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A Walk on the Wild Side

 

Winner of a runner up prize in the 2009 Lakeland Book of the Year Awards

About this book:

  • ISBN: 9781904524588 (paperback)

  • Published 2008

  • Price £12.50 + postage

  • 56 pages

  • Illustrated with 22 colour photographs

About this Book:

Cumbria is a landscape of mountains, lakes and rivers. Hidden away in this wild scenery are Fell ponies and native breeds of sheep. They are as special as the Dartmoor or New Forest ponies, but not as well known. This book hopes to redress the balance and tell the story of these almost wild herds of ponies in their natural landscape. It's a testament to the author and to the horses she understands so well.

About the Author:

Carole Morland has had a life-long interest in horses, having ridden since an early age. She was a successful trainer and driver of harness racing horses (being British Ladies Grasstrack Champion in the 1980s). Her interest in Fell ponies began 40 years ago when using them as trekking ponies on her father's caravan site in Sedbergh. This interest increased on her marriage to Bert who owned the semi-feral herd of Lunesdale ponies. Together they expanded the herd and bred and successfully showed the Lunesdale ponies at the highest level in the UK. She has judged Mountain and Moorland ponies in the UK, Ireland the Czech Republic and Australia.

Reviews:
'A Walk on the Wild Side' gives a fascinating insight into the lives and interactions of these semi-feral Fell ponies. A very interesting, and at times amusing read, Carole rightly highlights the importance of these ponies to the Cumbrian fells and to the future of the Fell breed itself. A book that will undoubtedly be enjoyed by all native pony enthusiasts. Ian Smith, breeder and judge, Bracklinn Fell Ponies

This book describes the lives of Fell ponies in their native habitat, in the kind of detail that can only be gained by Carole Morland and her husband Bert's lifetime of observing them on the fell at close quarters. As far as I am aware, Carole's book is the first that has looked at this vital aspect of the breed, and it is packed with interesting information. This exceptional book should be required reading for all judges of the native breeds, as without knowledge and some understanding of the ponies in their native habitats, they cannot, in my view be adequately equipped to assess them in the show ring. Valerie Russell, Native Pony Magazine, October/November 2008

Cumbria's Fell ponies are as special as the Dartmoor or New Forest ponies, but not as well known. 'A Walk on the Wild Side' hopes to redress the balance and tell the story of these almost wild herds of ponies in their natural landscape.
Carole Morland has had a life-long interest in horses. She was a successful trainer and driver of harness racing horses (being British Ladies Grasstrack Champion in the 1980s). Her interest in Fell poinies began 40 years ago when using them as trekking ponies on her father's caravan site in Sedbergh. On her marriage to Bert, who owned the semi-feral herd of Lunesdale ponies, they expanded the herd and bred and successfully showed at the highest level in the UK. She has judged Mountain and Moorland ponies in the UK, Ireland, Czech Republic and Australia.
"On being invited to review 'A Walk on the Wild Side', I've been given the opportunity to enjoy a good read. I found this book on Fell ponies very informative and Carole Morland's enormous enthusiasm for the breed shines forth from every page. Beautiful photography is also included and gives a taste of envy of those who enjoy the fantastic Cumbrian fells on a daily basis. The author's understanding and knowledge of these semi-feral ponies' natural behaviour will hopefully inspire future generations to carry on these herds which are so vital to our national breeding stock."
writes Mary G Longsdon MBE. Fell Pony Society Newsletter, Autumn 2008

New book captures beauty and thrill of Fell ponies
To open a new book by Carole Morland is to get a vivid glimpse of Cumbrian life on high, to sense the chill mountain air and, most of all, to appreciate the beauty and excitement of a herd of Fell ponies galloping down a fellside in unison.
The 56-page book - strong in colour pictures - is aptly titled 'A Walk on the Wild Side' and is obviously written by a woman with a lifelong love of horses, plus a knowledge of their ways derived from working among them for years.
Carole Morland was originally a successful trainer and driver of harness horses, being the British ladies' grasstrack champion in the 1980s.
Her interest in Fell ponies began 40 years ago, when she used them as trekking ponies on her father's caravan site at Sedbergh, and was extended on her marriage to Bert Morland, owner of the semi-feral herd of Lunesdale ponies, which graze on Roundthwaite Common, Tebay.
Her love and admiration of the breed is obvious from colourful passages like this: "To be able to go up the fell on a peaceful summer's evening and watch the foals playing, the mares grazing or grooming each other, in such spectacular scenery, is an almost indescribable pleasure and privilege.
"Taking hay up on a winter's day with snow on the ground and a wind that freezes your face and takes your breath away, is not quite so pleasant, but nevertheless is a task that has to be done."
Carole describes many aspects of Fell pony life which will surprise outsiders.
For example, there is a 'hierarchy' which governs the running of a herd, each animal having a set place behind a leader - normally, but not always, the stallion.
Social rank can be seen on high mountains of Cumbria among wild ponies, and Mrs Morland also writes fascinatingly of herd rituals, some of them relating to courtship and mating.
Not all members of a herd graze at the same time, with one or more on 'sentry duty' to alert the others of any approaching danger.
The 'language' of the ponies is wide-ranging, including whinnies, snorts, squeals, bellows, groans and murmurs, as well as a variety of body signals.
Many Cumbrians are aware of the charismatic ponies from seeing them in roadside fields and, in particular, from admiring champions on display at the county's agricultural shows.
The new book will enhance the reputation of 'Fells' - spectacular, even breathtaking, as they roam the high hills, remote from most of us, with a lifestyle observed only by Bert and Carole Morland and their like. Her book gives an insight to fascinate.
John Hurst, Cumberland & Westmorland Herald, September 2008.

 

Carole Morland brings forty years' experience to the study of the semi-feral fell ponies fo the Cumbrian fells. Yet, despite having ridden, bred and judged ponies for so long, she writes not as a farmer on her stock but more as a naturalist observing animals in the wild. Interestingly, she refers to herself as the 'guardian' rather than 'owner' of these beguiling creatures which straddle the line between being domesticated and truly wild. In much the same way, the book covers breeding and showing of biddable ponies but also gives an intriguing insight into the habits, hierarchy and signals of their half-wild cousins out on the hill. A fascinating book for anyone who loves horses or the fells they roam. Cumbria magazine, January 2009.

Insight into Fell ponies
Born out of a lifelong passion for horses and riding, Carole Morland's insight into the behaviour traits and characteristics of native Cumbrian fell ponies is truly a labour of love.
In 'A Walk on the Wild Side', Morland takes the reader on a journey to the heart of the Cumbrian countryside, where among the mountains, lakes and rivers can be found herds of wild ponies - just as special as the Dartmoor and New Forest breeds but far less well-known.
Having observed the breed over a number of years, Morland gives a detailed yet clear account of he behaviour traits and physical characteristics of the ponies, as well as delving into communication and hierarchies within the herd as a whole and the way the ponies react to the various situations and challenges they encounter...
Morland focuses on a number of key areas and draws on her own experiences as a breeder of semi-feral Lunesdale ponies in order to achieve her ambitions.
She goes on to describe and interpret vocal signals such as whinnies, snorts, squeals, bellows, groans and murmurs, as well as exploring the various movements and stances that express the emotive state of fell ponies.
Morland's accessible writing style and passion for her subject - not to mention the beautiful photographs that accompany her research will interest equestrian enthusiasts and lovers of the fells.
Westmorland Gazette, November 2008

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By the same author:

A Dalesman's War


 

 

 

 

 

 

   
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