Snow on the moors

snowy road close up

You may have noticed Devon has looked like a winter wonderland over the last few days.

We had several inches of snow at the centre, it was looking rather alpine and I was wishing I had a piste basher! A few of our horses weren’t so keen for a winter respite so with no time for sledding, we brought about 20 horses in from the snow. Namely the pregnant mares, the elderly and any youngsters who haven’t developed their waterproof coats yet. They develop these at about a year old and have a proper adult coat at about 3 years old (Miniature Shetlands this is).

Easier than it sounds when the driveway was comparable to an ice-rink, requiring some sure footedness from the staff here.

After a good look through the herd to find any horses which were shivering or looking cold there was no room left at the inn!

Once they were happily gazing out at the snow with a manger of hay and a roof over their heads, it was time to haul some hay for the remaining Shetlands. Who were still weathering the snowfall.

Lovely image of Shetland pony ponies in snow covered field in WinterThe quad was out of action so it was all hands-on deck to lug hay bales across to the impatient herd. Shetlands hail from the Shetland isles so can generally cope with all sorts of weather, being 170km north of Scotland in the North Sea doesn’t always give you tanning weather, so a bit of snow doesn’t actually bother most of the herd too much.


Our donkeys watched unimpressed from their barn in the field as the grass suddenly disappeared under the snow. Luckily, they had plenty of hay, 3 walls and a roof around them so were quite content to stay there.

We have Miniature Mediterranean Donkeys, who in the snow would most
likely have been much happier in Corfu, under an olive tree sipping on some warming Ouzo. I think we all might be happier doing that really.

Goats are another animal which prefers warmer climes. We housed the goats in the newly pressure-washed pet barn. Which subsequently needs to be pressure-washed again. Despite some parts being barricaded off the tenacious little so and so’s managed to get in and sufficiently disgrace it!

Peacocks on the moors

A stroke of bad luck with the snow has caused much of the aviary to collapse. Luckily all the birds were fine, and none have escaped so you won’t see any peacocks on the moors! The damage will be repaired as soon as possible. Hopefully they won’t be disturbed again this year.Granite tor on frosty morning at sunrise in Dartmoor, England.

I’m really just grateful it wasn’t rain we had, one of the blessings of living on the moor!

Dartmoor had a significant amount of snow, closing roads and causing a bit of chaos on the weekend. I imagine we’ll be seeing more fall over the next couple of months, so don’t store those sleds away yet!