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Author: Subject: Highland Pony Historical Data - HPS Project
Highlander
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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 03:04 AM
Highland Pony Historical Data - HPS Project


From a recent post we know there are lost of snippets of info all over the place about the history of the Highland Pony Breed. I specifically mean stuf pre-HPS formation.

Unfortunately we only really have the Macdonald Book from the late 1920s ?? or is it early 1930's as a reference and most of us know that the content is at best unreliable. Mostly copied from elsewhere and at best filtered and copied badly. The details of the Gaick Stud for instance is not even accurate to the source of where he got his data.

I just wonder if it is worth trying to gather all this data in one place and if it is somethng that the HPS could adopt and seek funding for. There must be heritage / historical funding some where for such projects. Even AmBaillie the Highlands and Gaelic archive has very very few pieces on Highland Ponies.

I cannot believe that a breed like ours has so little specific reference material as it does and you need to be e real detective to glean some of the info that has come to light over the last few days. I myself cannot ven remember all the places I have read data from.

People modern to Highland Ponies should know their history and will maybe then be more understanding and will then maybe be less snobby and look down their noses less at what at one time was perfectly acceptable in the breed.

All over the world there are moves to be more sympathetic about ancient traditions and culture (Aboriginies, Native Americans etc) except in the Highland Pony world where we want to steam roller breed standards that have only been really emphasised in the last 50 years.

The least we can do if we cannot actually preserve how our breed was physically, because it upsets too many people nowadays, is tp preserve the historical facts so everyone can have access to them and understand where the modern Highland came from. That way they mey be a little bit more understanding.

And it is not from behind some romantic rock on some Hebridean Island like others may try and have you believe. I challenge you to try and find old pictures and paintings of old Highlands that make them look like the Nouveau Highlands of today. Any links posts pics appreciated.

The Old Days when a wee bit of white was not a crime.



Ewan Ormiston and Gaick Mountain Polly - Reserve Champion at the Highland Show 1911. Her mum Gaick Calliag had white on the inside of her rear hocks attributed in writing in 1905 by my great grandfather, Edward Ormiston, to her descent from the famous Piebald Highland Ponies of Corriehoillie the greatest ever Drover in Scotland. Gaick Calliag was sold at 16 after having had a foal every year to go down and breed cross Fell Colts (I believe) that were used to "Improve" the New Forest Breed by the then owner of the Island of Rhum, Lord Arthur Cecil !!!! (It gets very complicated British Pony History !! ) ;)
So what else was in the Rhum pony for instance ?

Sorry if I have not got this 100% accurate, reference material and stud records are at home and I am in Khazakstan.

[Edited on 24-7-2009 by Highlander]




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Veronica
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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 08:35 AM


Good idea and it may be possible to get some funding some where.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 10:00 AM


Good Idea Ruaridh.

We were discussing a similar subject at the Highland show. My pony has a more traditional highland pony temperament (ie unflappable, sensible and very willing and rideable rather than pretending to be a firebreathing Welsh Cob leaping about for the benefit of less well educated show judges). A breeder and Hipo judge was saying how important it was to preserve the highland pony temperament by breeding from ponies like my mare.

It is very important that we retain the innate nature of our highland ponies rather than ruin the breed and end up with something difficult to handle and only suitable for professionals.




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 10:12 AM


I said before - we need to gather all the information and even anecdotes in one place before it is lost forever. if the HPS are not interested, then there may be another way to do this?




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 10:20 AM


As you know I definately think it is worth it, as you say the literature available to read is so conflicting but to see the actual photos and bits of information gathered from the four corners is fascinating and much needed to be put together.
A history of Highlands running through your own family Ruar must be immense and you can gather a lot from your dad and stretch back so many years.
It must be difficult to know if any records or pictures exist prior to the 1900's but will for sure be a best seller.
I am 'merely a southerner' to some but if there is anything I can help with or aid research I'll do my best ;)




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 10:23 AM


There will be Julie, piece of cake to get all correlated final stuff into format, design and print, after initial set up costs it will pay back what is paid out nay bother! :chatchat:
Its just the gathering of all these pieces of important info that takes time...




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 10:36 AM


Ruaridh - if you have no joy with the HPS, do you want to put a submission to the HPEC committee as there could be some funding available.



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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 12:01 PM


It may be possible to get funding through Scottish National Heritage or a similar body.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 12:32 PM


Ruaridh i know we are looking along way back but do you know of any existing photographs of the famous piebald highlands? I have always wanted to see what they looked like im sure its a million miles away from the modern pony.:welovehipos:



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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 12:59 PM


This is a brilliant idea, looking forward to reading that you are successful




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 01:26 PM


I will not have time to do the project it is just a suggestion that is all, I would however help whoever was doing it though.
Cannot think of any piebald pics but I am sure they will be around as historic docs speak of Corriehoillies Piebalds but al the Duke of Atholl had a Piebald stallion.
We have a Piebald in an old trekking movie from early 50's, it looks like a Highland.
I keep meaning to ask my dad the history of it.




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 03:53 PM


I wondered if it was possible to put up a seperate hipo history website for everyone to post upon with the understanding that any info posted could possibly be put to print later with acknowledgement. Its the correlation as fleas says thats the problem!




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 04:04 PM


Would that not get too random though Julie, only a thought as it seems to be tit for tat when discussing :whistle: but we'd need some kind of way to organise it. I think Highlander we will have to use you as the main info provider though!
I'm sure I have seen some coloured highland pics somewhere...




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 05:57 PM


This might make a good topic for a post-grad project, especially if it were linked to social history. Do you have any links to UHI - it may be the sort of thing their history people would be interested in.
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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 07:36 PM


would have to have a strict control, random would be fine as long as some way to put it in a time line at some point, so would need references to do this. would be fun though fleas!




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[*] posted on 24-7-2009 at 11:13 PM


Sounds a great idea. Even within my 7 HiPos one can see the diversity of the breed. I have 2 with carthorse feet & feathers-Clydesdale coming out, 3 with dish noses-Spanish blood? Some look pony-like & some are cobby yet all are obviously HiPos.
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[*] posted on 25-7-2009 at 02:22 AM


Glad this post has been allowed to run on here because it is such an important subject. The Highland Pony Talk Forum moderators removed it as being too controversial and because they thought I was trying to gather content for my own book which could not be further from the truth..
Anyway even if I was it would be far better somebody was gathering the data than it being lost forever.




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[*] posted on 25-7-2009 at 08:15 AM


Highlander what a great idea! I wander and I am sorry with what I am about to say BUT why is it that people of today ie some breeders and some people in high up places with regards to making the "bible" to what your pony should look like, as I call it feel the need to change what was probley the most true heritage of our ponies just because they do not like the look of it? Also once lost they have gone forever.

Now I bet some great ponies have been over looked or even got rid of because they may have a white marking be it on the face or anywhere on the body can not be shown? BUT they may be the perfect stamp of a pony! or even hight and then have been hogged and shown under the hogged cob? do they not realise that if you mess too much and put restrictions on them that we will end up like the kennel club!

Surely if we look into the history they were like they were ponies/horses that today would not even get a sniff of a ring BUT that would if you go with conformation / breed type and manners would out do 80% or more of the ponies of today? also have we not lost there gens by all the selective breeding as people call it to take out the white markings etc? and now are lost?

I for one would love to see a coloured HP and if lets say did a bit of colouring in and then put it in front of a few judges with some other HP we would see if they could tell by conformation alone that there was not HP as the book stands now? my guess is they could not... and who's to say that it would not have the best conformation out of the lot??? BUT that is smoothing that we may never get to try.

I am sorry about that but I hate the predjudice for not "looking like the picture in the book" syndrome and that goes for not being grey or dun too! What is needed some times is for people to look backwards to help the breed go forwards and not run into problems with too few line to keep the breed fit and healthy for generations to come. Also once lost in the mist of time or put in a draw never to be opened or even distroyed we have lost our true history of how the HP became to what it is today and that would be a shame

Rant over sorry

[Edited on 25-7-2009 by Raven]




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[*] posted on 19-9-2016 at 08:13 PM


trying to find old pictures of highlands and information it brought up this old post. Did the ideas about collecting and archiving information get anywhere.

I have seen old photographs of herds of highlands with piebald ponies amongst them but cant fid them now. Will continue to search
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[*] posted on 19-9-2016 at 08:22 PM


Suggest contact Mr O via FB. I dont think so, but a lot of Highlander's post is even more true today if you follow a lot of debate in Highland Pony Group on FB, and particularly with so many first time Highland Pony owners terrified of buying a Highland that is less than perfect in the eyes of the showing fraternity whilst it may well be the right pony for them.
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[*] posted on 20-9-2016 at 10:04 AM


As Baily said, this is a real need now surely? I get almost daily comments which illustrate the many misconceptions about the breed. One of which is that mine must be very unusual because she goes everywhere, does everything asked of her to date and is a lovely riding pony as well as a pocket rocket when requested.
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[*] posted on 21-9-2016 at 02:04 PM


This does need following up. Is there any up to date news on the project?

How lovely to see this old post again Gwen! Well done for finding it!!!




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[*] posted on 21-9-2017 at 09:41 PM


Just perusing HiPos again looking for piebald ponies once again found this again. Has there been any advance on gathering all the pony data
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[*] posted on 21-9-2017 at 10:04 PM


looking at a bit of the Macdonald book that I could access some of the ponies mentioned are in Thymes pedigree, it is interesting to read about them and makes one keen to find out more. I suspect most of our ponies may be related.
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