Scottish Native Pony Roadshow

Scottish Native Pony Roadshow Sunday 18thSeptember


After much thought the organising committee have decided that the Scottish Native Pony Roadshow due to take place at Champfleurie Equestrian on Sunday September 18th will go ahead as planned. The loss of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II after a reign lasting 70 years during which she selflessly devoted herself to her people wherever in the world they might be is a time of great sadness and reflection. However we felt that she would have wanted us to go ahead and promote the native pony breeds she thought so much about.


In honour of our late Queen we ask that you wear a black armband or tie if you are attending the event. We will be observing one minute’s silence at the start of the day, and a senior member of the Highland Pony Society will say a few words.


We would also like to offer our sincere condolences to His Majesty King Charles III and the Royal Family at this very sad time.


Her Majesty The Queen

The Dales Pony Society extends its deepest sympathy to the Royal Family following the loss of Her Majesty the Queen.

The Society is very grateful to Mark and Helen Snowden of the Essicroft Stud who were able to lay flowers and a card on behalf of the Dales Pony Society and it’s members at Balmoral this week 



NPS Great Inhand Show

? From the National Pony Society ?

Entries close on Wednesday 14th September for the Great British In Hand Show.

Each breed has a Breed Supreme Championship in the evening performance, from which the 16 Breed Supremes go forward to contest the Overall Supreme of Show, with prize money right the way down the line.

The champion and reserve pony from the breed classes and the champion and reserve from the breed semi finals, will contest the Breed Supreme.

There are also the Catalyst Capital Owner Breeder and the Home Produced Championships taking part in the evening performance.

Some examples of the different classes you can enter: If you have a 5yo home produced Connemara stallion you could enter Class 6, Connemara Stallion class and also Class 106 Home Produced M*M Large Breeds 4yo & Over.

If you have a British Riding Pony yearling that you show in SHP classes, who has won an NPS silver medal during the year then you could enter both Class 65 (SHP Yearling) and Class 88 (SHP Youngstock semi final) – giving you two chances of getting into the Breed Supreme.

Online entry system and schedule can be downloaded here

Great British In Hand Show

Pony Wanted on Loan for London Based Rare Breeds Project

Pony Wanted on Loan for London Based Rare Breeds Project

Mudchute Park and Farm is a prestigious  Community Farm, Conservation Centre and Equestrian Centre in East London. They would like to build up a riding school of rare breed and native horses and ponies and are looking for a Dales Pony suitable for riding school work on loan to represent the breed. Further information can be found in the attached document and on their website

If you have a pony you think might be suitable, please contact Tom Davis at Mudchute, email

Council uses Video Conferencing

Council uses Video Conferencing

Since the restrictions were put in place due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Council has been using email and normal postal services for conducting its business since March of this year. Although this has worked reasonably well the missing element was the immediate interaction you get by running a live meeting.
On the evening of 8th October, the Council had its first virtual meeting using Zoom. All participants agreed that it was very successful and the benefits of having no travel and without a meeting room with its associated restrictions were quickly recognized. It is now planned to have the next meeting at the beginning of November as a virtual meeting.

A Grand Stand at HOYS

A Grand Stand at HOYS

If you were at the Horse of the Year Show this year then you may have been lucky enough to see the Dales Pony Society stand in the exhibition hall. Sarah Evans was so enthusiastic about taking up the offer of having a stand at the show to promote the Dales Pony, that she not only attended the show for the whole week, she also organised and prepared just about everything that made it a success.

Sarah was ably assisted by her mum, Kim, during the preparations and for the week at the NEC. As well as this, Sarah put together a rota of volunteers to help her with looking after the stand and talking to visitors. Special thanks to: Jess Blowers; Matt Mason; Rodger and Janet James; and Lindsay and Jess Knight, for covering the stand. Anna and Julie Pennell (Dales Pony breeder of the year), provided refreshments throughout the week for Sarah and Kim. Not forgetting Bandit who was on best behaviour all week.

Well done all those that showed their ponies in the Dales Class and congratulations to Lucy Jones and Nipna Flaming Katy who did so well as the only Dales pony in the Juniors Class.

Over a thousand leaflets, flyers, pens and sweets were handed out and hundreds of visitors discussed the Dales ponies with members and helpers on the stand.

Well done!

Waterside Storm Rescue

Pony Rescued From Stream: Owner Praises Fire Crews But Has Concerns Over Staffing Levels

A dramatic rescue of a pony trapped in a stream has left its owner thankful to the skills of fire and rescue crews but fearful over perceived lack of cover within Surrey Fire & Rescue Service.

The drama unfolded last Sunday (June 2) when Sam Foreman made her daily morning visit to her 27-year-old pony, Storm, who she stables at a smallholding in Worplesdon. She has owned him since he was nine months old and says he is a “beautiful  gentle soul”.

Sam Foreman’s pony, Storm, trapped in the stream. All pictures by Sam Foreman.

Sam takes up the story: “I arrived at about 8.30am and at first I couldn’t see him. Storm was lying down in the stream when I found him, the very cold water was washing around him, he whinnied when he saw me.

“I managed to put a head collar on him and tried to pull him out. He was fighting to get free but his back legs were stuck. The owner of the smallholding arrived and phoned the fire service.

“A crew from Guildford’s white watch soon arrived and assessed the situation. They told me they were calling an animal rescue team, but it would be coming from Lyndhurst in Hampshire as the Surrey one, based at Painshill in Cobham, was not on duty that weekend.”

Sam says that by this time her pony was in a poor condition, having probably been in the water for several hours. “He was cold,” continued Sam, “and his eyes were starting to roll and were white. Luckily it had not been a cold night.

“He’s a Dales pony and a native breed, so quite hardy by nature. But he is old – in human years equivalent to an 88-year-old.”

The animal rescue team, with firefighters from Lyndhurst and also Winchester, arrived at about 11am, and Sam says they carefully assessed the situation and it took numerous attempts to be push a body bar under Storm.”

Sam had also called a vet and she and the Guildford crew put hay bales beneath Storm that made him more comfortable.

She continues: “Finally, after about an hour, they managed to pull Storm free. The vet had sedated him and was concerned that he might be suffering from shock, hypothermia and the fact that he had been down so long, lack of circulation, and weight on internal organs. The longer a horse is down the less likely it is to survive.

Fire crews work to free the trapped pony.

“There was no circulation in his back legs and at first he wouldn’t stand up. He was propped up by more hay bales and the fire crews then rolled him over. Finally, he stood up and staggered around for a bit.

All working together to pull the pony from the water.

“The vet said his temperature was very low and she gave him some painkillers.”

Happily, Storm is now making a good recovery from his ordeal, but Sam wonders how he came to be in the stream as she knows that he does not usually go anywhere near water.

Storm was unable to stand and lays supported by hay bales.

Sam says: “He just doesn’t like water and we’ve noticed some cut marks on his back that were nothing to do with his rescue.”

She is extremely grateful to the fire crews but is alarmed at what appears to be a shortage of staff at Surrey fire stations. She said if the Surrey animal rescue team from Painshill had been on duty they would surely have arrived much quicker and her pony’s ordeal would not have been so prolonged.

Sam with her beloved Dales pony Storm.

Surrey Fire & Rescue has issued a statement following the incident. A spokesman said: “We have tried-and-tested plans in place to make sure we can always deal with incidents effectively and we continually monitor all our vehicles around the county, using new technology, so that people and equipment are in the right place at the right time.

“As a specialist appliance needing specific skills, the availability of the animal rescue unit is always subject to the availability of specially trained firefighters which naturally varies on a shift by shift basis, across the county. On the day of this incident, specialist assistance was requested from a neighbouring fire and rescue service – this is normal practice and we reciprocate for them when needed.”

Do sign the petition: We demand Surrey County Council scrap their plans to leave 7 major fire appliances un-crewed at night

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Best Shod Horse – What is the judge looking for?

Best Shod Horse - What is the judge looking for?

Best shod horse competitions are not won by some special type of shoeing just meant for show classes. They are in fact won by good forging skills needed in shoe making or shaping the shoes, allied to knowledge of equine anatomy and physiology, an understanding of the mechanical forces that act upon the legs and feet of a horse.

The basis of any good horse shoeing job is the hoof trimming and preparation. No horse has perfect limb conformation. It is not possible to just rasp a flat plane on the ground surface of the hoof at ninety degrees to the leg, not even a static leg. A horses limb is dynamic at all times the horse is standing, slight weight changes (a movement of the head) cause flexing of the hoof at different places around the wall.

Blood is kept moving through the foot, slowly perhaps, while the horse is at rest, and much more quickly at the faster paces. Researchers have measured a massive negative pressure in the digital cushion above the frog in a horse at trot, as the foot expands at the heels and the Pedal bone levers down from the toe under load from above blood must be drawn to such a low pressure area and displace blood ahead of it when the load is removed (the hoof lifting of the ground).

If one heel is left longer or the other rasped too much they will not work as a pair. The longer side hits the ground first and is shunted up while the shorter side is pushed down to reach the ground, with one half pushed up and the other pushed down, a sheer force is created that passes through the centre line of the frog causing the frog cleft to split deeply into the sensitive tissue. Often the condition exists in a pair of feet so the discomfort and pain can go unnoticed. Many cases of thrush which don't respond to normal treatment are caused by this constant sheering between the heels. The horses foot is a very vascular structure, the sole the frog and the sensitive lamina behind the horny wall and not forgetting the coronary band, it's this band of blood rich tissue that secrete the horny wall.

The coronary band is where the farrier first looks for some of the information that helps him balance stresses through the hoof. The coronary band with the nail bed on the underside produces horn tubules that should drop down like a curtain from a rail. Is the rail level? Any upward thrusting curve could indicate the hoof wall is to long in the quarters or heel. Some times this uneven nail bed cannot be changed as it is how the horse is made, but sometimes it is the hoof trimming that is at fault. Unshod horses on abrasive ground have a chance to balance out their own feet but shod feet mean the error remains and blood flow may be impaired or soft tissue damaged over and over with each foot fall.
If this scenario continues for months or years then the working life of that horse is maybe five to fifteen years shorter than it otherwise might have been.

The fit of the shoe is important as well. It should help break over, this reduces strain on the flexor tendons at the back of the leg as well as keeping lever forces in the front of the hoof to a minimum. The heels and sole also suffer less stress. The forces that produce quarter cracks in the wall are reduced if break over is easier. Any asymmetry beyond normal should be compensated for fitting the shoe a little wide at that narrow side when measured from a mid line down the centre of the frog.

Under load from each foot fall the bulbs of the heels sink down expanding the ground surface of the wall so any shoe fitted must allow for this expansion by being fitted wide enough to prevent the wall sliding off the shoe and over its edge. After only a week or so the shoe would sit inside the wall causing a loss of normal limb action and possible lameness if the heel and quarters of the shoe are not fitted properly.

The shoe should be long enough to reach the last ground bearing point of the frog.

In a good foot the last ground bearing point of the hoof wall at the heel would be level with the last bearing point of the frog, but often it isn't. The shoe should be wide enough to cover the wall and part of the sole, and long enough to provide support and cover for the heels. The ease of break over coupled to adequate length and cover of the heels is often enough to subtly move weight forward in the foot, placing it more centrally under the leg and closer to the pivot point of the Pedal joint.

Good logical foot preparation and sensible shoes fitted properly not only allow for improved action, reducing over reaching and pulled shoes, but the horse's useful life will be considerably lengthened.

Besides looking for all of these things, a judge of a best shod foot class will also be looking for craftsmanship in the work done. Good clean forge work on the shoes. Careless or unskilled, inaccurate hammer blows leave unsightly marks on the metal, in the trade it's known as "leaving your name and address".

The nails should be driven to a good height to have a firm hold on good horn, but not so high as to leave only the weak point of the nail to form a clench with. Equally nails should not be driven so low down that they are in the oldest weakest horn at the bottom of the hoof.

If the contours of the wall allow, it's nice to see all the clenches in a straight line, and not one up one down. Ugly deep grooves under the clenches show a lack of care taken, but also weaken the hoof wall at a vital spot.

Tim Challoner A.F.C.L.