Moss-side Highland Ponies is a small stud based at Moss-side Farm, Methven, just 6 miles west of Perth. Jean and Willie Ralston have been successfully breeding good quality, traditional Highland Ponies for almost 35 years. Our ponies enjoy an excellent show record both in hand and under saddle.
My early introduction to the Highland Pony was when a neighbour rode a magnificent, dapple grey gelding through the farmyard when I was a child.
It was more than twenty years later though, before the first Highland Pony came to Moss-side in 1980 followed by another a few years later.
They were riding ponies and the whole family had great fun with them. We showed them a bit and had good success but unfortunately they did not breed any foals.
The first Moss-side Highland Ponies
In 1987 we bought two weaned foals: Vienna of Whitefield, who went on to have 19 foals with us (14 fillies and 5 colts) and Whitefield Lady Verona, who had 7 fillies and 4 colts. These two ponies plus Iona O' Kinnoull, gave us a great choice of fillies to retain and breed from.
We covered Iona O'Kinnoull (by Sergeant Major of Whitefield and from a lovely Balinoe mare, Seochad) with Strathmore Concorde and that gave us our senior stallion, Moss-side Domhnach. At almost 22 years he is still going strong!
A to Z.....
Vienna and Verona went on to produce the first Moss-side progeny in 1991: Moss-side Ardnamonadh with Breagh, Ban-Bharan, Campsie Glen, Dorlach, Domhnach and so on following on in subsequent years.
On average, four or five foals are born each Spring at the farm. Weaned at about six months old, the foals spend their first winter in a large airy barn, being turned out into the fields when the weather allows. During this time we work with them and, hopefully, have them well mannered, loading, good with the farrier etc by the time they get turned out in the Spring.
Our ponies are sought after primarily for competition and the leisure market, but quite a few that are sold are used for breeding and for setting up new Highland Pony studs.
Moss-side Highland Ponies can be found all over the UK and some of our colts have gone to Europe. One very special filly was one of the first Highland Ponies to go to New Zealand, where she is now breeding.
Our boys have been noted for breeding a good stalking pony too, and many of their progeny can be found working on Scottish estates, bringing culled deer down off the hills.