Kylemore Abbey has reopened its gates and our Connemara ponies are delighted to have returned to the Pony Paddock. As the weather has improved the ponies have lost their hairy winter coats and now have lovely smooth coats which gleam under the sunshine.
This Spring four new foals were born on the Estate. Three colts and one filly. All mares have been scanned back in foal and we look forward to hopefully welcoming five new foals next year. Visitors to Kylemore will be able to meet Fern and her filly foal “Peaceful Lady”, Cindy and her colt foal “Peaceful Pilgrim” and Shadow our lovely two year old filly. Hannah and her foal “Peaceful Spartan” remain at the Farmhouse for the Summer under the watchful eye of the nuns.
Snowy and her foal (named by President Higgins) “Peaceful Aimhirgin” have taken up residence at Áras an Uachtarain for four months as part of Aras an Uachtarain’s Biodiversity Management Plan. This will be an annual partnership between Kylemore Abbey and the Áras. We were delighted recently to hear that Aimhirgin and President Higgin’s dog Misneach have become firm friends.
Visitors to Kylemore Abbey will be able to learn about the Connemara pony from our new interpretive signage along the Pony Paddock. Every day at 3.30pm visitors are welcome to come along to see the ponies in the Paddock being fed and chat to the pony handlers. The ponies love to meet people and pose for photos. On Sunday’s Sr. Karol will be there to show off her beloved ponies. The mares and foals will remain in the Paddock in front of the Garden Tea House until the end of September.
At almost ten weeks old now the foals are starting to shed their baby coats. Their new coat colour can be seen coming through making them look almost patchy. The foals still suckle their mothers (as frequently as once an hour), as well as eating grass. They are also starting to eat a small bit of supplementary feed known as foal pellets. These foals are handled daily to allow them to get used to humans. As the foals become more independent, they enjoy playing together away from their mothers and exploring their environment. Young foals spend approximately half of all daylight hours asleep, usually lying on their sides while they sleep. A healthy foal will grow rapidly, gaining in height, weight and strength almost before your very eyes. From birth to age two, a young pony can achieve 90 percent or more of its full adult size.
If you are planning to visit Kylemore Abbey make sure to call by the Pony Paddock to meet our lovely ponies and learn more about this fascinating breed.