Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Black and white

The ponies....not the photos !

A very interesting fact about the Eriskay ponies is that they are born black, but hardly any of them stay black - they nearly all go white or grey and occasionally bay.

Black Eriskay pony yearling

In the small herd that I saw on Eriskay all the adults were white or grey and the 3 young ones were black or very dark grey.

Black Eriskay pony yearling

This mare is so white she is really glowing in the sun, but her baby is really dark black. 

Mum and baby

These photos were taken in March and you can see how lovely and thick their coats are - their coats are really dense and waterproof and they are able to live out on the hills all winter in the harshest of the Scottish weather - which I can tell you is sometimes really bad, especially on the West coast !  It can get very cold, wet and windy, and very often snows.  They have quite generous tails and manes to keep out the weather.

Even though they are quite small ( 12hh - 13.2hh ) they are very strong and can easily carry a small adult ( which is good because I would like to get one some when ! )

Just on a bit of a side note -
I find it very interesting to see that even without much interference from humans these feral horses do really well - some people may look at them and think "poor ponies out on the hills with no lovely lush grass, no buckets of feed, no cosy stable or rugs and no shoes on for the rocky ground" but I look at them and see very well adjusted and happy ponies - none of them are too fat, none of them are too thin and their hooves are in excellent condition.  They don't seem to suffer from so many of the common ailments of our pampered and fussed over horses and ponies.  This sort of terrain and rough pasture suits them much more than our conditioned ideas of what is good for them.  Maybe we should more often consider what is natural to the horse and try our best to imitate this in the way we keep our equine friends at home.

Rocky rough terrain

Thanks for reading, and hope you will read the next post. 


No comments:

Post a Comment