Many people, especially parents with buggies and children, walk down Station road to the park and go past the pony paddock.
They often stop to speak to the ponies so here is an introduction to them.
Charlie, the smallest, is a Shetland pony. This is a very hardy breed with an extremely thick coat that can find food in the hardest conditions. They can be bad tempered but Charlie is very sweet natured. His worst fault is nibbling pockets to see if they hide any treats. He has never been ridden as one of his feet is not quite right but he makes an excellent companion for the other ponies.
In summer you will see Caramac, Mac for short who is a native pony angel. He is very careful with children who are learning to ride but he has taken Megan, 13, on a 12 mile Endurance Ride and over a Cross Country Course. She was very sad to out grow him. His worst fault is that he loves hay and will spend all day in the shelter eating non-stop. He spends his winters earning his living at Over Dalkeith Riding Stables, Rumbling Bridge, where he is very popular
The Queen of the field is Arabelle, an Arab/Welsh mare. The Arab blood gives her beauty and stamina and the Welsh blood gives her toughness which have helped her become the Scottish Endurance Champion after she won the 160km/100miles over two days race at Scone in 2008. She also was part of the victorious Scottish team at the Home International Championships in Ireland in rainy August,2008.
She will not compete internationally because of rules about weight. She competes successfully against much bigger horses because she has a small neat rider. Under International rules she would have to carry lead weights to bring saddle and rider up to 12 ½ stone which is too much to ask of her.
Instead she is training for the ultimate Endurance challenge of 160km/100miles in a day. In May, all being well, she will travel to The Dukeries near Sherwood Forest to attempt this.
The ponies get fed every day, more in winter, and always have hay in their shelter. The manure is lifted to keep the paddock clean and gardeners are very welcome to help themselves
In April the paddock gets a rest and is fertilized and seeded but don’t worry; you will see the ponies back again in May .