E.J.Wilkins

19 May 2008 814 views
 
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Brand new


This lovely scene greeted me a couple of weeks ago when I was driving through a lane near Brockenhurst, a brand new foal and its' Mum. Just out of the picture, in the foreground, was the afterbirth. the foal was about half an hour old.

I stayed to watch, careful not to intrude, along with about half a dozen other people who had been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

.....

In case you're wondering, the collar round the mare's neck is reflective. It's put there by the pony's owner in the hope that it will offer some protection at night, by reflecting headlights of oncoming cars and warning the driver there is an animal nearby.

All ponies, donkeys and cattle on the Forest are owned by "Commoners", although they may never be taken into a field, stable or barn. Pigs are only allowed onto the Forest in the autumn, for pannage - eating acorns which are poisonous to ponies.

The ponies are checked annually in the Drifts, when they have a medical check, are wormed and are marked for ownership - some by clipping the tail into a particular shape while others are branded. The mark of ownership ensures that the Agisters know who to contact should an animal get into trouble.

The area known as The New Forest was commandeered as a "Forest" for hunting deer in 1078, by the Conqueror.

Rights were granted to those who owned certain plots of land within the area :-
Pasture = grazing of ponies, donkey, cattle - (sheep are no longer permitted);
Estover or Fuelright = fuel, in the form of timber, so many cords a year - a cord is a 6ft x 6ft pile;
Pannage = allowing pigs to eat acorns in the autumn;
Marl = the right to take limey clay from the ground, to improve soil fertility;
Turbary =  the right to cut turf, to use as fuel within a dwelling
.

Brand new


This lovely scene greeted me a couple of weeks ago when I was driving through a lane near Brockenhurst, a brand new foal and its' Mum. Just out of the picture, in the foreground, was the afterbirth. the foal was about half an hour old.

I stayed to watch, careful not to intrude, along with about half a dozen other people who had been lucky enough to be in the right place at the right time.

.....

In case you're wondering, the collar round the mare's neck is reflective. It's put there by the pony's owner in the hope that it will offer some protection at night, by reflecting headlights of oncoming cars and warning the driver there is an animal nearby.

All ponies, donkeys and cattle on the Forest are owned by "Commoners", although they may never be taken into a field, stable or barn. Pigs are only allowed onto the Forest in the autumn, for pannage - eating acorns which are poisonous to ponies.

The ponies are checked annually in the Drifts, when they have a medical check, are wormed and are marked for ownership - some by clipping the tail into a particular shape while others are branded. The mark of ownership ensures that the Agisters know who to contact should an animal get into trouble.

The area known as The New Forest was commandeered as a "Forest" for hunting deer in 1078, by the Conqueror.

Rights were granted to those who owned certain plots of land within the area :-
Pasture = grazing of ponies, donkey, cattle - (sheep are no longer permitted);
Estover or Fuelright = fuel, in the form of timber, so many cords a year - a cord is a 6ft x 6ft pile;
Pannage = allowing pigs to eat acorns in the autumn;
Marl = the right to take limey clay from the ground, to improve soil fertility;
Turbary =  the right to cut turf, to use as fuel within a dwelling
.

comments (19)

  • Aussie
  • Brisbane
  • 19 May 2008, 01:02
Beautiful shot Ellie. How lucky was that. They are both gorgeous. Thank you for the information it is very informative.
EJWilkins: Incredibly lucky, and I had time to scurry home, grab my camera and get back to take these pictures. smile
  • Ginnie
  • back in Atlanta, GA, United States
  • 19 May 2008, 02:07
Lucky you is right, Ellie. WOW. It's like getting your education all over again, I'm sure!!!
EJWilkins: Absolutely true Ginnie, it was magic, better than any wildlife documentary too smile
  • ray
  • Thailand
  • 19 May 2008, 03:50
Great picture, Ellie. Interesting information, too.
  • chad
  • In front of a computer
  • 19 May 2008, 06:46
Lovely, Ellie.
Superb picture full of tenderness. Thanks for the interesting information.
  • padraig
  • Scotland
  • 19 May 2008, 09:40
Wonderful capture Ellie, Seems so big to say its only half an hour old.
EJWilkins: New born, not eaten anything yet, and ready to run within the hour. Amazing isn't it?
What a lucky situation to come across. S/he looks brand new with the wet hair and Mom is certainly taking car of her/him. Wonderful shot.
  • vintage
  • Australia
  • 19 May 2008, 13:05
Great capture the foal look large,mum looks tied
  • mick
  • 19 May 2008, 15:14
Nice one Ellie.
Beautiful picture Ellie and some fascinating information about the New Forest
Life's full circle. richard
One of those pictures with the "aah" factor Ellie, you were so lucky to be there for this shot.
EJWilkins: I still smile when I look at the pictures smile
  • Martin
  • United States
  • 19 May 2008, 17:08
Thanks for sharing this. I haven't seen anything like it before. The foal's eyes look closed. Surely they aren't born blind. Is it just dazed and confused?
EJWilkins: They weren't properly open at this point, but as you'll see it didn't take long. I don't know if it's to do with drying out, I didn't see the mare lick the foal's eyes clean.
  • Alan
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 19 May 2008, 18:08
A lovely tender image, Ellie. I'm sure Mum has at least learnt a little road sense but its the faols who are the fools now and will dart across the road. Thanks for excluding the after-birth!!
EJWilkins: Err, yes, I did have a good look at it though, even being a parent it's something that's not seen under normal circumstances. The foals tend to stay very close to the mare for quite some time, I do wonder how they talk to each other ...
  • Astrid
  • Texel....on vacation...
  • 19 May 2008, 19:28
This is a very touching shot, love the tenderness of the mother, great colours, thanks for the information with it.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 19 May 2008, 20:43
All the signs of very recent birth allover the two of them. Interesting how a mare gets that underfed look right after giving birth and it takes about 2 months to grow out of it.

Interesting info about the commoners and the commons.
EJWilkins: I didn't know that Louis, I shared this picture with some other people and they commented that the mare looked in poor condition, but she wasn't. Look at those muscles she's got!
  • Kay
  • Portland
  • 20 May 2008, 04:43
Ellie, thanks for your information about the Forest and the rights of the "Commoners". I would love to take part in that kind of ownership.

The picture is priceless.
EJWilkins: The rights are 'ancient', can't be traded or sold, they're firmly attached to a piece of land and whoever owns it at the time, they aren't inherited except along with the property. So you'd need to make sure you buy the right house to be able to put livestock onto the Forest. Lots of other places have common land though, that is available for grazing by any local person's animals. Might be worth checking out. wink
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww smile
  • SuRi
  • United States
  • 11 Aug 2008, 01:29
This brings tear to my eyes, just so lovely! ((thanks))

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