We help herd owners and ponies on Exmoor, across the UK and overseas. Nick Westcott and I both sit on the Exmoor National Park Exmoor Pony Steering Group, and I sit on the Exmoor Pony DNA Whole Genome Project Team. Nick is Chairman of the Moorland Exmoor Pony Breeders Group, for which I handle PR & Communications, and together we continue to run the Exmoor Pony Project and Holtball Herd 11 Exmoor ponies. Together with other moorland farmers and land owners, we have established the Heritage Exmoor Pony Festival to celebrate and promote the Exmoor ponies of Exmoor National Park.
I have written two books - Wild Pony Whispering
and Wild Stallion Whispering
- which have topped the equestrian best-sellers lists, and Wild Herd Whispering
is in the pipeline. The Exmoor Pony Project is making a significant, positive difference and we are successfully safeguarding the future and finding good homes for Exmoor ponies, while providing vital help and support to new and existing owners.
Our vision is to work to improve welfare and ease the transition from the moor to good homes for the wild-born ponies, while also encouraging the nurturing of Exmoor ponies in ground - particularly where important genetics can be safeguarded. At the same time we are working to embrace, recognise and give status to the perfectly good Exmoor ponies who are currently excluded from pedigree registration through no fault of their own. We are also encouraging better understanding of socialising, handling, taming, training and managing these very special, intelligent, independent-thinking ponies - and helping people learn how to communicate with and treat them, for better all round results. This starts with the way we treat the ponies (mares and foals) during the autumn gatherings, how we handle them to inspect them as part of their first contact with people, as well as what happens to them thereafter. Part of our work is to educate, inform and promote the breed to the wider world and endeavour to generate interest and enthusiasm in the ponies, drawing more people into the breed. Here on the farm, we are also working to develop the right management systems, studying individual and herd behaviour and working out how the ponies like to live, to best enhance their wellbeing and health. As the ponies mature, they need development and training and we are keen to source the right opportunities for some of them, so that we can continue to help others.
How you can help:
This work requires considerable time and resource and we welcome support, sponsorship and backing for the project. If you would like to support us, then please email firstname.lastname@example.org and you are welcome to contribute using any of the links below. Every contribution helps, no matter how small. There are over thirty ponies here and we are also helping many others - in some cases helping to secure the future of entire Exmoor pony herds. Thank you for your interest in our work and project.
With support, sponsorship and backing, we can do more development work with the ponies here; help more ponies elsewhere; offer more support to herd owners and pony owners; better promote the breed, herds and ponies; organise more talks, demos, workshops, visits, education opportunities; enhance the care of the ponies; improve the facilities and get more help.