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FairyTale Falabella

Hal by The Brilliant Photographer John Dempsey - Oct 2009

'Horse Whispering'
Photographer, John Dempsey

News Flash

Falabella for Sale ......

Blue Pony Farm Falabella

Limelights Blue Bayou Limelights Blue Bayou Limelights Blue Bayou stands at 32½" high, is 100% Falabella and is impeccably bred and well behaved. BB is FOR SALE
Visit BB's page for more pictures or scroll down this page for a couple of larger images of BB.

Guest Falabella

Sue Ekholdt's Falabella Arthur Arthur is FOR SALESold
Visit Arthur

 

Blue Pony Farm is situated in the heart of the Lincolnshire Wolds in a tiny village just off the main A15. We are easily found, why not contact us to arrange a visit so we can show you our fairytale falabellas.

Please feel free to email us should you have any questions about our Fairytale Falabella horses.

We are always happy to talk with like minded enthusiasts and we look forward to hearing from you.

Thank you for visiting us.

(the images below, along with many others, can be found in our Blue Pony Farm Gallery)

Changes at Blue Pony Farm -
Manege in progress

Hard at work!

Glofaxi  Showing Off!
Emailice By Photographer John Dempsey - one of our Blue Pony Farm riding horses showing off
Photographer, John Dempsey

fun at blue pony farm

Come Back - Come Back I haven't said goodbye

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Blue Pony Farm

Life at Blue Pony Farm
(or the ramblings of a nicely mad Horse Woman.)

"I had my ego metaphorically stroked recently by my redoubtable Webman, Ray Howell. He said to me "you do realise you're not normal, don't you?" I wasn't offended by his rather unsure utterance because as my husband Jonathan was to remark later, Ray was spot on.

In 1999 during an interview about our then BHS registered livery yard for Sheffield Telegraph I remarked "we are not a normal household" so Ray's words were not a surprise. It was fun watching him squirm wondering if a verbal clip around the ear would ensue. It quite cheered an otherwise damp and cold afternoon.

Horse Ownership is not for the faint hearted.

My days start relatively normally. I see my husband, Jonathan, off to his work in Leicester at 6 am. I open our gates for him fetchingly bedecked in a full length pink dressing gown (with hood), nightie (beneath, obviously), body warmer, crocs and socks (fashion police take note) and a walking stick.

It's been a cold winter and the dark mornings have hidden my strange garb up until late. I did notice a Budget van go past us the other morning and then swerve off into the grass verge as he did a double take at my strange appearance. They should be used to us by now. BPF people are not normal :).

Breakfast follows, the two reluctant -and sometimes (only sometimes?) truculent- teenagers are bundled onto the school bus and I take a sigh of relief. It lasts about 5 minutes.

Now it's animal care time!

Domestic pets first - only because they are closest to hand.

Candy, our white German Shepherd pup, gets cajoled into her Onesie (Google it! but it is a dog wetsuit) in a usually futile attempt to keep her from becoming a black German Shepherd, and Spooky, our wonderful but a tad aged Border Collie, gets a handful of pills as we fight a losing battle to keep his chronic bronchitis at bay, but his tail wags as he follows me like a shadow, so while he breaths and walks and messes, :) I'm happy.

Once the dogs are sorted it's the cats turn. Cats peel themselves out of whatever warm hole they have wriggled themselves into (shelves seem to be popular at the moment) and congregate in the feeding area.

They are easy, shove a plate of meat under their noses and that's it, they are meated. I dress fetchingly looking like the Michelin Man and venture outside. Chickens are seeded and the horses are haynetted and turned out. Yes dear Falabella Toffee, it's cold out there but you need to stretch your legs.

Sounds easy doesn't it?

No coffee for me yet and for most mornings its cold, damp and windy which makes everything so much more 'fun'.

Thankfully I don't struggle alone. Various folks/chambermaids/men eg Jemma and Kyle, and me of course turn up to keep mountains of mud at bay and poo of all types shapes and sizes are dumped on the dray rather than in the field/stables/garden/shoes or into the HOUSE!

Blitz over I can grab a quick coffee, have a few minutes natter with whoever's still around then it's off to chore again.

What now?

There might be some loose schooling to do or horse whispering - I never shout (unless you count the aforementioned teenagers who never did get `join-up` with me), then and if I'm really lucky I might get some riding in. That is of course if it's not raining/snowing/blowing a gale.

Blowing a gale? That reminds me of the old gem "horses only ever shy at two things- things that move and things that don't".

Through the course of the day Farriers visit and Vets make regular appearances through my portals. It's a fact that I have a bench at Rase Vets with my name inscribed upon it.

I have probably had a lunch of sorts by then, maybe?

Back to the horses.

Horses have to be checked over and groomed.

Grooming takes time, as does the washing of my long hair afterwards to clear mud that drops off Wiggy`s face into it, yep every time (my fault really but I can't abide hats!) More about Wiggy later).

Labours of love all of them but very expensive labours of love. I once worked out roughly that each time we ride it costs us about a hundred quid. I wish I hadn't hahaha.

On Blue Pony Farm there is a sort of hierarchy going on. The humans and especially me are way down the list. (we get a bit higher up if carrying mints, carrots or apples)

Introducing the BPF Crew.

The BPF outreaches.

We have a lovely, now outgrown pony, who is nearly 20 called Pickle who is out on loan with a fab family, and a Falabella stallion in Kent waiting to find a perfect new owner (he's on the website, BB).

BPF Inhabitants

The other 8 of our assortment of equines are at home with me, being waited on hand and hoof.

Breeding Falabellas - words from the heart.

I used to breed Falabellas and sometimes sold one or two but several things called a halt to it. I do still help to source Falabella Foals but I no longer breed them.

Falabellas tend to live a lot longer than the average childhood so finding the right 'forever home was a particular worry. A child of 10 might enjoy her Falabella for 4 or 5 years before she moves on to more adult things. Falabellas can live to be 25 maybe even 28 years old. There is nothing more distressing than to see a little Falabella discarded and left to haunt a corner of a field unloved and uncared for.

I have taken a few back and it broke my heart to see the neglected and frightened state they were in. Believe it, horses do have feelings.

Abattoirs slaughter and Horse meat

On top of that, with all the controversy about dodgy abattoirs slaughtering horses for meat and not to mention shipping horses abroad for destruction I decided to hang up my breeding hat. My Falabellas were not going to end up in someone's meat pie. I think there are enough foals in the world without me adding to them. It all sounds a bit negative, sorry, but I do want people to understand why we have decided not to breed anymore.

On the positive side luckily we found some wonderful forever homes for our babies but as mentioned we have taken some back when they were no longer wanted.

One couple after a mere 6months called and said, "We have decided Falabellas aren't for us". Fair enough but it was so sad for the ousted animal having to adjust to yet another new home and a batch of new humans. Would they let her down too?

My little babies deserve better

These little babies don't deserve to be treated that way or left unsheltered, unloved and unwanted for years to fester forgotten in some god forsaken field devoid of companionship or purpose. If you saw the state one was in when she came back to us after only a few months; left out during a rather cruel winter without shelter, or rugs and very little food, you would understand our distress. A once trusting friendly and joyful Horse came back to us withdrawn, untrusting and scared.

Bones which don't belong to me

Another reason is more personal. I have a disability which is increasingly debilitating and involves bones and joints which aren't that keen on being in a body that doesn't bend very well to the level of a tiny Falabella. Once down I can't get up again. They seem to enjoy me being on their level but wallowing around on your hands and knees on a stable floor with a Falabella playfully hanging off your shoulders may look hilarious but isn't for the feint hearted and can be very painful.

We loved our foals as many of our photos show.

All of our foals have been small enough to hold in our arms and each had been wonderful. All very different. We've had naughty and cheeky foals and two breathtakingly beautiful fillies that died -another of the reasons that breeding isn't for me now. I can't stand the sadness. It's a life of lows and highs. Foals gambling round the garden on a sunny day is one of the most heart warming sights ever. To watch a little hairy chin with a funny, toothless mouth dribbling milk (no, not your grandmother), is just to die for. Really! But while I love the highs there are too many negatives.

We still have Falabellas and I hope always to have them.

We are about to take a tour of our horses - imagine I am scratching their ears or teasing out a tail as we talk.

We keep 2 Falabella mares now. They are to make their debut on Blue Peter, and what little starlets they are.

Firstly, there is Toffee, a little well bred dot I bought as a  foal from Stella, a friend of mine.

And then Isabella.  Who was extremely timid when I bought her as a 3yo, 7 years ago. She is still a bit jumpy and neurotic (like her owner in fact) but a steady home and lots of careful handling and interaction with all the family have helped her confidence no end. It's been a hard journey, but worthwhile just to see her walk forward and nudge inquisitively at a pocket to see what's in it.

When she was in foal I used to sit on an upturned bucket with her until the early hours and longer, scratching her chest whilst she sucked my hair in return. And no, for the uninitiated, that's not disgusting - I can hear the `eewwws` from here - it's a top horsey compliment. She was grooming me and it was always most enjoyable for both of us in our little maternity ward filled with warm scented hay shut away from the world and the wind.

Our herd continues with wonderful Wiggy; He's my he-can-do-no-wrong Appaloosa. This horse is very nearly human. He's a licker. Licks coats, hair (yes, yet again my hair gets terrible abuse and lots of shampoo) and anything else he can get his tongue around. A tongue usually stuck up with molasses from his stable lick. It's a particular treat for our farrier, Dale Chatterton. Wiggy`s tongue coats his back with his sticky treat as Dale bends to do a front foot. Nice! I think Dale has a soft spot for this horse, he's never complained once.

Wiggy is beautiful and a gentle giant. Kind and forgiving. As my bone problems increase making it harder for me to ride so does his patience with me. He almost rides himself and he has helped my waning confidence no end.

Lets turn up a bucket and rest awhile.

The sun is trying to peep through and twitching Wiggies tail reminds me about Blaze who is now sadly gone.

Finding the right Horse is important and getting older and crankier doesn't make me braver. I used to have a wonderful, but very tricky, Anglo Arab called Blaze. I had him 10 years until his death.

He was far too much for me at one time and I did think about selling him. It's the old story of a poor condition horse that I made better, who's confidence I boosted to the point that his nature became too sharp for me. Anyway, someone made an offer for him locally. I nearly took it but then I snapped out of my idiocy and kept him. My urge to sell him was replaced with a determination to become a better rider.

That started me down the BHS exam route to A I.

I soaked up all that knowledge like shavings drink up a mares 'wee'. Magical times. I liked being a canter stride or two ahead of the game, guess I always have.

Jumping 5 bar gates.

As a child I would jump a 5 bar gate without fear (even without a horse hahaha, I'm joking). Won red rosettes at Bakewell and Hope Shows when some of the so-called horsewomen I have met (they had all the gear, but no idea) were still wet between the ears.

The joys of judging shows

I remember clearly in my judging days at Maltby Open Show giving a child 1st place who was wearing all the wrong gear - as in 'not show' stuff - neat and tidy but not show attire. Her little pony had the most superb manners but was the hairiest, non-show pony ever. It was a wonderful partnership and they gave an immaculate individual show.

The pair of them didn't miss a step, two working as one. I was chuffed to see them.

You can imagine it, I got a good telling off from the proud parents of Miss Perfectly Dressed who got a 2nd. Surely I needed glasses? Did I know anything about showing? Their mistake was that their darling was on a pony that bucked like stink in the trot to canter transitions. That little girl who took the red was a true rider with a blissful pony -the sort any mother would dream of for her child. It didn't matter to me that she didn't look like the cover of Horse & Hound; she could really ride and she and her pony were absolutely connected.

Telepathy

There's a feeling that's not always found between some horses and their owners. The girl and her pony at Maltby had it. Is it telepathy? I have it with my Wiggy.

It's not like the unconditional love you get with a dog or the rather 'take it or leave it' affection from a cat. It's almost mystical. Kind of intuition - which is why horse whispering and horse psychology is so fantastic. It is why the WebChap called me 'nicely weird' because he could see it.

Back to the present, Wiggy wants some attention and the others are waiting.

Wiggy knows if I'm not well on a particular day when I ride and we just stroll round the village. He also knows if I feel more up for it and can manage something more. We adapt to one another and that's trust you can't buy.

Hal is our gorgeous Arabian. We have had him since he was 2 and he will be 21 in April. My eldest daughter, Annabelle, and I broke him in using natural horsemanship methods which we learnt when Monty Roberts lifted the cloud away from the old methods of training horses.

Hal is wonderful and in all the years we have been together he has never put a foot wrong for any of the family. He won everything all over with Annabelle and went on to qualifying for Veteran Class at HOYS with Tuesday, my youngest daughter. He is a one in a lifetime horse - there will never be another like him.

Glofaxi is our little Icelandic chap who is 5 gaited. He can do a running walk called tolt, which is extremely comfortable and great for riders with bad backs.

He is a beautiful colour called silver dapple and has a thick mane and tail in the Tina Turner/Boris Johnson mould. See the superb picture half way down the home page. He is power packed and as quick as a horse crunching mints. He is usually ridden at great speed by Jonathan whose confidence knows no bounds but who still looks quizzical at me when I ask can he put the bridle on! Yes Jonathan it goes on the head end. Maybe I should let him try putting it on the back end to see what happens .... OUCH..

Glofaxi struts around in the same area as the Falabellas and they love each other very much. He should be pleased since he has a harem!

Snow and Crystal are my daughters', Gabi and Tuesday's, mares. Gabi has that telepathic thing with Crystal who has, at sometime in the past, had a really bad time. As a result, quirky doesn't come close to describing her nature (both of them hahaha). That is why they 'get each other' I guess. Crystal is very unusual as she looks bay though she isn't and has 2 bright blue eyes. Crystal is very sensitive and is under Snow in the mares` pecking order.

Snow is supremely talented and as honest as she can be. She also has a blue eye and is white with a few spots. Snow is shrewd and knows the routine well. She lowers her head as if she's bowing for me to put her head collar on. Maybe she's really examining me to see if I'm a goblin or she likes the smell of my shampoo? Who cares! Out on a ride she is responsive, intuitive and a joy to sit upon.

Lastly there is Foxy who is Hal`s half sister and is a beautiful Arab. She will be 23 soon and has been retired for years due to a hamstring injury caused by a kick. We have had Foxy for 14 years and we also broke her in using natural horse methods. She has always been accident prone and like me her bones just aren't top quality! I'm smiling as I imagine the pair of us creaking our way together along the country lanes.

The winds getting up and I need to stand, come Wiggy, lend me your strength.

I respect all of our horses and somehow they seem to know it. I believe strongly in 'silent' communication', they pick up on emotions very quickly and react to them. Trainers who whip horses should be horse whipped themselves. The horse might physically have a thick skin, but emotionally they are as fragile as you and I.

Getting toward the end of the day.

Having finished my rounds for the day, usually around 4ish, I can take a break, prepare food for later and wait for the school bus to rattle back.

At night, along with Gabi and Tuesday - when they get home - we reverse the mornings jobs and bed our lovely animals down for the night.

Bedded down and safe.

I love it when the weather's bad and I know our little lot are safe and dry and warm. I do worry and spend a lot of time thinking about those other horses elsewhere left out without rugs or shelter. A horse in the wild would seek out shelter from the winds, it would look for the warm spots and if in a herd they would group together for warmth. Where can a single horse left in an open field without shelter go? What a life?! I do wish people would give massive thought to what owning a horse really means, both the good and the bad side of things.

Summer and Frozen Taps, and ice cold fingers

For me, it's wonderful on a summer's evening (mozzies notwithstanding) being with your horses but it's not so romantic being up to your knees in mud or snow when the taps and hose pipes are frozen, the winds blowing icy cold and freezing fingers of water force their way under all of your protective clothing to chill you to the bone.

Cold? Have a headache? CBA?

Regardless of the weather the darlings still have to be watered and fed and groomed and shown that you care for them. Horses are herd animals and they need to feel they are part of a herd and not alone.

Because of the way we have evolved horse livery they have become dependent upon us, they need to know that 'you' will always appear, hay net in hand, poo scooper and water buckets at the ready. Just consider, hay is DRY, it can be dusty and horses need lots of fresh water a day. Try chewing a mouthful of hay. I bet you reach for the water IMMEDIATELY! To chew hay a horse has to create a lot of saliva. Many owners forget the correct water needs for stabled horses. Tut!

Spending quality time with your horse is an important part of horse ownership, particularly if you only have the one. It's no good saying you don't feel very well or its Christmas Day and you cba (work it out!).

Our Horses have feelings

The cynics out there will sneer and say horses don't have loyalty, or 'feelings' for their herd leader (me!). I say to them, learn about the 'organics' of Horse Whispering and then come and spend a day in our yard. When a wet nose comes and nuzzles against you seeking attention for whatever reason, cupboard love, fear at the weather, the need for reassurance, or just saying 'hello', you will change your mind. I ought to have added; or just seeking out the mints in my pocket.

Throwing a hay bale into a field doesn't a horse person make

Horse ownership is not just about throwing a horse in a field alone with a bale of hay and then maybe riding it sometimes? Horse ownership is about nurturing a dependant animal and keeping it safe; making it want to follow you because it respects your herd position and keeping it mentally and physically healthy. As 'Ray H' said to me, you reach out to them and you are in tune with the natural rhythm of your horses and somehow they sense it and respond.

Small luxuries

I must admit, I do look forward to weekends though when Jonathan, he's so brilliant, turns out for me. I get an extra half hour in bed followed by a cup of HOT coffee and a few moments to myself before I start the day proper and join hubby in the yard!

Falabellas are not house trained

And finally, NO! Falabellas can't be house trained or live in a kitchen! Never mind what you think just because they are small! They still poo and they still pee and they most certainly would not put the toilet seat back down after use! As for handles, they mean nothing to them. It is in their nature to kick hard at a fridge until it bursts open and I've yet to meet a horse that knows how to turn a tap OFF.

Falabellas are adorable

Remember, that Falabellas are horses first and foremost and not a dog which you can ride. And remember, they live for a long long time! But yes I agree, they are adorable and a dream to own if you are prepared to put the work in."