12 January 2016

Horse Life Stories - Henry

Hi everyone, here is another of my 'horse life stories', this time its all about Henry.

Love Pilgrim xx

Henry was born in Surrey on 25th May 2007, he is now nine. He moved to Devon when he was only six months old, he was weaned from his mother and bought by a lady called Linda.  He grew up in the North Devon countryside on a Dairy Farm.  He lived with several other horses and ponies along with lots of cows!
When Henry was five years old he was given some training and was backed by a local horse trainer; soon after this, in 2013, he came to Calvert Trust Exmoor on loan.

Henry on long-reigns, April 2013

When Henry first came to the Calvert Trust he was very hairy and also very muddy!  He arrived in the winter and needed lots of washing and grooming to tidy him up before he could start his training.

Henry was then given some intensive schooling by staff here at the trust to educate him as a riding horse.  He took everything in his stride and was soon happily being ridden on hacks and in the arena.  He learnt to canter with a rider which he found tricky to begin with as he was not very balanced.

After about six months of training the day came for Henry to start his job.  He was introduced to centre group guests being ridden on a lead rein and then to private lessons which  he found very interesting; he loves being ridden by different people and doing all different kids of work. 

Henry was bought from his owner by Calvert Trust Exmoor in 2014 when he had been here for almost a year and had proved himself to be a good member of the horse team. 

Henry has now been taught to jump which is probably his most favourite thing to do.  He also loves hacking out and is very good in all kinds of traffic.

Henry's first jump, May 2014

Last year Henry competed several times in dressage competitions and won a rosette every time, including a first and a second. Because Henry is still quite a young horse its good for him to experience life at shows and other competitions both here at Calvert Trust Exmoor and at other places.  This year Henry will be going out to local dressage competitions to see if he can keep his record of being placed every time.  

He is also planning to do a more jumping this year as he enjoys it so much, and if he manages to get enough practice in at home hopefully he will be able to go to a jumping show too.

Henry is a lovely gentle horse who is very kind and patient. He has a little bit of attitude sometimes about being brushed and having his girth done up as he can be a bit ticklish but if people are quiet and gentle with him he is very well behaved.  Henry is friendly with the other horses in the field and gets on well with everyone.  His best friend is Hendrix. 

Henry in the indoor arena, November 2015

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

25 December 2015

Merry Christmas From Pilgrim!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

I'm just off to eat the special treats of apples and carrots that Santa has left for our Christmas Day lunch. 

I just wanted to say Merry Christmas to you all, have a Happy New Year, and I look forward to seeing many of you again in 2016.

Love from Pilgrim x

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

21 December 2015

Horse Life Stories - Teddy

Hi everyone, I've been looking forward to doing this Horse Life Story, its the turn of my very good friend Teddy!

Love Pilgrim xx


Teddy has been here at Calvert Trust Exmoor longer than any other horse. He knows all there is to know about the stables, and the jobs the horses here do. He's also my best buddy, and the source of all knowledge! I always ask Teddy if I need to know anything.


Teddy always mentors new members of the team both human and horse!

Teddy was born in 1997.  He spent the first few years of his life eating which is his favourite thing in the world!

During his early years he was owned by a lady called Justine, he was trained as a riding horse and proved to be very sensible, calm and kind. He got on well with other horses and loved people.  He enjoyed many long rides with Justine and learnt all about how to be a safe riding horse.

In 2007 Justine decided that she needed to find a loan home for Teddy as she was starting a family and would no longer have time to enjoy riding with him. He came to join us at Calvert Trust Exmoor in January 2007 and went through the training program which all new horses here follow.

Teddy soon proved to be fantastic at the job here and quickly became a very good member of the team.  Over the years Teddy has also been trained to be a hoist horse; this enables our guests in wheelchairs to get on a horse and enjoy riding. Teddy is extremely patient and kind with all types of riders.

He is also one of the horses who can be ridden with out tandem saddle (unlike me, I'm way too small!). This gives small riders who need a bit of extra support from someone else the chance to ride.  One of the instructors sits on the tandem saddle with the rider in front of them.

Over the years Teddy has helped a huge number of people to ride.  He is a great confidence giver and is good for riders of all levels.  Teddy has done many things with different riders here including dressage, hacking, drill rides and shows.  He also quite often gets painted on horse weekends to show people where horse’s bones and muscles are.

Teddy loves being pampered and particularly likes a bath with the hosepipe in the summer when the weather is hot.  

Teddy was on loan here for several years, and when in 2013 his owner decided she needed to sell him he was purchased by Calvert Trust Exmoor as he is such an important member of the team. 

Teddy has given a lot of pleasure to many of our guests, regular riders and staff. He is AMAZING!

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

15 December 2015

Horse Life Stories - Moses

Hello again everyone, here is another of my Horse Life Stories series, this time is my new friend Moses.

Love Pilgrim xx

Moses has been with us just a few months, having joined Calvert Trust Exmoor earlier this year.  He is 6 years old and stands at 14.1 hands high, and is a traditional Piebald gelding, although he has had a haircut which makes him look a little more presentable!


Before coming to join the team at CTE Moses lived in Ireland; he was broken to pull a carriage at 3 years old and soon started working as a taxi horse pulling a carriage around the city of Cork.

Moses did taxi work for just under 3 years; working in the city Moses has seen lots of different things and is used to a busy environment.

In 2015 Moses was bought over to live in England, he lived on Exmoor at a quiet farm. His new owners buy and sell horses for a living so this wasn't going to be a long term home for Moses. 

whilst he was living there Moses was driven around the country lanes and over the moors; he says that it was certainly a lot quieter than the city life he was used to! Moses has also done some riding work and enjoys nothing more than a hack over Exmoor on a warm sunny evening.

In August of this year Calvert Trust Exmoor was looking for a new carriage horse to join the team. After looking at lots of different horses, Moses was chosen to come on trial and see how he fitted in with the rest of us horses. 

Moses had a month’s trial where he was ridden and driven so he could get used to his surrounding and a bit of a quieter way of life.  After Moses month of trial he decided to stay, and is carrying on with lots of training and work to get him fit for next year's season.

Moses loves lots of attention and enjoys been groomed and pampered, he even likes to give the stable staff a whinny first thing in the morning to say good morning!

We are sure once our centre guests start to get to know Moses in 2016 he will become a firm favourite and will be giving carriage drives here for many years to come.

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

11 December 2015

A Special Job for Hendrix

Hi everyone, I hope you have been enjoying all the "Horse Life Stories" I've been posting about all my lovely horse and pony buddies here at Calvert Trust Exmoor.  This week I want to take a break from the life stories to tell you about the special job that Hendrix had on Sunday.  

On Sunday morning I was in my stable munching my hay quite happily when suddenly Hendrix appeared with Richard.  I thought this was a bit strange as usually I am the only one around on a Sunday morning because all the other horses and ponies have a day off in the field. 

Hendrix had his rug taken off and was given a really good groom.  hen Nicky and Richard pulled the two wheeler carriage into the yard and started to decorate it with shiny stuff…

Decorated with shiny stuff!

…I wasn’t sure what was going on so I asked Hendrix.  He said at this time of year he has an important job to do with his carriage on two Sundays and today was the first one.

I watched as Nicky and Richard then decorated Hendrix with loads of shiny stuff too which Hendrix told me is called tinsel.  If you ask me it looked a bit scary! They also put a very sparkly plait in his tail, sparkly hoof oil on his feet and then put his harness on with extra bells and even some lights! 

I must say I thought he looked amazing when he was ready for his big moment.  Soon after he was ready a man arrived with a big beard and a red suit on which looked very warm and cosy (I would quite like one!).

I asked Hendrix who he was and he rolled his eyes at me and said “Santa of course!!” Now I do remember Teddy telling me last year at Christmas time that Santa is the lovely man who brings us special treats of apples and carrots.  He delivers them on Christmas Eve and we get to eat them for our lunch on Christmas Day. 

I was quite excited and thought we might get some apples and carrots from Santa but Hendrix said not today. 

Nicky drove Santa in Hendrix’s carriage around the centre and took him to give out presents to the guests who were staying in the centre for the weekend.

Everyone thought Hendrix looked great and he said he got lots of fuss. He is already looking forward to doing it all again next Sunday. I bet the other horses laughed at him when he went back in the field though because he still had sparkly hooves!! 

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

4 December 2015

Horse Life Stories - Jack

Hello again folks, here is another of my 'horse life stories', this time its all about Trojen, or Jack as he is better known at Calvert!

Love Pilgrim x

Jack is a traditional piebald gelding; he stands at 14.2 hands high and is 12 years old. Jack is black and white in colour, Just like Bertie, only very slightly taller and a bit younger.


He is described as traditional, which just means he has lots of hair.  Jack has a very long mane and he also has lots of long hair on his legs! On a horse long hair on the legs is called feathers.

Before coming to Calvert Trust Exmoor Jack lived a very long way away, he grew up in Scotland just outside the Cairngorms National Park. I bet it was very cold up there, maybe that’s why Jack likes to be so hairy! 

Jack lived in a private home where he was used as a riding horse, Jack and his rider loved exploring the beautiful countryside.  In 2010 Jack was bought by a riding school in North Devon, it was a very long journey but Jack soon settled to life in Devon and began working in the riding school taking lots of happy holiday makers hacking around the farm. 
He was a very good boy and took riders of all different abilities, even people that had never been on a horse before. 
After working in the riding school for a few years Jack was sold again this time to a private home to be a riding pony, Jack loved it as he got lots and lots of attention. After a short time his owner thought Jack would be a perfect pony to help out at Calvert Trust so he came to live here.

Jack is on loan to us from his owner Karen, after a month’s trial Jack joined the team here in February 2014.  Jack loves to be ridden and lots of people enjoy riding with him. Jack is used for our centre group lessons and also private lessons, he particularly loves going out for a ride with all the other horses.

Jack also enjoys being used for the stable management session’s as he’s very gentle and will stand still for hours for guests to brush his mountains of hair. He looks very handsome when he’s all brushed, but he always rolls in the mud as soon as he gets to the field!

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project

12 November 2015

Horse Life Stories - Bertie

Hello again folks, here is another of my 'horse life stories', this time its all about Bertie and his amazing quest!

Love Pilgrim x

Bertie was born in 1999 and is now 17 years old.  He's a piebald cob gelding and he stands at 14.1 hands high. Piebald is horsey phrase; it just means Bertie is black and white.


Before Bertie lived here at Calvert Trust Exmoor he had quite an exciting life; he was imported from Ireland as a youngster and lived in the Welsh hills at Plas Equestrian

When Bertie was old enough he started his training to be a riding horse, training alongside the endurance horses at Plas Equestrian. This training made him the perfect horse for Bertie’s first adventure!

His rider Becky had always dreamed of travelling internationally by horse back.  Becky planned a trip that was not only going to be great fun but also raise money for a wonderful charity.  The route was London to Tokyo, covering 15 countries, 15,000 miles and lasting for 4 years! 

Bertie and Becky

On April 1st 2009 Bertie an Becky set off from London, sometimes sleeping under the stars, sometimes stopping off with people along the way who had heard of the wonderful adventure Becky and Bertie was on. By the fourth week they had made it to France, and with a few ups and downs they travelled through France, stopping off to explore the local areas. They even managed to visit Belgium via a a slight unplanned de-tour!

By week 18 they had travelled 1,083 miles and had been staying in Besançon, North East France for a couple of weeks.  Becky  had a slight re-think, and now wasn’t planning to ride the whole way, she decided to convert a cart into a caravan.

Whilst staying in Besançon Bertie learnt how to pull a carriage, and soon they were ready to set off on the next stage of the trip.

By the 25th week they arrived in Switzerland, having  completed 1,526 miles. On their travels through Switzerland they encountered some horrible weather, so rather than carrying on Becky and Bertie set up camp to explore the local area.

By week 29 they had travelled through Switzerland and covered 1,712 miles, but Becky had fallen ill and this was where their journey had to end. Bertie and Becky returned to the UK towards the end of 2009, what an amazing adventure they had both been on.

Bertie joined Calvert Trust Exmoor in the winter of 2010; after a month’s trial to introduce Bertie to his new surroundings and all the new experiences he would face Bertie was ready to work. He was soon becoming a fast favourite with the centre guests and our regular riders.

Although Bertie is now 17 years old he loves to play with the other horses and can quite often be seen winding us all up in the field! He especially loves to play with Milo as he is a youngster and will play back, unlike some of the others who get a bit fed up with him!

 Bertie has been here 5 years now and he is wonderful at everything he does, he has given many guests fantastic experiences and we’re sure Bertie will be here for many years to come, making people smile.

Pilgrim's horseshoe icon was created by stolkramaker from Noun Project