EPICENTRE - the newsletter for Exmoor Ponies in Conservation

Exmoor Ponies in Conservation Newsletter

Issue 1 Article 14


(as told to Margaret Mackintosh by Warren Jasper, Exmoor stallion on the Reserve)

Just a little light conservation grazing, on the North Downs near Dorking, National Trust owned, 400 acres of downland divided into 15 areas, that's what we were promised. A mare or two for entertainment on rainy days and perhaps a spot of trotting about with the geldings now and then. No more than that. But no, John Cranham warden / manager of the reserve has other ideas. He wants us to do things, like carry people and water up to those tiny, fat, white, woolly things at the top of the hill. Let them carry their own water, that's what I say. Not only that, he is trying to get us to pull things, four of us to be precise. He wants us to WORK and do jobs on the reserve! There's that big, noisy, smelly thing with wheels for that, but it's not so environmentally friendly apparently, costs enough to keep an Exmoor pony in Polos for ever and can't get to the places we can.

He's singled out two youngsters from the moor, and two who are used to people. He's even been watching T.V. programmes like Monty Roberts 'The Horse Whisperers' and going to demonstrations by Richard Maxwell, to learn about some new methods to try on us. What's more, he has an accomplice who just happens to be a B.H.S. A.I. to help him.

There's not much down for us. He's even trying to get other people to do it too. He helped to organise a pony handling workshop just the other day. Lots of people came and thought it was really good. This could get worse, so if anyone would like a stallion who is very good at eating grass and making babies???

by Margaret Mackintosh