Our ponies run in fairly large groups which produces a herd hierarchy, and they live outdoors as nature intended. They have shelter from trees and hedges and generally are only stabled overnight at foaling time, as weaned foals, or prior to a show.
Ladies in waiting
During the winter most of the mares run together in one herd, but as foaling time approaches, the most imminent are stabled at night and watched closely on a CCTV system. We try to be present at each birth . . . in case of any problems . . . but some mares always manage to catch us out!
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We aim for the majority of foals to be born in April and May . . . always a very exciting time. The new mothers and babies are carefully monitored in 'foal-safe' fields for a week before being promoted to run with their respective stallions for the summer months.
The big debate!
At the end of the summer we take the stallions away from their mares and foals, and after several days of reacquainting them with each other (sniffing and squealing over low stable walls), they are put together in a fresh field where there are a good few skirmishes, but on the whole they really enjoy each others' company through the winter.
Pedigrees are highly important to us and our ponies are all line-bred to three famous miniature bloodlines, predominantly the old South Park (Fairy) lines, and to the two outstanding stallions - Fandango of Wetherden and Ron of North Wells. The only ponies introduced into the stud are carefully selected stallions which continue the integrity of this policy.
Audrey soon became smitten with the Shetland breed and before long introduced the registered mare Longmead Chocolate Bun (35") who was in-foal to Avening Coffee Cream. The resulting filly, Tawna Crumpet was born in 1960 which led to the formation of the Stud . . . and explains why so many of the early ponies have had food-related names! Initially the stud consisted of mostly standards of about 38”, but later the undoubted charm of the smaller ponies took over.
Today the stud consists of 30 - 40 ponies. We are proud that every mare is home bred, and each one can be directly linked back to our first pedigree ponies all those decades ago. As females have NOT been bought in to bulk up numbers, the development of the stud has been VERY slow . . . but all the more satisfying as the generations have gradually built up. We have a close connection with every member of our pony family and enjoy their individual characters.
Each year we retain a few foals to potentially bring into the breeding herd, and offer the others for sale to keep numbers manageable. We are always sad to see them leave us, but are so pleased when they go to good, appreciative homes where they can realise their potential. We always welcome enquiries from home or abroad. . . and love showing visitors around the stud!