End of an Era

This was not a decision made lightly but today I said goodbye to 7 of Thordale Stud’s Shetland ponies, basically our breeding stock.

Threapwood Velia
Muness Melinda
Thordale Gwendolinda
Thordale Carina
Millhouse Verona

And then Millhouse Independant and his best friend Hammy.

It was the right time for us.  My back is not getting better.  I am not going to pretend and there were countless other reasons.

Jo and I sat down and wrote down why we should sell the foundations of Thordale Stud and when we reached 20, we decided to go ahead.

For those of you who understand Shetland pony politics, then you will know why we made this decision.  There were really so many last straws that we kept forgiving and nothing changed.


They are going to a first class home south and the fact that Hammy is accompanying Indy as his best friend, speaks volumes to me.


I could’ve split up the Stud but they compliment each other very well as a breeding herd and that was what was asked for.


I will miss Indy’s smiling face but this is the best for his future.


Everyone loaded well and we packed their metaphorical spotted hankies with some protexin probiotic for travel and kissed them all goodbye.


They are in safe hands with Eric Gillie.  That lorry was like a hotel on wheels.  Beautiful.


So goodbye and be good my darling ponies.  As I said this decision was not taken lightly but we realised that when you stop hitting your head against a brick wall, it suddenly stops hurting.


Anyway, we still have The Minions, Lyra, Vitamin, Raw Deal, Anderwoo, Charles Buttons Esq and Fivla – they are family.  Zoot will stay with us until her new owner takes her.


End of an era.  The ponies were lovely, make no mistake,  it was just the rest of the crap.

20 thoughts on “End of an Era

  1. bigears

    Just so shocked to read this, utterly utterly shocked and stunned. I can understand it but the pain of parting with Indy

    They are not mine and I am so heart broken as I feel I know them all.

  2. Jen

    This is a heck of a decision to have to make. I’m glad they are going as a group to the right home. I’m so sorry to see Indy go. He is such a lovely little guy.
    Good thoughts with you, and I’m glad your head no longer hurts. 🙂

  3. Karen

    Oh my goodness…having met them all in the summer, I can’t imagine how hard this was. It has brought a lump to my throat….so sad.

  4. Ray Dunkley

    Frances + Jo I am hoping that are well as can be on these sad days, I do not know you personally only via facebook I cannot imagine what must be going on behind the scenes to make you do this . Politics and peoples distant comments have a lot to answer for on a lot of circumstances and this sounds like one of them. I know the back is bad and how that seems never ending Gina had to have op on hers after years of suffering I hope it has a chance to settle down and heal a bit
    All i can say is the love for the ponies showed to the end as you put their future first
    Take care XXX

  5. Dell Watkins

    Oh my. So sorry for politics and bad backs. Grateful to hear they are going together to a deserving home as I too have attached myself to your herd. Sending love and warm thoughts your way. You are so brave. Pony hugs, Dell

  6. Cate

    Oh my. Oh no. Words fail me. Just—so sorry you had to make this decision but it must have been the right decision for you, no matter how difficult it was. Like other readers, I’m so sad to see Indy go in particular–he’s such a star and you made us love him to bits, as you do, and I just hope we will still have occasional news of his doings. It’s got to be a huge consolation to know that they are all together—Hammy included! 🙂 — and they’re going to a good home.

    So very sorry, Frances. *hugs across the Pond*

  7. Tom

    What a post.
    Glad to know you have some minions to comfort you while you adjust. I am confident that your decision was well taken and duly considered. Hope the melancholy lifts soon.

  8. robin

    my heart breaks for you, and I know it was a difficult decision…thank you for sharing them with us! Indy and Hammy! i’m glad they’re off together…

  9. Trish

    Oh my…. well, I have a huge lump in my throat and I don’t even know you personally – only through your blog.
    I cannot imagine how hard this must have been for you but I am sure you’ve done the best thing for you and your lovely ponies. So sorry Frances. xxoo

  10. Michelle

    Like some of the others, I’m stunned and saddened, as the Shetlands are what brought me to this blog to start with, and I will especially miss Indy Ping-Pong. But how wonderful that you found a home for them all together to preserve their relationships and YOUR hard work in building this breeding herd! I don’t know pony politics, but have certainly experienced a gut load of them in Shetland sheep, so can understand that part a bit. I hope your back allows you to continue to enjoy your Icelandics, on the ground and under saddle.

  11. Terri

    This is very sad, but you and Jo did what you had to do.”In safe hands” — comforting words. It’s wonderful that your darlings went off together as a small herd, including Indy and Hammy.

    This has been a very difficult and challenging year for you, with several disappointments and losses, but also successes (The Minions!). LIfe changes, eras pass. Take care of yourself and know that others, some of us in far away lands, are holding good thoughts for your future. xos

  12. Linda K

    How very sad. I’m upset and haven’t even met them, although I feel as if I know them all, as others do. I’ll miss Indy’s smile and Hammy’s antics. I’m glad the girls will all be together, too. I’m sure you would not have parted with them to anything other than an excellent new home. Sending hugs.

  13. Linda Addison

    Like everyone else, I feel I know them all, and this is so sad. But clearly you’ve made the right decision –  20 is a lot of reasons and they’re going to the best possible home.

  14. Paddy

    So sorry to hear this, Frances – it must have been a heart-rending decision to have to make. We’ll all miss the wonderful stories about Indy, Hammy and the others, but nowhere near as much as you and Jo will miss their presence in your everyday lives. I’ll continue to hope that your back somehow gets better, and that you’ll be able to enjoy your Icelandics and the Minions and the rest of your lovely menagerie.

  15. roberta earley

    Love and hugs, it takes courage, but it does not make it any easier. At least they will be together.
    Again love and hugs

  16. Linda

    Aww darn. Who knew? I wondered when I saw Jo’s photos of the huge lorries I thought, now what is that about? I echo the others here – just love your herd and how you have shown them to us and shared them with us these several years. It’s a big part of my day actually, to keep up with the adventures at Thordale. I felt this same sad feeling when Charlot went to his new home and I still have him etched in my mind too! Little ginger pony with foot issues 🙂
    Well, much love coming your way as you all settle in to the new routine. Ponies are so awesome – Eric is a lucky guy and no doubt will give them a great home – and they are lucky too, having had you two for so long, and being able to stay as the little family that they are. Xoxoxoxoxo!

  17. Sam

    I will miss Indy Ping-Pong and Hammy over here in Connecticut, USA. Ending a business is never a decision made lightly or quickly. I am sorry to see the horses leave, their antics have made me laugh. I know you and Jo looked long and hard for the right farm to place all of them on and they will do fine there. Any chance of the new owners sending updates every now and then?

    Wishing you and Jo the best and hoping the pain of sending off this lot eases soon.

  18. sue Nicholson

    I’m so sorry for you all.. it will be devastating letting them go. Its so hard to say goodbye and ive cried for you. I’m sure you will hear so about them and their offspring with the super breeding they all carry… xx


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