Just before Christmas Horses4Homes whilst liaising with the Farming Crisis Network rescued 4 Eriskay ponies from a farmer in Northamptonshire. The Eriskay pony breed is on the critical rare breeds register, having less than 400 breeding mares in the world. These ponies have been given a home for life by Lucie Stockdale in the Lake District who will be using them, as she does her 18 rare breed Exmoor ponies, as conservation grazers. Lucie was fortunately left 80 acres by her aunt some 15 years ago and works with Natural England to preserve and monitor the very rare plants and flowers on her land.
Using ponies like these as conservation grazers is a fabulous thing, it gives them a job and purpose when they may otherwise not have a very bright future. I visited the ponies and they are enjoying their new environment, albeit it took them some time to get used to the vast amount of space available to them, having previously been kept predominantly in a barn.
The ponies will continue to be monitored by Horses4Homes and Lucie will remain in touch should any problems arise in the future. Lucie may also consider taking on more ponies in due course when some of her elderly Exmoors need replacing which is great news.