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  • James

Exmoor

Updated: Dec 26, 2021

Tarian is a welsh cobb. The favoured breed of the Romans during their occupation, & with eastern blood, explaining their intelligence and good spirit. We became closest friends - born on a welsh hill side he had an edge which I connected with - when back from Patagonia & Mongolia we spent much of my days & nights exploring the forest. We discovered some fine spots in following our noses adventuring over the moors & climbing into the hidden combes - we sought out the wilder herds of ponies & the red deer (stag & hind) hiding out from the hunt. I gave him an unprecedented freedom, sometimes walking for hours free without any tack at all (sometimes I would just leave him to run free on the moor & return some hours later; he loved being with the ponies & the deer); other times bareback or just a sheepskin; and only when really riding was required did we saddle up appropriately. Happy chap. Funny to think Exmoor is only 693 square kilometres & the proper central wild moorland core a fraction of that. It is small & indeed is the smallest national park in England. I think we found most of her hidden gems. Sad we (Tarian & I) have moved. We had made rather a good home, not without effort & challenge. The ranchito. I will miss the sparrows around the ranchito with chalk water so close providing plenty of grub in the wind, on the wing - nomads of the sky. Sparrows never crash, a girl once said. My view is that much as I am champion of wool and anti synthetic; sheep should not be in the park; young jolly tenant farmers should be paid handsomely instead to share their knowledge of the land with visitors. george Monbiot's opinions should be taken seriously. I say introduce the wolf & watch the saplings & wild flowers return. But what do I know.


'Any wine will get you high.

Judge like a King, & chose the purest,

the ones unadulterated with fear,

or some urgency about what is needed.

Drink the wine that moves you as a camel moves when it's been untied,

and is just ambling about.'

Rumi