The Moorland Mousie Trust is a small, local charity founded in 2000 with the aim of preventing foals from being removed from the moor and sent to the meat market. Since those early days, the work of the trust has moved on to encompass all aspects of Exmoor pony welfare.
The Trust’s primary aim is to promote and protect the endangered rare-breed Exmoor pony. Their main work focuses on providing a future for the excess foals that are removed from the moor each year during the annual pony herd gathering.
The Exmoor Pony Centre, located in the heart of the Exmoor National Park and owned by the Moorland Mousie Trust, was opened to the public in 2006. The Centre, run by a small team of dedicated staff and volunteers, is the hub of all their activity with the Exmoor Ponies. It provides a permanent and specialised base for the foals when they arrive straight off the moor and is home to some 20 permanent residents.
Staff and volunteers work with each foal, using natural horsemanship techniques, to familiarise the youngsters with human handling, wearing a headcollar and being led. All foals in the Trust’s care are wormed and the colt foals are castrated. After completing 'foal school' the youngsters are available for rehoming with either a foster home or on a conservation grazing scheme.
To date, the charity has helped secure the future of over 500 Exmoor ponies!