A busman's holiday

As two very experienced (of over 50 years) horsey people, we decided to change things up this year and forego our trail riding break and take the pace down with a visit to Whitehorse Gypsy Caravans, we read the reviews and decided it was the right trip for us.

It was very disappointing to see a very recent review questioning the care and welfare of the White Horse Gypsy Caravan’s ponies, it is very clear that they are loved and well cared for.

There could be no one more aware than us about the setup of the holiday or the care and workload of the Ponies.
The caravan was the right fit, weight, and balance for our lovely Pony Ned. He had the correct driving harness; it was a perfect for him and the caravan he was pulling. Although one could easily have thought that the van was heavy and a dead weight, it was light and maneuverable and perfectly balanced for Ned to pull with ease.

Ned was in excellent condition, it's so nice to see ponies that are at optimal weight and fitness for the job in hand; truly fit and healthy. We picked Ned up from his field, as we were helping due to a mini staffing crisis. Polly's ponies had just finished their breakfast, an important part of their working diet; another example of Polly's care and attention to her pony’s welfare. Ned was well shod and had road nails in as a safety measure for him and prevent him slipping.

What a perfect start to a holiday; ticks in all boxes for welfare, safety and equipment.

After grooming and tacking up Ned, backing up into the traces and connecting harness to the van , followed by a double check of breaching, traces, bridle, saddle and reins by our wonderful groom Jane, we set off and were underway.

The weather was pleasantly warm, and we asked Jane what the extreme hot weather protocol was for the ponies and the simple answer was the cancellation and rescheduling of trips, we would not have entertained less if was the case for our trip.

Ned was a star, he worked hard to give us a lovely trip, 48 hours enjoyment for us and the and 3.5 hours graft for Ned, what a lovely and purposeful life for him. He did get a sweat on, as to be expected, and is perfectly normal for a good fit pony, his rewards a few buckets of cold water a great big sponge to wash him down, and to help him cool down, more than few treats and field full of grass. Then a good rest after his couple of hours road trip before returning home 24 hours later, and like most ponies, he was keen and glad to get there.

It was so nice to bring joy to people as we passed them, lovely comments and smiles and lots of love for Ned, their appreciation of the chance to step back in time to a place where the pace meant travelling at 4 miles an hour, combined with modern day safety systems and horse welfare, a perfect combination. Thank you, Polly, Jane, Ruth and of course Ned.
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