Allison's Book Bag

Snapshot Meme: Newfoundland Pony

Posted on: August 2, 2013

Saturday Snapshot invites bloggers to share photos. This week, I’m once again posting more photos from my home province of Newfoundland. (By the way, the proper pronunciation of the province is “newfinLAND”, not “newFOUNDland”.)

One of my summer review selections, Newfoundland Pony by Dennis Flynn, introduced me to our province’s heritage animal. The Newfoundland Pony is apparently North America’s lone member of the Mountain and Moorland family of breeds. According to the Newfoundland Pony Society, it’s considered an “all-purpose” pony. In the past, the Newfoundland Pony was used to plough gardens, gather hay, haul fishing nets, kelp and wood, and provide families with transportation. These functions have been replaced by modern technology and today the Newfoundland Pony is used for riding, driving, and light draft work. The Newfoundland Pony is also considered endangered, with less than 300 left in the world, and half of those not in the province.



Upon recommendation of Newfoundland author Marion Brake, whose books I have reviewed elsewhere on this blog, my husband and I visited the Change Islands Newfoundland Pony Refuge. The refuge was established was to carry out a breeding program with the goal of raising the numbers of the critically endangered Newfoundland Pony and its director is Netta LeDrew. Of the ponies on Change Islands, some are owned by the Refuge, some are owned by others but are boarded at the Refuge for breeding purposes, and some have come to the Refuge after being abandoned elsewhere in Newfoundland. The town of Change Islands has leased their pasture land to the Refuge to help out with this breeding effort.



Incidentally, if you think that the issue doesn’t effect you, think again. When on the Change Islands Ferry, I met an American couple who are heavily involved in horse rescue. According to them, horses throughout North American are falling on hard times, because modern technology is replacing the need of them for work by families. The average individual can’t afford to simply own a horse for a pet and so horse rescues are springing up everywhere to help find horses needed homes. It’s a heartbreaking situation that I had no idea existed until visiting my own province’s refuge.



20 Responses to "Snapshot Meme: Newfoundland Pony"

The pony refuge on Change Islands exists because of volunteers who offer themselves for the cause. It is very expensive to maintain the ponies and to upkeep the grounds, fences etc. Donations are essential and most welcomed. Netta Ledrew works extremly hard to try and keep the refuge going and the ponies healthy. No doubt the many challenges she faces, especially financial, can be daunting but she carries on doing what she can.
Travelling to Change Islands is a short and scenic ride.
Thank you Allison for visiting and blogging about the Change Island Refuge. It is so important, and not just to our province, to try and protect this wonderful little pony.

Marion, thanks again for the visit and copies of your terrific books. My husband and I enjoyed meeting you.

I also appreciate your introducing me to the Change Islands Refuge. Hopefully, some who hear about it can afford to visit and to donate. Change Islands is an incredible spot for trails. As for the ponies, they need all of our support, in any way we can help. Myself, I plan to keep writing about them.

Horses are such beautiful creatures. It is so sad, and heart wrenching to see and read about these issues. I just hope more people open their hearts to help care for and keep our wild horses still wild.

Years ago, my husband and I visited the Black Hills and saw the Mustangs. Those horses are truly wild and I hope they remain free. The Newfoundland Ponies were actually workhorses for families instead of roaming creatures, but I do wish for their survival and well-being too.

Nice pics, and thanks for sharing an issue that many of us don’t know about.

Interesting post, I’d never heard of newfoundland ponies before. It’s great that there are rescue organisations to help out.

Ironically, there are apparently more Newfoundland ponies in the rest of Canada than in our own province. As for our rescue organizations, I’m glad we have them, but worry about much they’re struggling to survive.

Great photos, and thank you so much for the information, I had no idea.

I’m glad to have the opportunity to boast about our Newfoundland Ponies, but also to get the word out about the plight of all horses in general.

Gorgeous! I love horses but haven’t been around them much since I was very little.

I grew up wanting a horse and Marquerite Henry was a favorite author of horse books. Now I’m content to promote their welfare. 🙂

Beautiful ponies, and very worrying that there are only 300 left.

Sadly, there used to thousands. Just as worrying is the fact that a quick search on Google lists dozens of horse rescue organizations.

A lovely post! Enjoyed the pics.

Your photos of the ponies are lovely, and I thought the information about them was fascinating. Are they related to any of the ponies we have here in the UK? Or are they native to North America? My Snapshot is at

The breed apparently originates from the British Isles. Here’s a link with more information: Breed Origin My understanding is that after being brought to the island, the British Isles’ ponies evolved into a unique breed while adapting to its new conditions in Newfoundland.

Nice collection of photos! I found your commentary on them interesting and informative.

Thanks! One day I hope to write an article about the Newfoundland Pony, especially now that I know the issue goes beyond just our island.

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