It's that time of year again!
Prepare for ponies!
I took more photos this time around (1809!) than I think I ever have, something which confuses me as I could have sworn I took less than usual when I was walking round the showground!
I went on the Thursday this year and unusually, I didn't attend alone, instead I was joined by the lovely Magda (or Mangalarga as she is known on the forums) She lives in Edinburgh and had never been to the show before so we arranged to meet up there. Because she was so close to the show she'd be getting there early, so I bit the bullet and forced myself to get up at oh god,noooo o'clock and after hopping on a taxi, then a train and finally a bus, I bought my ticket at just after 9am.
Once we'd located each other (it turned out we were standing practically next to each other looking at the same class but having never met before hadn't a clue, haha) we wandered around for the next god knows how many hours, talking horse and oohing and aahhing over all the pretty ponies we passed by, all whilst lamenting the lack of a proper summer's weather. (seriously, the wind felt like it could cut you in two!)
I can't remember which horses were in which class as we moved around so much and the classes always run over the time listed on the programme but I've estimated which is which based on the order they were taken - any mistakes will be corrected afterwards! I'm going to squish all the ponies into this post even though they were all seen a couple of hours apart.
Anyway, one of the first things to catch our eye was this motley collection of ponies waiting on their next class. I was particularly drawn to that very striking Shetland at the front, though I couldn't get any better photos.
I'm not quite sure what the bay at the back is, it looks more like a welshie than a Highland but there weren't any Welsh classes on on Thursday so who knows!
The Shetland classes aren't usually all that interesting to me as there isn't as much variety as there is in the other breeds - especially as nearly all the ponies were black with no markings. Black Shetlands do look lovely, but after a while it's a bit boring so I was delighted to see a couple of rebels rocking a more vibrant colour scheme.
Soon the Highlands made an appearance. The Shetlands were in one ring, the Highlands next door and the Clydesdales next to them, though I'll post about them in another post.
This extremely dark grey mare was absolutely stunning but alas, she was too far away to get any decent shots.
The variety of colours is one of my favourite things about Highlands - that and their wonderfully practical chunkiness!
This mare in particular caught our eye - with that gingery muzzle she's likely to be a dun on seal bay/brown!
This was one of my favourites - she looks so ethereal!
Dun-going-grey is one of my favourite colours and not to be biased but it's something that looks especially good on Highlands. I love how some grey out in an almost 'scratchy' way,
...while others just seem to get paler every year.
I don't think I've ever seen so many beautiful greys at the show before but this year was exceptional.
I really wish there was a way to halt the greying process once it reaches this stage as it's so striking!
Forgive me for skipping ahead a few hours, but right before Magda was going to leave, I suggested we have a look for the stable area where the Clydesdales and Highlands were housed. I'd heard a few years back that it was closed to visitors after someone had been kicked but I had a feeling I was mistaken and to my delight, I was! I'll post the Clydes in another post but heeeeereeee's ponies!
The Shetlands were pretty much all identical and I wondered what on earth would happen if by some accident they all got loose!
We did manage to find a few in more interesting colours though...
Blue dun/grullo and dun tobiano!
Tobiano? That roany bit is interesting and I think this one was in the in hand class we saw in the morning.
...and a miniature Shetland mare and TINY foal! They had a little pen built inside their stable, I think to stop people from hassling the foal who really was so small it can't have been more than a couple of weeks old.
Most of them were more interested in sleeping, eating or ignoring us to come over for a fuss so we moved on to the vastly more approachable Highlands. (well, I say approachable - one let rip the single most epic fart I've ever heard in my life as soon as we walked over to it. XD)
Some had snuggy hoods on to keep their manes tidy and while some looked reasonably presentable...
...others weren't quite so lucky.
I wish I'd spent more time taking closeups of the greys for their hair detail but by this point my feet were so painful from hours of walking that I could barely stay still for more than a few minutes at a time before they felt like they were being burned off the bottom of my legs. Still, I got a few good shots, including this lovely dun-going-grey with some seriously striking eartips!
THESE DAPPLES THOUGH.O_O
There were a few foals here and there...
...but by far my favourite was this little one, whose foal coat was shedding to reveal an impressively swiftly greying coat. The thing that I found so endearing however was that as well as the usual shed around the eyes and face, the back of the ears were bare of fluff and it looked hilarious!
Just like the last time I visited the stables, I managed to catch one pony mid-yawn.
...and on that note, this concludes Part 1!
Stay tuned for Part 2 - Clydesdales!