Donkeys & Pony
Miniature Shetland Pony
Our small dark pony is Kiera, a Miniature Shetland Pony. A pony is basically a small breed of horse, but very strong in relation to its size. Shetland ponies are incredibly hardy, being native to the cold harsh environment of Scotland’s Shetland Isles.
Shetland ponies need to be handled well to bring out their gentle and good-tempered side, otherwise they can easily become irritable and uncooperative. They’re known for their cheeky characters and our Kiera definitely lives up to this!
Because of their strength and hardiness. Shetland Ponies have been used as working and pack animals and in the past they worked in coal mines as ‘pit ponies’. Our pony doesn’t have to carry goods on her back but she does occasionally offer visiting children pony rides! Kiera also travels to schools to meet students as part of our Mobile Farm project.
There are two donkeys at the Farm, called Snowy and Fidget. They are ‘jennies’ or female donkeys. Snowy is slightly shorter and is the mother of Fidget!
Donkeys are related to horses, but are smaller and stronger for their size. They have a distinctive black cross over their backs, and have large ears – watch their ears move around as they listen in different directions. Originally in the wild, donkeys lived spread out over large semi-desert areas, so their large ears and loud bray helped them to hear and be heard!
Donkeys eat straw and grass, but can put on weight easily, causing health problems. That’s why we ask visitors not to feed our donkeys, and similarly, the pony.
Donkeys have a reputation for being stubborn, but this is because they are intelligent animals who like to look out for themselves and won’t be blindly led! Shetland ponies need to be handled well to bring out their gentle and good-tempered side, otherwise they can easily become irritable and uncooperative.
We work with the Donkey Sanctuary and look after Snowy and Fidget as part of their guardianship scheme.