FROM THE PONIES

Ellinor C Addis

Hello, everyone out there, I am a new foal of the Exmoor Ponies in the Valley of Rocks . As you can see I am an orphan, hand reared at Six Acre Farm. I have a sad background as I was abandoned by my under-aged mother, registered as Prince, male.

She was really Princess and before all of the ponies went out into the Valley I was conceived, that was before the stallions were "helped" . Which one was my father I do not know, neither do the Gaffer and Missus. They tell me that although I am a pure breed Exmoor Pony and all of the Stallions are pure breed I will still be a second rank pony as my father is unknown. As I have been hand reared and did not grow up in the wild I will not be released into the Valley as I am too tame and have not learned the basic things from my mother, She was under-aged and could not cope with the situation. She was born in 2005 and was only 2 years old when I was born, normally mothers are 3-4 years old with us ponies. My name is Hayley and I am named after the daughter of the Chemist in Lynton, her mother was the one that found the poisoned peppers in the Valley. I am now 9 weeks old being born on the 19th of March. I am lucky to be alive and this is due to the care the Gaffer and Missus give to me. As you can see I am bottle fed, and thus lack some of the protection I would have gained from my mother's milk and sometimes have been ill, particularly with eye infections. The Missus has always called the vet which must have set her back a penny or too. In the beginning I had to be fed every 2 hours, 24 hours a day-so the Missus and Gaffer were rather tired. Now I am fed 5 feeds per 24 hours but they hope to wean me at the end of June. I need special milk compound and to date this has cost some £250, i.e £27 per week. I am over the difficult period now and look forward to an uncertain future as I am unsure what I will be doing when I grow up, but I do not worry as I am in good hands.

I have heard that there are other ponies on the farm, out grazing. These include an unregistered, unclaimed male from Brendon Common placed in care by the Exmoor National Park and an unregistered mare, she has white hairs and this is not acceptable for a pure breed Exmoor Pony and two others about which I know little, their papers have not yet arrived .

More news will follow as I grow up but I am cautious to whom I give interviews. I feal comfortable in my stable with good straw and will soon graze in safety on the Farm.