Being a native Dales pony the undulating ground didn't perturb me as we trotted off to round up the ponies. We headed off from the car park towards the first torr as we spread out in a line. It was hard work keeping up with some of the horses, who turned out to be 17hh local hunters, they knew the terrain so well. It wasn't long before we found our first few ponies and the humans got all excited and started shouting at them. The pace started to quicken as we chased them around the torr. We found some more ponies sheltering behind a stone wall and the herd started to grow in number. As the size of the herd grew so the pace quickened we were now cantering over dried ferns being careful to dodge those dangerous bogs, I wasn't going to miss the fun by being stuck in one of those!
By now I had no idea where I was the rolling mists made it so confusing but I just kept in line with my hunt horse friends, we had made it to the top of the torr, but today there was no chance to stop and rest and admire the views we had to get these ponies down off the torr and into the drift. By now the herd was at least 50 strong all strung out playing follow my leader, so they were tricky to herd and keep moving them in the same direction. As we came down the steep grassy banks of the torr we were in a gallop, this was so much fun, I love speeding down hills. We were leaping gorse bushes, jumping rocks we even had to jump a stream at one point while zigzagging down the hill and Mum clinging on for grim death. With one final effort we all managed to get the ponies to turn the corner, with the help of a line of humans, who were standing and shouting and waving sticks, they were scarey so I'm not surprised the ponies turned. We chased up them up the wall edge and finally they were safely in the drift.
All us horses stood foaming and sweating from all the hardwork, but inside we were all sad as we knew not all the pony foals that would now be weaned from their Mums would find a good and loving home like we had. The humans have put a limit on the number of ponies allowed on the moors, and the foals make that number too big, so those foals that don't find new homes will get shot. If my pony friends who read this know of any loving kind homes please find out more at http://www.friendsofthedartmoorhillpony.co.uk/how-you-can-help/help-save-our-dartmoor-ponies.html. The ponies need your help now.
I think sleeping on the Dartmmor hillside must of made my dreams so vivid. What actually happened is Mum came down and gave me my breakfast before disappearing off with Izzy and Benji who had all the fun and joined the human drift line, while Em, Stride and I were left in our fields to munch the grass - not quiet as exciting!
Maybe next year.............