The Fell Pony Museum
The Fell Pony Museum
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During the First World War

HRH Princess Alice wrote in her autobiography about the Fell ponies which she rode at the Lodge, Langholm, and at Bowhill and Drumlanrig (over the Border, in Scotland) during the period 1914-1918:

Andrew Smith, the head keeper, was our guide and master, a well respected figure in the neighbourhood and life-long friend of may guests who came to stay. There were three Fell ponies at Langholm called the "Black 'un", the Grey 'un" and the "Brune 'un", which were used to carry the hampers of dead game and sometimes to provide a lift for old or infirm guests, who found the walking too tiring. On non-shooting days Andrew Smith, who was a knowledgeable naturalist, used to lead us out riding these animals. Often such expeditions would last the day...

One day the "Black 'un", to receive his carrot, suddenly jumped the railing round his paddock with the ease of a roe deer. "How splendid," exclaimed Mary (her sister), "now we can take him hunting." And in the years following the War when the hunt was again in full swing, I would ride him regularly late in the season up in the hill country he knew so well. He loved it as much as I did, never tiring or refusing a jump or stumbling over the "sheep-drains" which abounded on that difficult ground. He instinctively recognised bogs, stopping to paw the ground and snort so as to let me know to give him his head and find his own way round. Often we would end up the day deep in the moors, twelve or more miles from home, with me quite lost, but I always knew that with a loose rein he would unerringly find the way back without a moment of hesitation. Out of season he lived at Bowhill - pulling the mowing machine or taking household washing to and from Selkirk - a truly remarkable animal that lived to a good old age of thirty or more.

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Last updated 23 May, 2021 .
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