After the coos, we moved on to the big stable block at the back where all the Highlands and Shetlands are housed during the show. Unfortunately the Welshies and other pony breeds seem to be kept away from public view which is a real shame.
On the way there we spotted a few decidedly un-ponylike creatures as some of the Clydesdales were readied for the harness turnout classes later on.
Just next to the pony stables, one was tied up and getting what looked like a pretty thorough bathing session. He kept lipping at the metal fencing which was really cute.
After that brief interlude, we continued on to the ponies...
Miniature Shetlands seemed to be the in thing this year...
...but we ignored them when we spotted this little foal!
Talk about cute!
We got our first inkling that Tomás has magical horse scratching powers when he managed to find the foal's favourite itchy spot within moments. XD
A subtle reminder to equine artists - mapping isn't always really dramatic, and is usually just expressed by the white hairs overlapping the coloured parts.
One thing I really love about the pony stables is that the owners often decorate the stables to a frankly ridiculous degree, with lots of photographs, information and in this one's case, bunting and actual hanging baskets full of matching flowers!
There were a few more foals but not many were as confident as that first one and this little guy hid behind his mum the whole time we were there.
This is what happens when your Shetland goes mouldy!
(joke, it's a somatic mutation of some kind I think XD)
If you painted this on a model without a reference I wouldn't believe it was real! XD
We'd nearly sent this pony to sleep by stroking its criminally soft nose - the bottom lip was going droopy, the eyes were closed, the head was getting lower...
...and then Tomás scratched behind its ear and this happened. XD
It was ridiculous!
Every time I tried it, nothing happened, though apparently ponies liked to pee on cue when Rory and I walked by which...isn't quite as good. I did manage to get a reaction out of one once!
We tore ourselves away from that one to look at some more Shetlands - I thought the minimal markings on this tobiano were quite interesting.
What a gorgeous chestnut!
Another unusual roany bit.
I think this one had had enough. XD
I think the quote that best sums this one up is 'oh no, I don't think we can leave'
They were all so cuddly and soft and just, gahhhh, I want one.
It's difficult to see here because of the mane, but there was some nice shoulder striping.
Dun going grey.
We saw a ghost pony!
(In other words, where hoof oil was clearly applied, lol)
Cobwebbing on an unusually shaded dun.
I don't know why, but the composition of this reminds me of a renaissance painting. XD
Some nice dorsal barring and shoulder striping.
The softest of snoots
Some more cobwebbing!
Another foal, though this one was friendly enough for some fuss.
A lesson in perspective. XD
Colour-wise, I think this one was my favourite.
It was my favourite type of Highland too, a big, broad headed beefy one, all muscle and bone.
With great reluctance we left the stables. My feet were killing me and Magda insisted she'd starve if she didn't get some food right away, so off we went, in search of churros, though we ended up settling for doughnuts and my god, they were good!
Heavy Horse Turnout is next!