . . which is one reason they are so endearing.
I THINK Audrey saw that side of our three filly foals on Saturday morning when she found they had been partying the night away in the yard at Tawna. With rough weather forecast overnight on Friday, she had left the field gate open so they could come into their big stable if they wanted. But unfortunately the gates across the yard which should have restricted them, somehow came open so the fillies had access to the rest of the yard . . . and didn’t they have an entertaining time.
They knocked over the bucket under the water butt, carried a sponge well away from it’s home and chewed the hand brush which is used for cleaning out buckets. The string on the gate was chewed, and they got onto the covered walkway outside the row of stables where they unhooked the broom which was hung on the wall, knocked over the ‘poo bucket’ and strewed the contents over the concrete which they then trampled in. The poo shovel was kicked around the floor, and the poo-
18th November 2015
Our congratulations have been winging their way north of the border to the Milday stud, for it’s success last weekend at the Central Scotland Shetland Pony Group Youngstock show. Milday foals -
15th November 2015
We are probably crazy, but for today’s Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s Early Winter Show -
So we prepared Freckles again (who luckily had not got too dirty since last week), and her very handsome sire, Tristan who, when I fetched him from his field on Friday was as caked in mud as it’s possible to be. But I must say that in the end they both scrubbed up well and looked pretty good for ponies who are not stabled or rugged. The weather has been so mild that even the foals have just been coming in for their food and going right out again, so they are essentially out 24/7 at the moment.
The Shetland classes were for standards and minis combined and Freckles -
Tristan won his 4 years and over class and he then took the M & M four years and over Championship. The judge was very impressed with his movement -
In the Supreme Championship Fiona Lawrence kindly showed Freckles for us which gave me a great opportunity to appreciate this gorgeous little filly in action. It was only this morning, as we were driving to the show that I remembered that we last took Tristan to this show eleven years ago . . . when he was a foal. He won his class then and I still recall that the judge said that she liked his attitude! Freckles has got that too, albeit in a more feminine form. What really made our day was how many people (especially those who are not even involved with Shetlands) complimented us on the movement of our ponies. It’s a real pleasure to hear that we have impressed breeders of Welsh and other show ponies with our hairy little beasties!
10th November 2015
At last we have updated most of the photos on our ‘Foals 2015’ page. Check it out to see how they have grown up in the last few months. Every foal is cute when it’s very young, but now we can see how they’re shaping up and have a good idea how they’ll look when they mature.
8th November 2015
Well, we managed to get two of the foals presentable enough to go to today’s youngstock show, along with two older ponies. We always look forward to this show to get the babies out for the first time, and we enjoy seeing other people’s foals too. Although with fog, drizzle and strong wind, it wasn’t the easiest conditions for driving . . . or for keeping the ponies clean once there. The weather had undoubtedly put some exhibitors off, leaving entries a bit thin on the ground in some classes, which is partially indicative that there are generally less ponies being bred, but the hardiest Shetland owners turned out as always and it was nice to see lots of familiar faces.
It was a good day for Tawna ponies. In the mini filly foal class our beautiful Freckles was placed second, with Mojo in the very capable hands of our friend Fiona taking third, and Blue Moon -
In the yearling section, Clarius had a walkover in the colt class, with zero opposition! . . . but then took overall Yearling Champion against mini fillies and standard yearlings. Moving on to the two year olds, Victoria was second in the filly class, but earlier in the day she had won the owner-
The committee kept the show running smoothly as always, and at 11 oclock everyone fell silent for two minutes as a mark of respect on Remembrance Sunday. Even the ponies sensed the occasion and stood quietly . . . apart from Mojo who felt the need to shatter the silence with two enormous neighs. She may be a small pony but she has a HUGE voice!
6th November 2015
We have three mini MUD MONSTERS! Last weekend and Monday were gorgeous days, so I was looking forward to taking each of the filly foals up the road for a nice long training walk. Therefore I was absolutely horrified when I arrived in the field to find all three had been wallowing in thick liquid mud . . . not just on one side either. Each of them was dripping along the full length of both sides, and with bedraggled tails. What a revolting sight. They had only just done it, and they came cantering up to me looking all smiley and very pleased with themselves. They must have been rolling in a gateway. Glorious mud . . . I think not . . .
This action would have been bad enough at any time, but this coming weekend is the South West Shetland Group’s Youngstock Show and we now have three foals that are more filthy than they have ever been IN THEIR LIVES! Ever since Tuesday it has been raining, and the forecast is for it to continue right into next week. Hmmm…..preparation for the show is going to be tricky, but at least it is very mild.
Here is a good, clean boy -
27th October 2015
Talk about ‘up to the wire’ . . . it doesn’t get much closer than our experience today. . .
In the knowledge that two horse transporters were booked to collect foals from us today, we thought it prudent a couple of weeks ago to enquire from the Shetland Society office if it was likely that the passports would be back with us in time. We realise it’s a busy time of year for the staff, but we have no way of knowing how long any paperwork will take. So when Audrey telephoned the Friday before last, she was very pleased to be told that our passports had been processed and would be with us at the beginning of last week.
When they hadn’t arrived by Thursday, another phone call was made. Somebody checked and said they were all ready to go out, and would be posted first class . . . Relief! But nothing arrived. Surely they would arrive on Saturday at the latest? Still nothing, so I decided to ring yet again on Monday (yesterday) but waited for the post . . . just in case. STILL NOTHING. This time I was told the passports would be sent by registered post -
Well the first transporter was due here 10 -
Actually everything went very smoothly after that -
25th October 2015
Walkies! Almost every day we are handling and leading out the four foals which are due to go to their new homes this week.
For the past two weeks the council has been filling all the potholes and resurfacing stretches of the road past Tawna and there has been a great deal of activity so we have had to stay in the field. But today -
18th October 2015
Ahhh! . . . the first of our foals destined for a new home has left Tawna today. Beautiful Blue Moon has flown the nest. She is probably Audrey’s favourite, but hopefully we will be seeing her at shows in Devon and Cornwall in the future. Moon has the most endearing personality and is mega-
All the foals are weaned now. We will be concentrating on working with the next ones due to leave. They are all walking well along the lane on the halter, but we’d like to try them out in the field. The high hedges help to guide them in the lane, and they are interested in the new environment, but it is more challenging for them to be led in the wide open space of the field where they are used to being free. It is very rewarding to see how quickly they learn.
15th October 2015
The sun has been shining and we have been out taking some new photos of our gorgeous little filly, Mojo. We wanted to have some natural ones with her loose in the field, but our first attempt wasn’t altogether successful -
10th October 2015
The Aberdeen Shetland Sale was held earlier this week and congratulations are due to John Lawrie of the Milday stud near Edinburgh for his success in the pre-
5th October 2015
Arghhh…sticky burrs!! After the micro-
29th September 2015
What funny creatures Shetland ponies are. The strip-
We couldn’t deal with them immediately as we had an early vet’s appointment for Meg the dog and Levi the cat to have their boosters. When we got into the field -
26th September 2015
It’s almost the end of September and we have STACKS of grass. In past years we would have moved the ‘fatties’ (mares without foals) onto The Downs a couple of months ago, but instead, we are strip grazing them at home. We have never done this before, but it should do the fields good to be grazed more efficiently. Some of the girls are proper roly-
There has been quite a lot to do with the ponies recently. The group of boys -
All the foals have been micro-
17h September 2015
Two of this stud’s three year old fillies have achieved excellent results in the show ring for their owners recently. In the Shetland Isles Tawna Tilia took another 1st at the Unst show -
The three foals that are back at Tawna now are happily coming into the stable (without the mares) every day, and eagerly scoffing their stud and youngstock feed. They are definitely not hungry -
Today we did a bit of extra education with them . . . trimming their feet for the second time, and taking them for a little walk on the halter along the lane. Starting off by following their mums, they were each confident enough to soon be walking ahead, and have already learnt to stop and start reasonably obediently.
The only difficulty, with all three of them, was each time they came to a puddle in the road . . . and there are a lot of puddles! The lane is peppered with water-
14th September 2015
The foals’ thick winter coats are growing now. They are looking gorgeous. The youngest -
12th September 2015
As the seasons come round, there are familiar jobs to be tackled. This week we have filled in our foal registration forms -
On Thursday morning our super equine dentist came and took care of several ponies. I dread having their teeth rasped, but some have previous experience of the process and were really well behaved. Only one rebellious stallion upset the smooth running operation, and there was obviously no way that Gill could manage to deal with his teeth because I couldn’t hold him still. After only a few attempts he developed a quick rear and twist action which sent us both flying. Shetlands may be small but they have an alarming turn of speed and such tremendous strength. We will have to get a sedative from the vets before she tries him again.
In the years that Gill has been coming to us, she says her dentistry power equipment has improved considerably. The burr heads, in particular have been refined -
In the afternoon we collected some hay ‘off the field’ from our friends. This year we haven’t done our own hay and we have been getting a little worried that with the autumn approaching we still had an empty barn. It seems that small bale hay is in fairly short supply locally -
8th September 2015
Whilst some of us spend time and effort shampooing, grooming and generally preparing our ponies to enter the competition arena in an effort to win a prize, Maria in Lincolnshire has proved that it’s not necessary at all . . . in fact, the dirtier the pony, the better!!
Maria owns four young Tawna ponies, and has just won a photo competition from about eighty entries for ‘Muddy Ponies/Horses’ with an image of Tawna Sienna and Tawna Rupert -
The photo is on the facebook page of the sponsors, Lively Hoods who will award Maria with a lovely new lycra pony hood. I don’t know about a hood . . . I think these ponies each require an all-
1st September 2015
The boys have come home to roost! Two of our stallions who have been out on lease have returned and we’re delighted to have them home again.
Tawna Sage has been at the Helenbrie stud in North Devon for the summer and was returned yesterday. Last year he went to a small stud in North Cornwall and has sired two super fillies and a colt, so we hope he does an equally good job for the Chugg family next Spring.
Our great favourite, Tawna Rubus has been at the Milday stud near Edinburgh for two seasons and has returned today -
30th August 2015
Our summer show season finally ended today in appropriate manner with the Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s Champion of Champions finale. Ponies have been qualifying at selected shows all over Cornwall for the past 12 months. Over the years we have qualified several times but have only actually gone to the C of C show once because by the end of August our ponies haven’t looked good enough, for one reason or another. However, Lowenna -
The procedure was slightly different from the last time we went. They ran a whole selection of ‘wild card’ classes during the morning for anyone to try their hand at last minute qualification, then the actual C of C classes began at 1 o’clock. Audrey and I found it very strange rolling up at lunch time and just preparing one pony! All the pure-
It’s so wonderful for a miniature Shetland to hold her own amongst all the larger breeds, and no-
22nd August 2015
Phew! The ‘silly season’ is over . . . five shows in twelve days. The final one was Chagford -
We were back with three ponies again, and this time Pam and Andrew acted as support crew. Our pony team did us proud once again with another 1st for Clarius, and second prizes for Lowenna and Victoria. The mare class was really good with thirteen forward and many super ponies . . . there were several there that could easily have taken the top slot so I was pleased that Lowenna took second place. She doesn’t much care for showing and tends to look bored. For her, the only advantage of going to shows is that each is a new location for a picnic. She has been on restricted grazing since June, so we relent and allow her to stuff her face whilst outside the ring!!
Meanwhile we have received good show results for three year old Tawna Tilia (Kerswell Sprite x Tawna Fuchsia) in Shetland. They don’t have many shows in the islands, and they seem to come quite close together too. Tilia has been out twice this month, winning a first and a second. It was the same two fillies at the top of the line at these two shows -
17th August 2015
This past week has been a whirlwind -
We could not have wished for better results -
15th August 2015
Do you want a giggle? Take a look at the facebook page of Equilibrium products to see a short, very amusing video to publicise a new foodstuff called “simplyirresistible” that they launched on 13th August. The ponies on it all belong to Fiona Lawrence . . . and the three mischievous ones are all Tawna ponies bred by us!! Apparently they behave like this every night!! Go to www.equilibriumproducts.com -
10th August 2015
Every year, early August heralds the start of the ‘silly season’ for us . . . a rush of relatively local shows with classes for Shetland ponies. We have supported some of them for several decades. We particularly enjoy the agricultural shows . . . but it is a shame that they all come so close together. The furthest away is only about one and a half hours driving -
The first show of the silly season was yesterday -
Our three ponies did very well this year -
Although the show is rather a relaxed affair, it is quite a test for any inexperienced ponies because there are more spectators, and associated noise and movement, around the ring than at any other show we attend. There are usually a lot of dogs, always a lot of children, and this time at one end of the ring there was a generator rumbling away, a raucous Punch and Judy show, and a tent with live amplified singing! But what caused the most stir amongst the ponies was a double-
7th August 2015
Here he is . . . Basil the Champ! He is only four years old and it is quite unusual for such a young pony to win a stallion class where the standard is so high, let alone the championship at the National Show. The more mature, experienced boys tend to take top honours, but we are told he really sparkled, and his movement was fantastic -
2nd August 2015
Tonight Audrey and I are OVER THE MOON! We have just heard that at the annual Shetland Pony Stud-
Basil (Tawna Rubus x Tawna Saffron) was an outstanding foal, and we had high expectations for him, but we haven’t seen him since we sold him at six months old. This was only his third show so he was fresh on the show scene . . . and what a way to make his mark. There is a photo of Basil as a foal on our ‘About Us’ -
This success comes in the same year as Basil’s sire -
29th July 2015
Today it was the turn of Fiona Lawrence to give us great show news. Her chestnut dun gelding -
27th July 2015
When you wake on show day to the sound of heavy rain and strong winds, it takes the most dedicated people to carry on, load up and drive to the showground . . . where the bad weather continues, and the gateway linking the lorry park to the show field soon turns into a quagmire, making carefully prepared, sparkling white pony socks a wishful thought! That was the scenario for the Fraddon Horse show yesterday . . . and two of those hardy people were Pam and Vic Tabb.
The weather did unfortunately affect the number of entries, but all credit to those who did turn out for this long-
At yesterday’s show Pam thought she would have a bit of fun and try her hand in some different classes -
A quick undoing of his plait, a change of ring, and a change of judge and he won the Miniature Shetland 2 & 3 year old class, whilst Tawna Boy George was placed second in the four and over class. The day was completed with a Reserve Miniature Shetland Championship for Nutkin, led by Vic -
19th July 2015
We have just added a photo of a proud little girl to our previous diary entry, and have updated our youngstock page with a few new photos.
What will our neighbours be saying? I guess it might not be complimentary! We have taken our stallions away from their mares, given them a bit of cooling-
Another aspect of this process is that we have now put all the mares with foals together into a single large field. This week has been quite educational for the foals. Before meeting the rest of the mothers and babies, they have all been lightly haltered, wormed for the first time, foot-
Tawna Topsy Turvy has also had an interesting week. Her owner -
11th July 2015
It’s a great pity that reports in the media immediately before today’s Liskeard Agricultural Show of an outbreak of ‘strangles’ on a part of Bodmin Moor near Liskeard sent panic through some of the horse owning community, and reduced the numbers forward. Strangles is a very unpleasant, infectious, respiratory condition and horse owners should always be aware of it, but the sad fact is that it is ever-
There were definitely less horses than usual at the show, but actually there were not many missing from the Shetland classes. We took three ponies . . . have to say that only taking two to the last show was so much easier!
Our little Tawna team did a really great job. Clarius -
The 2 and 3 year old class brought a 1st prize for Victoria (her first time at the top of the line-
Lowenna (dieted, but still a bit overweight) took top honours in the mare class, and we hoped she would be in-
In addition to our own ponies, Tawna Midas and Tawna Morvoren were 2nd and 3rd in their respective classes, and Topsy paired up with Madi (pictured) to win the Young Handlers class. Madi did a very professional job and won not only a large blue and white first prize rosette, but also a beautiful tartan Shetland Society one.
5th July 2015
It’s so uplifting to hear good news from owners of our ponies. Today, Tawna Boy George has been strutting his stuff at the N.P.S. Area 26 Summer Show. George -
Not only did he win the open Shetland class, but Pam was over the moon when he was pulled forward as Reserve Reserve M & M Champion. George is a diminutive little chap and he must have looked tiny next to the others in the championship . . . but that didn’t stop him and Pam doing a full ring individual show. Pam now has two miniature Shetlands qualified for the N.P.S. Leyhills M & M National Championship. Good going Pam!
4th July 2015
Oh dear . . . our fillies are in my husband’s bad books! A group of young girlies are running in the fields behind our house. When Andrew went out with the tractor and topper to cut the weeds, three of them -
After a meal break Andrew continued, but this time the fillies PRECEDED him! He found this very frustrating because he spends much of his time looking backwards to check the machinery, so he had to be very wary of the ponies going ahead of him . . . and stopping . . . which they kept doing!
The following day, he unhitched the topper in the same field, and hitched up the hay turner to spread his father’s field of hay. Some of the tines were broken and needed to be replaced, but the nuts were seized up so I was helping him with these. We were engrossed in this task when there was a crash behind us and we span around to see that Victoria had pushed the open socket set case off the topper where it had been carefully laid out. All the pieces were scattered in the grass. Andrew was not pleased! Shetlands are such curious creatures -
29th June 2015
We are so chuffed for our friend Gemma Hannaford who ventured much further than us this weekend. She drove up to the Welsh Shetland Show from Cornwall with her two children, and two year old Tawna Topsy Turvy. Topsy travelled and stabled on her own, without any fuss, whilst the human element of the party had a great time with other enthusiasts from the South West at the showground.
The show has a marvellous array of classes and Topsy graced no fewer than four separate classes under different ring judges . . . Gemma worked hard to manage all that, and with great results! In the breeding classes -
Topsy is a full sister to our Daisy May and has a wonderfully calm demeanour so it doesn’t surprise me that she enjoys showing and loves the children, but something I didn’t know is her taste in music. Apparently Madi likes to play Bon Jovi when they are travelling in the horse box and each time it starts, the pony whinnies . . . Gemma says Topsy is a Rock Chick!!
28th June 2015
It has been an exceptionally busy week for me with work, so it wasn’t until yesterday afternoon that we definitely decided to go for it and get a couple of ponies ready for today’s Native Pony Association of Cornwall’s breed show. The weather then was nice and the ponies were pretty clean -
The drizzly weather today wasn’t so good, but the show is held on the Royal Cornwall showground which is a fantastic venue and not too far away for us. Shetland entries were, unusually, a bit thin on the ground, but all the mini classes were supported so that was good.
The judge was new to us -
Photos and details of the final two foals for sale are now on our sale page. Ironically we have been waiting so long to get them all on there that quite a few of the photos need updating. The foals are so photogenic that it’ll be a pleasure to take more. In some cases -
23rd June 2015
At last, we have got some updated photos and details of our foals on the ‘FOR SALE’ page . . . still two more to add, but hopefully they will appear in the next day or two. Oh, the frustration of not knowing how to do it myself, and having to rely on Andrew to do it!
21st June 2015
Our attempts to reduce Lowenna’s circumference -
Our juniors did really well too. The incredibly glamorous ‘blondie’ -
20th June 2015
YUCK! Walking back across Nutcracker’s field this week I was alarmed to come across a large skeleton. To begin with I couldn’t think what it was -
Tomorrow is the SW Shetland Group’s Summer Show -
18th June 2015
Kerswell Sprite and his girls have been grazing one half of a field at Tawna that is divided by a post and wire fence. For the past couple of days they have been hinting heavily that they wanted a change by hanging around the gate in the fence, so Audrey opened it to let them all pour through . . . all that is, apart from Pansy.
At the last moment she decided to dive along the wrong side of the fence. The rest of the ponies immediately cantered off to the far end of the field, leaving Pansy flustered and charging along the fence, calling to her mother. Fuchsia, meanwhile, had forgotten that she had a baby -
After some time, parental duty fell to Sprite who left his group to gallop back, through the gateway to fetch his wayward daughter. He gathered her up, prancing and playing, and led her back, but at the gateway the filly’s courage failed her again and she cantered off. Once again he tried to lead her to join the rest, and once again she turned back. Eventually Fuchsia thought she had better take control and collected her baby, but the whole episode with Audrey trying to get the foal through the gateway took a good half hour. All was well in the end. But how very sweet it was to see the stallion doing his bit -
11th June 2015
This picture is of Fiona Lawrence’s 4 year old Tawna Midas being judged in the gelding class at last week’s Royal Cornwall show. What a handsome lad he is . . . really says “I am here -
Our ponies have had to take a back seat today because I have been otherwise occupied by the arrival of our new cat. Andrew and I have lived here for twenty years and have always had cats . . . but have never been able to CHOOSE a cat because they have always chosen us! All of our cats have been strays that just turned up on the door-
Our most ancient girl passed away in March at the grand age of at least twenty years, which has left us with one not-
8th June 2015
The past week has brought sadness, followed by happier events. After weeks of anticipation on our part, Agnes finally foaled last Wednesday -
Aggie was quite agitated when Levi, the cat, wandered into the field as she was about to foal and was disturbed when Audrey peeped around the corner of the hedge to see how things were progressing, so Audrey stepped back and waited for a few minutes. Next time she looked Aggie had easily shot out her baby . . . in the event -
On a more positive note, we took two ponies to our County show at the end of the week. Lowenna (BIG hairy tum) was placed third and Florence was fourth -
In addition, the first prize gelding is by Tawna Bea’s Knees (currently on our ‘for sale’ page); the first prize mare is by Tawna Trooper and the second prize mare is by Tawna Frizby, so it is gratifying that our stallions have influenced so many of the prize-
Closer to home though -
29th May 2015
Audrey was chuffed a couple of weeks ago to see a blast from the past in the Horse and Hound magazine. The feature was on “Prolific (Point-
In her youth, and long before she became ‘hooked’ by Shetlands, Audrey had the honour of hunting Lonesome regularly and exclusively for his owner. She says he was a small horse with a big heart, and was utterly fearless. They hunted with three Cornish packs which undoubtedly kept him incredibly fit. Audrey didn’t actually race him: his equally fearless jockey was Diana Coker -
23rd May 2015
We have not long returned from the Devon County show. Audrey stayed at home with Agnes -
Once we were into May the realisation dawned that there was no way that the yearling was going to be out of his coat, and as the stallion only went in with his mares at the beginning of the month he had far more important things to do than be groomed and pampered!
It was a relief in the yearling class to see ALL the youngsters were as hairy as Poldark, if not more so. I think he did as well as could be expected with a fourth prize. Although small, he is at that rather gawky/yearling stage and there were some really lovely more developed yearlings.
In the stallion class I felt Finch deserved to have been a little further up the ranking than sixth. He is looking really nice -
In the two year old class Gemma, exhibiting for the first time at this show, was thrilled to get a fifth place with Tawna Topsy Turvy -
21st May 2015
The big debate here is . . . Can Agnes stop eating long enough to get on and have her foal? She is absolutely bursting in every department. Come on Aggie -
18th May 2015
Congratulations to our Cornish friends with Tawna ponies who travelled to a Shetland show at Bicton College near Exeter in Devon yesterday. Gemma was pleased to win the 2 & 3 y.o. class with Topsy Turvy (Tops) who was also awarded Reserve Junior Champion. Gemma’s young daughter Madi showed great flair by winning her young handlers class with Tops -
15th May 2015
A surprise arrival last night -
The filly -
Just Agnes to go now. Up until this week we thought Star was also in-
10th May 2015
Several weeks later than anticipated, Scarlet gave birth to a bay and white skewbald filly on Saturday evening. The foal is very strong, and looks to have a white belly band, white in the tail, three tiny socks and one a bit longer . . . but to be honest we haven’t been able to get near it since they went out this morning -
Today it was lovely to see Tawna Flair return to Tawna. We sold her with the option to be covered by one of our stallions and she has come back to run with Nutcracker. I’d forgotten just how pretty she is -
4th May 2015
Phew! It’s taken quite a bit of working out, but we have now moved all the ponies into their summer groups. There might be a bit of jiggling around at some stage, and the mares who have not yet foaled will have to be moved, but in general IT’S SORTED!
Four of the foals have now travelled in the lorry. We took them nice and quietly and helped them up the ramp, but each one walked out alongside their mum in a calm manner . . . great initial lorry experience for them. The four stallions we are using this year are now running with their girls . . . needless to say they are happy about that. They are well apart from each other and we have ensured the fields they have gone into have not had any other male equines for a long time . . . ponies have a good sense of smell and unfamiliar scents can lead to un-
After we did some long overdue remedial fencing earlier in the week the young colts have a nice little meadow with (hopefully) pony-
1st May 2015
Rubus is certainly earning his keep at the Milday Stud in Scotland where he is on lease for two years. This morning we heard that his sixth foal has been born, and there are still quite a few to go. Out of the six so far, five are fillies!
Daisy May -
29th April 2015
In a day or two the mares with foals will be dispersed to various pastures with their respective stallions for the summer. We’re always sorry to see them ‘going away’ as it is such a pleasure to go out into the field and see the whole group together. Currently they are in a small sheltered meadow with a stream running through it. Beside the stream and under the trees the ground is rather boggy. Guess which foals have been up to their knees in the mud. Yes it is all the boys -
27th April 2015
We had to wait a bit longer than expected for it to happen, but Daisy May foaled in the middle of this afternoon. After her behaviour yesterday morning when we led another mare and foal away, she did actually settle down again, but just before lunch today she was cantering around the field. Daisy is not given to any forms of extreme exercise, so this was completely uncharacteristic and we reckoned it wouldn’t be long.
Audrey and I were in attendance and just gave her a final helping hand. For us, foaling out in the field on a sunny day is much less stressful than a middle of the night job . . . I don’t suppose it makes much difference to the mares though. Daisy has excelled herself with her first baby -
26th April 2015
Now she’s dry and out in the daylight, Fuchsia’s baby is very clearly showing signs of blue roan colouring along her back. Fuchsia tends to be one of those laid-
When we led Fuchsia and foal away, Daisy May got quite agitated, so we think she could be fairly close to foaling. As a first-
The roads around Cardinham are ringing to the sound of metal on tarmac today. It’s the annual St. Meubred’s Ride. St. Meubred is the patron saint of the parish church, and this endurance ride was established many years ago. It’s well organised with plenty of stewards and the riders have the choice of 16 km or 33 km routes. I passed several small groups of riders when I went to check the ponies on our other farm. They were all setting a really brisk pace and most of the horses I saw were Arabs. The weather conditions today couldn’t be better for them.
Also enjoying the perfect weather were competitors at the Native Pony Association of Cornwall Spring Show . . . although I think it was held in an indoor school. It was the ‘battle’ of full brothers Viceroy and Midas in the Shetland, Dartmoor and Exmoor class . . . and Midas came out on top! This is his first year in adult classes, so well done to his owner, Fiona Lawrence. In the same class Viceroy was second and a lovely roan mare, Tawna Dahlia was third. In the youngstock class Tawna Nutkin took second place, so it sounds as if the minis really made an impression with the N.P.S. Judge.
25th April 2015
About nine o’clock this evening Fuchsia did the biz with the very speedy delivery of a minimally marked skewbald filly, by Sprite. Fuchsia is a wonderful calm mother and takes it all in her stride. The foal is still wet and looks piebald, but we shone the torch on her, parted her coat and are pretty certain she is already showing blue roan. When we left her, Fuchsia was turning around having a good bite at her own belly and hind leg . . . itches that she hasn’t been able to reach for months!
24th April 2015
Whoopee…a filly at last! At 4.15 this morning Twinkle foaled. One leg was back from the knee, but because Audrey had been watching the mare on the monitor we were on hand right away and I soon sorted it out. The foal is skewbald and by Tristan. She has the usual big patches on one side, but on the other is a ‘rash’ of dark spots on her white coat -
22nd April 2015
Last week we were thrilled to hear that Sage’s first foal had arrived. It’s always a great relief to learn that our conviction in spending years, and a considerable expense, in bringing on a home-
Andrew thinks he’s got the perfect name for Rosella’s colt . . . Paella . . . hmm, maybe not!!!
20th April 2015
At teatime today Rosella foaled. Thankfully it was straight forward. Two years ago she had quite a tough time producing the handsome Rupert so we didn’t cover her again that year. Naturally we were extra apprehensive this time . . . especially as her udder altered dramatically two nights ago and Audrey hardly slept at all last night, watching her on the monitor. Ella has been under constant surveillance all through today, but almost managed to get away with the job on her own when our neighbour collared Audrey for an in-
19th April 2015
Towards the end of last May we had finished foaling so were able to attend the Cornwall Open Show for the first time. We really enjoyed it…..easy access from A30, excellent parking, nice surroundings, we were in a dedicated sand-
In the M & M ring Viceroy gained 2nd in the small breeds, 4 and over class, whilst in the Shetland ring Fiona Lawrence’s sweet little mare, Ariel also gained 2nd in the 4 years and over class. In the youngstock class it was a One-
Clementine’s gorgeous baby is ever so pleased to have another foal in the field . . . even though Charisma does not approve of this over-
17th April 2015
A full two weeks after Clementine foaled, number two has arrived. At around bedtime last night Charisma got down to it and produced a very pretty little bay and white colt by Sprite. Despite using Sprite on various skewbald mares ourselves, this is the first skewbald foal we have had by him. Strangely, he has sired skewbalds for other people! Charisma’s little boy is cute and quite small, and she has been trotting him so much today that we were worried that she would exhaust him. So this afternoon we have brought them indoors for the poor little chap to have a rest!
12th April 2015
Today Pam and Vic took Viceroy to the Devon N.P.S. Area 10 Spring show. Held at The Grange at Okehampton, they said it was a very well organised event, and attracted some excellent ponies. Viceroy continued his run of success in mixed breed classes. In the home-
Our gorgeous little colt foal is seriously in need of some brothers and sisters. He is 10 days old, and it’s high time that we had some more foals. There are three mares all developing at the same rate, so they are all stabled tonight. Only meant to bring two in, but couldn’t decide which two! The cctv covers two stables and the microphone will pick up anything happening in the third box.
8th April 2015
More Springtime news -
Recently Sage has left Tawna to go on his summer holidays in North Devon. Well, he will be on lease and has gone to work actually, but as he will not be having anywhere near as many wives as Rubus, I guess he will be having quite a nice time, and a change of scene. He was absolutely filthy with dried mud when we brought him back to Tawna before he was collected, so we had to put in a fair bit of grooming to get him looking presentable, but he was looking very handsome by the time he left here.
4th April 2015
What an exciting time of year! Thrilling news from France today. Our incredibly glamorous and handsome strawberry roan and white stallion, Tawna Neptune who now lives there, has just had his first baby for his French owner. Not only a filly, but a ‘buckskin’ too -
Here is a photo of her on her first day in this world.
2nd April 2015
What a special early Easter pressie we have had!
Clementine decided she wasn’t going to take any notice of due dates for foaling . . . and about two weeks early, by our calculations, she has given birth to a gorgeous fluffy Easter Bunny. Well it’s a chestnut colt foal actually, but he is a corker -
The other big event for us this week was the S.W.S.P. Group’s Spring show, held at the Duchy College last Sunday. With the forecast leading up to the show being for COLD, windy conditions, we did rather regret our decision to take two skewbalds -
Remarkably on the day before the show, Finch only needed his hind socks scrubbing, but Florence did require more attention . . . she had found some fresh mole hills to roll on!! Come the day, and they both looked quite presentable though. Our third pony -
It was great to see quite a good turnout of Shetland breeders and owners, despite unpleasant conditions -
Happily our threesome met with the judge’s approval and were awarded: Poldark 2nd (mini yearlings), Florence 1st (mini 2 & 3 year olds) and Finch 2nd (mini stallions). The added bonus was that the two yearlings were chosen to step forward in the Miniature Junior Championship, so Poldark was Reserve Junior Champion too. Clever little boy.
This was only Finch’s second show, and I was pleased to see slightly calmer behaviour this time. He was still excited and vocal, but he didn’t break out in a sweat thankfully. He’s a great little stallion to show -
Three other lovely Tawna ponies were in the ribbons on Sunday and their owners deserve congratulations: Viceroy 1st (mini geldings), Ariel 2nd (mini mares) and Nutkin 4th (mini 2 & 3 year olds). Nutkin is a full brother to our little Easter Bunny, born today, and to our other yearling colt -
25th March 2015
Phew! The big ordeal of the day was taking the lorry for it’s MOT. I shouldn’t be worried, because our mechanic gives it a thorough going-
Fortunately Andrew has accompanied me the last couple of years and he helps calm my nerves and interpret the hastily barked commands from the tester. With the engine running in the confined space I can’t always hear ‘the orders’ and my confusion leads to rising panic. Today, when told to put the headlights on full beam my mind went completely blank. I stared at the symbols on the sticks on the steering column and couldn’t think which one it was . . . I turned on the windscreen wipers twice instead . . . and beeped the horn before I got the right one!!! WHAT AN IDIOT . That’s probably why he’s so abrupt with me -
The funny thing is that I don’t have any trouble recognising the controls when I’m driving because it’s instinctive to the situation, but when stationery and being told to do it, all sense evaporates! Anyway the lorry passed . . . even if I didn’t.
24th March 2015
Here in Cornwall, the solar eclipse last Friday was not as spectacular as we anticipated. Luckily it was a slightly hazy morning, but not cloudy. Coverage of the sun was predicted to be around 86% so Audrey and I made sure we were amongst the mares for the event -
When there was a full eclipse in 1999, we stood on high ground and it was fascinating to witness all the birds becoming quiet when darkness fell at an unnatural time of day. I happened to have a little mare on a halter with us at the time, and as the light lessened, she looked around in a slightly agitated manner and called for her friends. This time, the bright light dulled slightly, but not enough to cause any reaction amongst the ponies. Andrew said his hens didn’t seem to notice either.
We had a go at the yearling colts with brushes the other day to see if their coats are shifting….not really anything coming out, but when I trimmed up Sage’s toes in preparation for him going away on lease it was a different story. I was wearing a navy fleece jacket . . . BIG MISTAKE! After a close encounter with him for five minutes I was covered in white hairs. I also noticed white hairs on the ground beside protruding twigs and branches in the hedge of the fillies’ field, so they are beginning to feel itchy with their loosening coats. I guess last year’s babies want to hang on to theirs for longer. Our yearlings usually still have fluffy bellies at the end of June -
14th March 2015
WOW! The show season has well and truly started with a bang . . . VERY exciting news from Scotland today. At the 154th National Stallion Show held at the Royal Highland Centre, Edinburgh, our gorgeous Tawna Rubus won the mini stallion class, was Miniature Champion, and won the Broken Colour Trophy (standards and miniatures) too!
Rubus was turned out magnificently and shown by John Lawrie of the Milday Stud who is leasing him in 2014-
Meanwhile, at this end of the country today, Pam and Vic Tabb have taken Tawna Viceroy to the N.P.S. Area 26 Spring Show. His class was mixed small breed M & M (including Welsh A & B) and he claimed 3rd prize and has qualified for the N.P.S. Leyhills Spring Festival M & M Championships. WELL DONE EVERYBODY. . . thank you for doing the Tawna Stud proud . . . and keep up this brilliant work!
9th March 2015
Ahhh! I’ve just been to check the girls in their new field and found that Florence has taken Zelah -
8th March 2015
Our ponies love a change of scene, so a group were chuffed yesterday when we shifted them into a field that’s been empty since last summer.
The group consists of fillies and some mares that are not in-
As a follow up to yesterday’s change of scene for the girls, our task today was to separate Zelah -
It was high time to take Zelah away . . . the two colts are very lively. Luckily the boys use up a lot of their energy and exuberance on each other and don’t often bother her. Zelah is so laid-
2nd March 2015
Managed to catch our beautiful girls -
Meanwhile, elsewhere the fillies were feeling very frisky yesterday . . . probably the wind causing high spirits and bursts of joyful galloping around their field.
In turn, the stallions could hear, but not see, the thundering hooves -
26th February 2015
Is she? Isn’t she? Audrey and I have been scrutinising some of the mares, trying to decide if they’re in-
Meredith has rather disgraced herself by breaking out of her paddock several times, by going under or through the electric fence. People with riding horses rarely realise just how low the tape needs to be to contain a Shetland. Unfortunately it was far too high on her first day out with Minnie and she went right out into the adjoining paddock. Having learnt that she could do it, the same thing happened a few more times -
22nd February 2015
Meredith has begun ‘special duties’ today. A neighbour who has a large dressage brood mare called Dior asked if she could borrow a Shetland for a couple of months.
This morning Dior travelled to a professional yard where she will be monitored for foaling-
I chose Meredith because she was the sole companion to our Arab mare through the winter two or three years ago and behaved very sensibly. She’s a very sweet little pony -
12th February 2015
A spell of lovely dry weather has meant foot trimming time. I had been guiltily looking at the ponies feet for several weeks when they were wet and really muddy and just couldn’t face the job, but this has been a great opportunity. To give my back a chance I limit myself to only about three ponies per session, but have worked through over half of them. Only thirteen left now: that’s 13 x 4 = 52 little hooves . . . still quite a lot of back bending!
The stallions have been rather difficult -
Arrangements have been made this week for Sage to go out on lease this summer. He’ll love that -
6th February 2015
My recent ‘good turn’ for a group of four of our fillies totally backfired on me. With the flush of rich grass last Autumn, in a bid to avoid them laying on too much fat, we put them in an excessive acreage, but with very poor grazing. They have been having supplementary hay for the past month, but now the frost has really begun to bite, I felt sorry for them and moved them into a better field with enough grass to see them through to the Spring flush.
On my daily visit the following morning it was gratifying to see them all lying down -
To be honest we knew there was a slightly weak point in the dividing hedge, but only the most agile ponies could tackle it! There has been quite a lot of activity with the local Water Board in the area since Christmas, and it looks as if their men have been climbing over the hedge at that point to a collection of water meters. When I looked closely I saw there was quite a pronounced track over the hedge. That’s still not an excuse for the ponies escaping though -
They were good girls to catch and followed back obediently, but my only option then was to put them in the field I was saving for the old riding horses, and now my planning has all gone awry.
31st January 2015
Soggy, muddy ponies, and soggy, muddy fields are not conducive to spending quality time with the ponies at this time of year. The majority of ponies are away from the homestead at Tawna, so it’s mostly a case of feeding those who are being fed, do a head count, cast an eye over each group for any problems . . . then jump back into the car before the next shower!
Even the 2014 foals -
All three of them took part in the November youngstock shows and there’s no denying that giving them a good experience at that age pays dividends. The big difference now is how ‘coltish’ Poldark and Clarius have become. My knees are just the right height for them to nip at as I lead them along . . . I should wear knee pads for protection! Actually Audrey and I had a good laugh at their antics -
Here are a couple of photos that I took last August when I was in Shetland itself and visiting the Gue stud. This is two year old Tawna Cordelia (Kerswell Nutcracker x Tawna Mermaid), who we sold as a foal and is a full sister to Marina and Meredith who are both still here at Tawna. Cordelia is the most beautiful colour -
26th January 2015
I think it’s quite possible that the air near Tawna was ‘blue’ a few days ago! Audrey looked out of the house window, down into the meadow below where last year’s three foals were excitedly bombing around. They stopped and all gazed towards the hedge at the far side which borders the lane. Over the hedge Audrey could see a piebald horse standing in the lane -
The horse was fascinated/petrified by the Shetlands and it would seem the reaction was mutual. After a short spell of inactivity our lot shot off again -
After a moment the foals couldn’t contain their excitement any more and off they went around the field again before returning to ‘eyeball’ the horse. This display was repeated several times, during which it was probably just as well that Audrey was out of earshot . . . the man must have been pretty annoyed with our ponies, although I guess he could have gone to the horse’s head and lead it forward. To the horse’s credit, it didn’t turn around and bolt. After a considerable time he managed to un-
15th January 2015
Brrrr…..so much for talk of catkins and Primroses! Winter has well and truly arrived now. So far we’ve been lucky not to get any snow, but we have had a lot of hail showers and gale-
The ponies don’t seem too bothered. Although yesterday Florence caused me some concern. She and her pals were way up the field and when I called, she led the way -
Therefore I was quite relieved that when she arrived, all became clear. One front hoof was full of compacted hail stones, and she was, in effect, walking on one platform shoe!!!
12th January 2015
The usual band of loyal supporters turned out for the South West Shetland Pony Group’s AGM yesterday morning. The Group is now in it’s twenty third year. Whilst some Groups are struggling, it is encouraging to see a strong committee and to hear that membership and show entries have remained stable over the past few years -
After a chat and catch-
7th January 2015
We have just moved a small group of fillies into a lovely pick of grass in our neighbour’s field, but it has a dodgy fence so we thought it prudent to set up an electric fence as well. Before I could do this I had to tackle the vigorous brambles which were encroaching through 20-
The fillies who had all been up the field, dozing in the sun, decided I needed help and couldn’t wait to join in. Every time I bent down for my secateurs, Florence’s furry white snout was in the way. When I put my gloves down, Victoria couldn’t resist picking one up, and when I tried to pull the long brambles up out of the grass where they were rooting, ‘someone’ was invariably standing on the end! I unearthed an old wooden door lying on the ground. This was the source of great entertainment for the fillies who took it in turns to ‘tap dance’ on it. If I had wanted to lead them across it, no doubt they would have been horrified! Oh well, it didn’t speed up my job, but it helped them pass the afternoon!
5th January 2015
Welcome to our brand new website -
Huge thanks to Andrew for persevering and building it. I am totally clueless with technology -
Special acknowledgements are due to Gemma Hannaford for the drawing on The Type page under the About Us heading, and to Fleur Brown for four photographs taken on a visit to our stud.
1st January 2015
Here's wishing everyone a healthy, happy and successful New Year!
I just don't know where December went -
A very dark memory was losing our lovely, cherished mare Razzle Dazzle in March, but on the brighter side, foaling was over and done with in just over a month -
Undoubtedly the highlight of the year for me was travelling to Shetland in August to judge the miniature classes at the Viking Show. It was only a brief visit, but to see the ponies in their breath-
Today is our Arab mare's birthday -
Update on our new website . . . it has been pieced together and is ready for publishing. It's a very complex process -