Bobby is a Welsh Section D, approx. 14.2hh, who was born in 2006 and arrived here in June 2018. Bobby had been a very successful cross-country and showjumping pony who was known fondly as “four-faults” because of his ability to frequently drop the pole of the last jump in his showjumping career! At cross-country he was very forward going and would not stop until the finish, obviously not a novice ride. Bobby’s owner had married and left home and Bobby lived with her parents who eventually decided to down-size which meant losing their field. Again, because of the uncertainty of selling horses who could well end up who knows where, they did not want to sell Bobby who had been such a good pony to them, so we were asked to take him. He is retired from riding now and is beginning to show his age a little bit, taking a step back from herd politics! Bobby is very fond of the lady horses, especially Gracie who is usually by his side.
We were asked to attend a field locally which contained a rather lonely New Forest pony. Fortunately his owner realised the situation was not ideal - we never like to see an equine kept on their own. She was happy to have him rehomed with us and he arrived in July 2018. Bungle was born in June 1994 so is an old boy now. He has been retired from riding for a while as he has a condition called locking stifle which makes him not quite sound. He is an ex-riding school pony and no doubt enjoys the fairly laid back life he leads now. Bungle was pleased to meet other horses on arrival here but he did not integrate very well into our herd when he arrived here and, when we very sadly lost our old gelding Eli in 2020, Bungle moved into the field where Eli lived along with elderly mare Gypsy. Gypsy had a brief grieving period after losing Eli but she and Bungle are now firm friends and Bungle is much happier with just one or two other horses for company – he was not a fan of herd politics in the other field! Bungle’s only fault is that he wind-sucks but he does this only after he eats nowadays. Otherwise he is a very easy and lovely pony to look after and quite stunning with his chestnut coat and flaxen mane and tail.
Cosmo is an especially small miniature Shetland pony who was born in 2014 and arrived here in February 2019. Cosmo shared a field with another pony until their owner lost the grazing and attempted to keep them both by putting them in a shared stable until new grazing was found. However, this took longer than thought and the bigger pony consistently picked on little Cosmo, making his life miserable and we were asked to take him in. He may be small but he has a big personality and can be very cheeky. Nina (our other miniature Shetland) loves him to bits and is rarely far from his side. Cosmo is also very stubborn and can be difficult to handle if he is not getting to do things his way!
Gypsy is a lovely cob mare somewhere in her early thirties (we think). She came to us in November 2016 as her owner, who has had her for many years, found it increasingly difficult to make the journey to visit her beloved horse and appealed to us to take her in. We took her on as another valuable member of our Learning With Horses team as she is a very friendly and human oriented mare. Gypsy currently lives with elderly gelding Bungle and the two get on very well, taking life easy as both are no longer ridden due to age related health issues.
Hector is a Shetland pony who arrived here in October 2020. Supposedly 24 years old, it is our vet’s opinion that he is at least a few years older than that! Hector was being kept in a field belonging to a lady who, for over a year, had tried continually to ask his owner to remove him, to no avail. The field was in desperate need of drainage work and Hector had been left all alone in the large field after his companion had died. Another animal agency had been brought in but as far as they were concerned, despite his overgrown feet and lonely state plus the fact he was reliant on the field owner’s sister to supply any water for him, it was decided there was nothing they would do to help him. As Hector’s plight became more urgent, we were contacted by the lady and her sister who were desperate to help Hector and we said that we could take him in if the owners agreed. It was not at all easy to catch Hector and persuade him to come with us as he was very frightened but on arrival here he was thrilled to see other ponies! He has improved hugely with regular handling but is still unsure of people he doesn't know and definitely prefers the company of his pony friends to humans. He and Cosmo will play rough and tumble boys games for hours which the girls are more than happy to let them get on with, without seeming very impressed by them at all!
Jazz is a 15.3hh pure-bred American Quarter Horse whose full name is Serun Jazzy Jack. He was born in 2013, bought, broken and ridden by a lady in Warwickshire who came up to Scotland to live with her sister but whose ill-health has precluded her from keeping Jazz. The lady who took this lovely photograph of him has a friend in Warwickshire who knew that Jazz needed to look for a new home, his owner being very anxious not to have to sell him as once sold you have no say what happens to a horse in the future. It so happens that Juanita has a passion for American Quarter Horses and could not resist offering him a home. Jazz has really good riding manners, is a sweet natured boy and has fitted in well with the other horses here, also participating in our Equine Assisted Learning therapy sessions.
We were approached by the family of Keisha’s elderly owners whose health had deteriorated to the point they were sadly admitted to hospital and unable to care for their assorted animals. The family, who were struggling to cope with the additional responsibilities and who were not experienced with horses, were getting desperate to find somewhere for Keisha to go where they could visit and know she was safe. At 23 years old, Keisha had lived with her owners since she was born and the situation was understandably upsetting for everyone. We agreed to squeeze Keisha, a Shetland cross breed, into our little herd of ponies and she arrived on the 25th May 2021. She has proved to be a fiesty little mare, despite her age, and she made it known straight away that she wouldn’t take any nonsense from the mini Shetlands during an easy introduction to our herd of small ponies. Keisha has since become very friendly with Mitzee and, whilst it is great for her to have struck up such a bond, it can be problematic as she is somewhat obsessed with Mitzee and they are literally inseparable!
Mitzee is a bay Welsh Section B pony who was born in April 2006. Mitzee came to us because she was an outgrown competition pony who had been wasting in a field for too long and her owners thought she should be brought back into use. Mitzee was loaned out a couple of times and then ridden by volunteers here at Mossburn but is now unfortunately not able to be ridden due to developing severe equine asthma. Mitzee receives various treatments including inhalers and nebulised medication for her condition but it is something that needs to be closely monitored to ensure her quality of life.
Nina arrived here in December 2017 as a seven year old piebald miniature Shetland. She was bred near here and when her owner died she left Nina to somebody in her will. At that time Nina had three companions and on her owner’s death these three were rehomed which left Nina on her own while the terms of the will were worked out. It transpired that the lady Nina had been left to did not want her and the husband of the deceased was not in a position health wise to look after Nina. We collected her from the village where she lived with some amusement as she is really tiny! Nina had not been handled very much and tended to drag us around but her manners improved the more accustomed she got to the routines on this yard – she can still pull like a little train when going on walks though! She is a very attractive, friendly character who likes to get her nose into everybody else’s business!