This weekend we welcomed Hosanna and Glen, 2 ponies who have moved to our croft from Sanday.
Hosanna is a gorgeous Highland pony, 19 years old. Glen is a very hairy cob, 31 years old (the same age as Siân!). They are both really laid back. Neither of us have had horses/ponies before, so we wanted to start off with something easy, and we hope these 2 will be the perfect fit. It will be another big learning curve, but in true hyper-focus fashion Siân is reading everything she can get her hands on about equines.
Olly went over to Sanday to collect them on the Friday evening, then we wild camped with them (and Mungo!) overnight, before they got the ferry to North Ronaldsay on Saturday morning.
Wild camping with the ponies involved taking a battery powered electric fence, and plenty of water for them. If you fancy taking your horses on a wee camping trip, you can read the guidelines about wild camping with horses here.
The plan is to mostly just enjoy having them around, do a little riding, horse packing, and maybe in time getting some equipment to work them (eg haymaking, ploughing, driving). Since they have arrived we have been enjoying spending time with them and grooming them (Glen is shedding A LOT!).
Plus, we’ll be offering some pony experiences with them at the croft this summer.
We’ll have a standard Pony Experience, which will involve:
Petting and brushing the ponies
Learning how to lead the ponies, then leading them to a sandy beach where you can take photos and have a short supervised pony ride.
Once their pack saddle equipment arrives we’ll be offering a Ponies & Picnic experience, which involves:
Grooming your pony and packing the days supplies in traditional willow creels, before setting off along the coast. You'll lead the ponies as much or as little as you're comfortable with, stopping to take in the view whenever the scenery demands a photo, which can be quite often!
We will then cross the island and head north to Westness Croft, where we will stop for a break and a picnic of a delicious traditional Ploughman's lunch made from Orkney produce and refreshments. It's then time to head back to Milldam Croft.
Once back, we show you how to unpack the ponies, help with their after care & give them their dinner before a final goodbye and release them into their field.