Spare Ribs

This morning we drove to New Milton to collect my new specs from Boots and dry cleaning from Whites, then, on a hot and sunny day, continued into the forest

Some way outside Burley we stopped for me to photograph a trio of ponies, including a clinging suckling foal, cropping the roadside verge. I have noticed how the new mare mothers all seem to have bony ribs.

On the approach to Wootton Bridge, Jackie parked beside one of the many hawthorn trees that inhabit the woodlands, and I crossed the road to visit another foal and its family. The dam was another who displayed the spare ribs effect.

These recent mothers all seem to spend time taking in their own nourishment whilst supplying their persistent offspring, Maybe that is why this one led her infant across the road for apparently richer pickings.

I wandered down past bright buttercups, daisies, and young ferns, and crossed to the stream becoming drier by the day. Blown seeds rolled among the shadows; a child kicked an inflated ball while her carers sunbathed.

This evening we enjoyed a second sitting of the excellent Hordle Chinese Take Away, with which Jackie drank Hoegaarden and I drank more of the Cotes de Gascogne.


  1. Cotes de Gasgoyne… a homage to one of our greatest midfielders, anticipating the next generation perhaps… is this from a Newcastle vineyard?

  2. Equine mothers, like most, give all for their young, thus the ribs. The little girl is putting forth a powerful kick, what a cute shot. Oh, and we agree with koolkosherkitchen’s take on the B&W of the shadows.

  3. Beautiful photos, Derrick. I particularly like the striking black and white foal with shadow, the peaceful stream with reflections, and the exuberance of the child kicking ball.
    Human mothers burn a lot of calories nursing infants, and I assume it’s the same for other mammals. Hopefully these equine mothers are getting enough nourishment.

    We had Chinese food last night, too, and will have the leftovers tonight. ?

    1. Fancy watching ponies teaching me about human mothers. As you probably know, Jackie always buys enough Chinese for two days πŸ™‚ Thanks very much, Merril

  4. This reminds me of how easy it was to keep my weight down while nursing. The scenery and ponies are very beautiful. I was drawn to the photo of the light colored foal whose front hoof almost touched its shadow while crossing the road. Then I said a prayer for the ponies to be safe in their crossings.

  5. Wonderful photos of beautiful animals – but yes, those mothers are very skinny. Let’s hope the weather allows the grass to continue to provide good nourishment through the summer, when the foals may ease off their dependency. The little girl makes for such a happy shot – looks as though a lovely time is being had by her, and presumably her sunbathing parents; the joys of summer and time πŸ™‚

    1. Thank you very much, Emma. For some reason I have noticed the ribs more this year. Unfortunately the little girl had some difficulty engaging the sunbathers.

  6. Good morning Derrick, good to see you were enjoying a hot sunny day … here, today it will be completely the opposite, cold, wet, and windy …

  7. Boots, Whites and a forest drive! What a productive, beautiful day!
    Love the foals and their Mums! Hope the Mums get enough to eat so they can feed those ravenously hungry babes!
    Your B&W photos are so amazing, as always!
    That last photo says, “Come on everyone! Let’s play in the sunshine!” πŸ™‚
    (((HUGS))) πŸ™‚

  8. It will be interesting to see how quickly the mares ‘lose their ribs’ once their foals are able to eat independently. While I always enjoy your photographs, this time the little girl gets the cake.

  9. That little girl has a very unique kicking style, and left-footed at that! I like the posture of her right hand; it must help in the acceleration of that foot. Maybe she’ll be on your national soccer team one day.

  10. While I suspect the diet of free-roaming ponies is a balanced one, they probably do not eat as much as the horses that do not roam free. We would also supplement the feed of new mothers.

  11. I was going to ask about those ribs showing on the mares. I’ll have to send a supply of apples and carrots over to you, eh?

  12. I suppose it is hard, when you eat grass and greenery, to keep with nutritional demands for two. Makes me wish those mothers could get some supplemental food.

  13. I took the time to do a little reading about where you live. I was fascinated by all the seemingly wild horses! How interesting! I learned that the horses are actually owned by people? Is that correct? The whole place is like a protected area where they can roam. Fascinating to me. The photos are gorgeous!

  14. Those new mothers are converting a lot of their own energy to milk for the youngsters. The photos from your day are beautiful, Derrick and Jackie! The black and white shots provide are nice, too. They give a different feel to the scene. Summer looks like it is off to a good start there!

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