Crofting with Exmoors

 

Kim Maclennan tells us about life on her Scottish croft…..

I live with my husband and son in the North West Highlands of Scotland. We live on a croft and have some Highland cows, Blackface sheep, Soay sheep and a small herd of Exmoor ponies. I use these ponies on the croft since I don’t like using the quad – whereas my husband is happier with an engine, I’m happier with pony power! Our crofts are situated high on a hill, it’s very steep and rocky; ideal for these short, stocky ponies .

Each Exmoor pony has a different jobs on the croft:. The stallion, Ardmedden 21/115, who is only seven, helps with pulling strainers up to parts of the croft where a quad can’t go . I also ride him and lead one of his mares who carries hay and food, during the winter months, up to the cows as during wet conditions the quad struggles to reach these parts of the croft. I use my gelding, Beinn Strome 21/86, to move the cows as the cows won’t respond to the dogs, but will move for Bengy.  I also carry out fence checking and find the neighbours sheep on the common grazing as on a pony,  I can see over the bracken in the summer.  One winter, while checking fences and stock, we got caught in a blizzard  and unlike a quad,  Bengy knew exactly where he was going – my own live sat nav! These ponies work well in this harsh climate and are an asset to our crofting life style.

 

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