As the sun rose over Pollacapall Lough on Easter Sunday morning a small whicker could be heard on the Kylemore Abbey Estate as Fern, one of our Connemara broodmares welcomed her foal into the World. A beautiful strong colt foal, he has fittingly been named “Peaceful Paschal”, symbolising rebirth and renewal. This is the first-ever Connemara foal born at Kylemore Abbey.
Two days later a second foal arrived. This time a gorgeous filly. While the two foals are enjoying getting to know their new scenic surroundings, we are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our third foal.
The gestation period for a foal is on average eleven months. Within a few minutes of being born a foal will stand up and greedily look to suckle its mother. For the first six months of its life, the foal will continue to suckle its mother.
Connemara ponies originated in the Hills of Connemara and are renowned for their sturdiness, surefootedness and agility, traits which have been passed from generation to generation. Traditionally they were used to work on the land, draw seaweed from the shore and bring the family to Sunday mass, often while rearing a foal. Nowadays, these ponies are highly sought after all over the World as top performance ponies while their kind temperaments make them the perfect child’s pony.
As Spring leads into Summer and the Victorian Walled Garden is in full bloom, all of us here at Kylemore Abbey are excited to see our foals blossom and grow, while developing their own unique personalities.
The herd of Connemara ponies arrived at Kylemore Abbey last year and since then have attracted a huge number of admirers. Visitors delight in seeing these friendly ponies pop their heads over the fence as they enjoy lunch outside the Garden Tea House.
The ponies at Kylemore Abbey live outdoors in their natural surroundings all year round. These lucky ponies get to enjoy spectacular views of the Connemara landscape while grazing sheltered fields on the Estate.
We look forward to welcoming you to Kylemore Abbey to meet our beautiful Connemara ponies when we re-open. In the meantime, keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram pages for regular updates on our ponies.
by Niamh Philbin.