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I have 2 quarter horses, a donkey, and my greatest joy is owning 6 rare Fell Ponies.
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a bit out of practice showing off a pony or 2 at small events like this, but wanted to get input on what people like to see when meeting a new, rare, or iconic breed.

I have my own rare Fell ponies, but I also work for Big V Feeds in McAlester, OK. We are discussing taking the owners Clydesdales (that I help care for) to some feed stores as ambassadors for the breed and the feed.

I am hoping to hit multiple likes and wants while out with them.

We have some facts and such as talking points for the breed. I'm still looking for a few more such as their initial involvement with working the fields, etc.

We will let people get pictures and pet them.

I'm just not sure where to go from there.
 

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I think first and foremost, be open and friendly. You'd be surprised how far that goes! Not sure how outgoing you are, but people may be a bit hesitant to start talking, so you need to engage them to get the conversation started.

Fells are super cool. I would want to know what I can do with them? I'm a dressage rider, maybe a bit of a jumper (in my daydreams LOL) would this breed suit me? I mean, to me, they look like a mini Friesian, but does that mean they do the same things as Friesians? Driving, sidesaddle? What about grooming, how involved is that?

Be sure to have business cards or other forms of advertising that is easy to carry!

I hope you have a successful meet and greet!
 

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Another place to showcase your unusual breed is at county fairs. My own county fair had a corral and shelter at the entrance to the animal barns that was reserved for this purpose. Wasn't necessarily horses. One year it was ostriches! Even when someone wasn't sitting there to answer questions there were cards and brochures to take home. A large sign that hangs on the fence is useful too.
 

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I'm still looking for a few more such as their initial involvement with working the fields, etc.
You could talk about how both breeds are linked through Britain's original, native ponies. Their origin locations are about 150 miles apart and, while early travel and trading were difficult due to the terrain, wars and land disputes, increasingly conditions improved and more horses were moved back and forth and crossed with local and imported animals. Overtime, the breeds were organised, took on a type and were aimed at specific work, taking them down different paths.

Clydesdales started with the Scottish Agricultural Revolution. In 1707 the Union of Parliaments between Scotland and England, increased contact between the countries and changed how we farmed in the Lowlands. Improving the height, weight and strength of our work horses were part of the improvements, alongside changes to tools, ploughs, field systems and crops. These changes were driven by landlords and the gentry; the Duke of Hamilton and Paterson of Lochlyloch imported the first Flemish stallions to cross with our native mares.

The first Clydesdales were described as light with some feather around the fetlocks and an average height, 14-16hh. They were like large cobs rather than what we know today. It wasn't until the later part of the 19thc that they were bred heavier with more feathers. They continued doing the same work as our natives though, working on farms, in industry, and as driving and riding horses.

Today we use them for showing, logging, some still plough, many are ridden at low level in various disciplines and others are employed as our police horses.

Old prints, photos and videos show the changes and the wider range of colours rather than the uniform bay that seems to be taking over ( pet peeve of mine).

You may know some of the following, if not, they're worth a look for the old type and uses; hopefully the video will play in your area:




 

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Can you make some sort of sign to draw people in? If not, I'd recommend having a few talking points to discuss with people right off the bat since they might not have questions in mind. I agree that being open and friendly is SO important!

Last year I went to the Sacramento Horse Expo, and I was so excited to learn about all the different horse breeds being brough there (it was specifically advertised as a stables to see and learn about horses), but I found when I got there it was basically a ghost town. Some horses were there, but there were no signs or anything to tell me if they were there for the show or being privately boarded for a later event, so we didn't go near them. Only two groups had a table with signs and information, the BLM to discuss wild mustangs and burros, and the Peruvian Pasos. These people were very outgoing, and when they saw us wandering by they weren't shy to ask if I knew anything about their types of horses and if I was interested in learning about them. It was great! I didn't feel awkward asking questions because they made it very clear how happy they were to represent their breeds, and didn't make it seem like I was intruding on their space.
 

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Great to be able to stroke them and have photos with them. I always love hearing the history of a new breed and what鈥檚 unique about it. If there are any funny details or quirks about the individual horses that always makes for a memorable tale. I鈥檓 also a sucker for horse and human matching outfits or color schemes or a funny sign etc. These days its all about the social media photo.
 

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My first thoughts are
  1. Cool! What a neat idea!
  2. Does he have liability coverage for the horse(s)?
 
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I have 2 quarter horses, a donkey, and my greatest joy is owning 6 rare Fell Ponies.
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I think first and foremost, be open and friendly. You'd be surprised how far that goes! Not sure how outgoing you are, but people may be a bit hesitant to start talking, so you need to engage them to get the conversation started.

Fells are super cool. I would want to know what I can do with them? I'm a dressage rider, maybe a bit of a jumper (in my daydreams LOL) would this breed suit me? I mean, to me, they look like a mini Friesian, but does that mean they do the same things as Friesians? Driving, sidesaddle? What about grooming, how involved is that?

Be sure to have business cards or other forms of advertising that is easy to carry!

I hope you have a successful meet and greet!
Thank you!
And yes, Fells are a very versatile breed. My filly from this last year (Stonedragon Amadia) has half siblings competing in competitive driving and jumping, and my 2 year old (Hardenberg Freya), once under saddle and old enough, I have my eye on a beautiful dressage stallion as her first baby daddy. Grooming is actually fairly minimal. I don't have to do much unless I want to go the extra mile with braiding for showing, etc. The Fell Pony Society in fact prefers that they stay as natural as possible.
 

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I have 2 quarter horses, a donkey, and my greatest joy is owning 6 rare Fell Ponies.
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8 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
My first thoughts are
  1. Cool! What a neat idea!
  2. Does he have liability coverage for the horse(s)?
To answer #2, he is wealthy enough, I would think so. I may need to confirm though.
 
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