Hello, I'm Dru.
Beautiful Dartmoor, often described as the last real wilderness of South West England, is where I developed my passion for its tough, hardy native ponies. Animals that can withstand Atlantic gales and summer droughts, it's almost as if they were built for the climatic changes we are now witnessing.
Some of my earliest memories are of ponies grazing the open moor and the annual pony drift, when Dartmoor would come alive to the sound of hundreds of ponies being gathered in the early autumn. Through Equi Phoenix it is a privilege to support the many pony keepers and breeders across the UK helping promote the importance of our Native equine breeds, thus protecting our heritage as we find new uses for equines in the world of conservation to enhance our biodiversity through their grazing habits.
My experience of equine conservation grazing has been gained through working with a range of native and non-native breeds, such as the Exmoor, Shetland, Welsh Mountain, Konik and the Carneddau ponies from North Wales.
Much of my practical experience was gained through handling semi-feral ponies and managing a 450 hectare moorland site on Dartmoor.
During my time as Chief Executive of the Dartmoor Pony Heritage Trust, I led a research project to establish the effectiveness of equine grazing on Molinia grass using salt blocks as an attractant. The project ran for six years in partnership with Plymouth University with outstanding results.
For the past 16 years my equine consultancy provided guidance, advice and training to private clients, wildlife and conservation organisations, as well as national and regional grazing NGOs across the UK.
In April 2022 I launched Equi Phoenix Ltd, we source and train equines for conservation grazing systems, equine welfare and management advice for those using or considering the use of equines in the conservation grazing sector, site and risk assessments, equine and ranger / warden / volunteer team training.
Private clients welcome for equine support / training / courses / advice.