Our wild Ponies Now

Our wild Ponies Now

So now that I have told the story of how we took a herd of wild ponies into our family, it might be also time to tell you really WHY.

It was the day after I saw the herd for the very first time. On my way home from where they were agisted their images didn’t leave my heart, and I decided: I have to go back there tomorrow and tell the farmer that I will rescue one of them!

I had one particular pony in mind, a beautiful painted mare with a two coloured mane who seemed to be leading the herd.

So back I drove the next day, after getting the not-too-enthusiastic ok over the phone from my husband, ready to pick the girl and feel a bit “good” about myself. Off I walked towards the paddock, and there she stood as if she was waiting for me: “my” beautiful girl.

But then something happened that I wasn’t prepared for………. out of the herd walked a very old looking black mare, her fur hanging in pieces and her legs so misformed that walking seemed to be a real challenge for her.

She had a little brown boy at her side, and as I was standing there at the fence, she came straight over to me, looked at me and started ……..to talk.

Not loud though, but I could hear her words so clear in my head that I knew they were not mine.

She said : ” Hello…….. It is very important that you take all of us. And this is not for us. It is for you.”

A little while ago I had started learning about animal communication, but there was a lot of doubt still in my head.

But at this moment, whilst I was standing there listening to the girl I later would name Hannah, there was no room for doubt.

So I drove home again on this Thursday afternoon and still couldn’t really understand what just happened, but I knew I had to act in exactly this way: I had to rescue them all!

And here I am, 17 years later, and finally understanding Hannah’s words. So many people had asked me over the years why we had so many ponies, and most people guessed that we were breeding and selling them as riding horses. They often were surprised to hear that I would never part with one of them and that their purpose was to be loved.

But now I know it is more than that: I am supposed to tell their story, so that other people listen and understand that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

It doesn’t matter what your dream is, if you trust your calling you will be lead to make it happen!

This is what I want to share with people how come and visit us, people who will participate in our workshops and retreats and people like you who have read their and my story to the end!



Part 07 – Balancing the growth

Part 07 – Balancing the growth

When I started to tell the story about our wild ponies and how they came to us, I went back 17 years, and it doesn’t seem like a long time at all.

So…… we had just found out that, despite our best efforts, we had missed a stallion in the herd, had seen the second lot of healthy foals being born, and had organized our vet twice already to do the necessary castration job.

For this we had to go out and feed the ponies in a smaller area fenced off by cattle panels in order to try to lock in as many over night as we could.

The next morning the vet would be turning up with at least four helpers, trying to get pony after pony through the crusher, mares, geldings and weanlings out through the front, stallions anesthetized and operated.

What exactly happened over the next years is hard to recall.

We know that there was at least one occasion where we couldn’t manage to catch them all and had to wait for another season (no way ponies can be lured in with hay when there is fresh green in the paddocks!).

And yes, there also was one of LAST sons, who did jump over the catch pen!

So after a few years and many, many visits from our vet and his team we counted ….. 108 wild ponies 🐎!

And then, on the 22.July 2013 ( I remember because the radio in the vet’s car was talking about the new british prince being born) we finally did it: the last boy in the herd became a gelding!

We couldn’t be sure until at least 11 months later (that’s the gestation period for horses), but it turned out to be right.

Since 17 years our ponies now live with us, and over time we had to say goodbye to nearly all our original 25 and some souls we lost to 🐍.

So when you come visiting us now you will see 84 beautiful 🐎 grazing our property.

And not to forget one 🐃, our ELSA. But more about her another time!

So that is the story of our wild ponies!

Whenever people hear about them, their first question is: “And what are you doing with them?”

For a long time my answer was “loving them”. But then it came to me that their purpose is a different one.

I will tell you about it soon 💖

Part 06 – What! More foals?

Part 06 – What! More foals?

Over a year had passed since we rescued a herd of unhandled healthy ponies, and it sounded like easy maths: 25 ponies plus 12 newborn foals equals a herd of 37 …… until…….

Until we drove over the paddocks one day – and couldn’t believe our eyes: there on his wobbly legs stood a newborn foal, next to his peacefully grazing mum! And then it daunted on me: the ponies that settled in so nicely and seemed to be putting on weight from all the good pasture were actually PREGNANT MARES!

This could only mean one thing: We had missed a stallion!

But wasn’t the vet sure we had castrated all in the herd?

I tried to think back to the day he visited and checked all of them, and remembered when he came to a very small boy with a beautiful red mane (we called him JARRAH) – which he thought could be a stallion already- he told us that this boy’s testicles hadn’t descended and he very likely wouldn’t be able to produce any offsprings. Guess we had to take that back!
Over the next few weeks one mare after the other gave birth again, and all of a sudden our herd showed a lot of sweet little foals with shiny red manes ❤🐎❤.

Originally we had decided to book the vet in to have the little boys castrated at the age of one year, as we wanted to give them enough time for a healthy bone development before we would cut off the hormone production.

I hated the idea of them having to face this procedure but I knew there was no way around it if we wanted to allow them to spend their lives together as one herd.

But now it was clear we had to do this procedure again one more time…….. So we thought 😆😆😆

05 – LAST is back!

05 – LAST is back!

For weeks the ponies had now been in their new, forever home, and had settled in nicely.

They explored every paddock and bush part, found their favorite shady places and declared one area as their go-to night quarter. Slowly they formed smaller herds, 6 to 8 animals at a time, and the first bachelor herd appeared too.

But still no news about our pony on the run, LAST.

Then, when we nearly lost hope to ever find him again, the ranger rang up and informed us that he got a call from a farmer who now had a white pony living amongst his sheep! We were told he was not happy and that he gave us one try to get this animal off his paddock before he was going to shoot it.

Two hours later, and we were at his place with the trailer, hoping so much it would be LAST and certain we would take any pony anyway, if it would only walk into the trailer 😟

And there he was, our white beautiful LAST, grazing peacefully amongst the sheep, easy recognizable by the old wound on his leg. The farmer was equipped and had his gun already on hand, showing that he was dead serious. Memory came back of how difficult it was each time to get LAST on a truck and now he was supposed to go on this trailer!

We hastefully grabbed some panels, built a small corridor between the fence gate and the trailer and ……… watched LAST running in there! To the day I am still amazed how he made it so easy for us, but I believe he knew exactly what it all was about.

So here we were, driving back in awe about what happened and understanding that this was the third time this amazing being has escaped the death sentence.

The sun had nearly set when we arrived back at our place, and we drove the trailer to the paddock where all our ponies had gathered, curious to find out who was neighing there from behind the car. We had observed before that the ponies had a clear job sharing: in case a new animal came close to herd, the males would form a line of defence to check out the “intruder”, and the females with their foals would stay far behind this line. So that was what happened this time again, only now the leading gelding (we named him ARNIE because he was one pack of muscles) walked out of the line and came right up to the open trailer.

LAST, still a bit hesitant about the new situation, slowly walked down the ramp, and then we were allowed to witness an amazing thing : both boys stood opposite each other, threw their head in the air and started to canter in a circle behind each other like in a beautiful dance!

Humans and ponies stood there watching this amazing conversation, until finally Last decided it was time to run over the paddock, only to be followed by the complete herd! And guess what: from this day on this wounded, isolated living gelding took over the leadership of all our ponies for years to come!

But the ponies’ story doesn’t end just there. There was one thing that had escaped our attention: right in the beginning, when we asked the vet to castrate all of the seven isolated stallions, nobody had noticed that there actually……. were 🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎🐎….+🐎!

Part 04 – Moving to the Sanctuary

Part 04 – Moving to the Sanctuary

Seven months had passed since we became owner of 25 wild ponies, turning into 37 and agisted on someone else’s property, when we finally got the news: the beautiful place we were trying to buy became ours!

I remember the day the real estate agent took me to visit the property for the first time, 650 acre of gentle undulating paddocks and bushland, only an hour drive from Perth. I was immediately in love with this special piece of land, no doubt that this was were I wanted to spend the rest of my life.

So finally it was time to order the truck again, but I promised our ponies: this will be the last time, no one needs to ever take you away again.

It isn’t the easiest task to convince wild ponies to walk into a stock transporter, guess you can imagine, but we did quite well on the first day, having to leave only five ponies for another transport the next day, when all of a sudden our beautiful LAST decided he had enough and jumped the 1.6m high cattle panels and the property’s fence and disappeared in a cloud of dust into Toodyay’s bushland. All we could do was watch him and hope that informing the ranger would help to bring him back to us.

So we ended up introducing only 36 ponies to their new forever home, but it still was a memorable moment. One pony after the other came bolting off the truck, the foals trying to keep up with their mums, and when the last one had left the vehicle the whole herd gallopped over the paddock,stopped and gallopped again and again. We were happy to see that no one seemed to be injured and it looked as if they really enjoyed the new wide open space.

Part 03 – The herd expands

Part 03 – The herd expands

Slowly it started to sink in, after the experience of having seven stallions turned into geldings and integrating them back into the herd with their pregnant mares, that I soon would need a space for 37 animals as the births of the foals couldn’t be too far away.

As I never doubted that everything was happening exactly as it was supposed to, we got approached by a local who heard about the ponies and said his neighbor had a property of 100ac in the Toodyay shire he didn’t use at the moment, if we were interested to lease it for a while 😊. Oh yes!

So we ordered the truck, ironically the exact same truck that would have transported them all to the slaughter house, and off they went to spend the next months on this lovely piece of land with lots of shady trees and a beautiful lake to cool down.

This was were our first foal was born, and it was clear that he was LAST’s son. We named him MAGIC – his story will follow later. LAST by the way was doing really well, his wound started to heal and though he couldn’t put weight on his leg he managed to stay on the fringe of the herd without too much trouble.

So over the next months more and more mares gave birth to healthy, beautiful foals, and soon our herd was 37 ponies strong. As they were agisted an hour away from our place we drove to see them every second day and sat with them, slowly being able to tell them apart and giving them names.