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Morrich Highland Ponies
(Visitors by appointment please)
Above: Our stallion, Ridden Champion Highland Pony "Josethdene"
The Morrich Stud: A Highland pony stud situated in the Scottish Highlands
We are breeders of a sporty riding type of Highland pony, so will usually only have youngsters for sale.
If you are looking for a been-there, done-it-all, middle aged plodder, we won't have one unless we have an ex-brood mare for sale (unlikely).
STOP PRESS! Interested in working with Highland ponies? I have a vacancy for a helper or two for the summer of 2019. More here.
Go to the For Sale page to see what is available. Prices may fluctuate as training progresses.
Want to know more about Highland ponies? Click here.
Our ponies are active riding ponies that can participate in all disciplines.
They retain the physical toughness the breed is famous for as well as having that superb temperament which makes them so straight forward to train and handle. My ponies are my hobby and my friends. I am retired and they are handled every day and most come to call, self load, are well mannered, and good with the vet and farrier.
Have a look at the Comments page for endorsements by previous purchasers.
We will seldom have older experienced ponies that have 'done it all' for sale.
Contact and Visiting:
Please give 48 hours notice if you'd like to visit the stud. When training is in progress, unscheduled interuptions can cause major inconvenience, so please do make an appoinment. It's only polite!
I now have a comfortable caravan that may be available to visitors for a nominal fee, refundable on purchase of a pony. Please enquire.
The best way to contact me is by Email or by messaging on Facebook as I am deaf!
My telephone will not accept international calls, calls from withheld numbers, or texts and I do not have a mobile -- but Emails will usually be answered the same day.
Prices:...are for guidance only. I am a breeder and, with help, usually train my own ponies (a process that I love!), so value is proportional to age and the level of training. My ponies are my hobby, I am retired and don't need the money, but I do try to cover expenses. It is a good idea to give details of where the pony will be going, what your interests are (show, hacking, deer pony, etc), whether it will be liveried or kept on your own land, age/experience/height and weight of the rider, etc. as I do care about my ponies.The one thing I can't do is the hardsell!
The Weather: Tain is about 80 miles south of the most northerly tip of the British Mainland in the Scottish Highlands. Visiting in the winter is therefore chancey, the days are very short, and the work still has to be done. The conditions for viewing ponies can be far from ideal. Be warned! Much better to plan now, wait for the summer, and make a holiday of it.
Health and Sickness: Morrich Highland Ponies has been breeding Highland ponies for over ten years with an average annual herd size of a dozen ponies. So far, there has never been one single case of sweet itch, laminitis, or any other disease. The ponies live out 24/7 and rarely get hard feed except when working or as a reward in training. Given sensible management, they remain active over a long and trouble free life.
Tourism and Local Information: Plenty of information online. Come to the Highlands and make a holiday of it. Make a list of the Highland pony studs you'd like to visit and plan your trip around that. Find information about Highland breeders from The Highland Pony Society, by searching on line and on Facebook.
The Morrich Stud is situated about two miles from the A9 and 35 miles north of Inverness, about two miles south of the historic town of Tain in Easter Ross.
Although only 2 miles from the A9, the stud is not easy to find without directions.
DO NOT RELY ON YOUR SAT NAV! The post code applies to a district, not the stud and you will almost certainly get lost!
go to http://www.streetmap.co.uk , set the scale to 1:50,000, and scroll down. You should now have a map like the one below. Look for the arrow pointing to Miller's Place which is the name of the farm.....
follow these directions. It might be a good idea to print off a copy!
Heading north from Inverness, go round the Nigg roundabout 10 miles north of Alness and continue up the A9.
About 1/2 mile south of Tain, on the left hand side of the road, there is a large sign for Tain Pottery. At the next cross roads (300 metres?), you'll see houses on the road on the right. This road is sign posted Muir of Hilton. Go down this road for about 2 miles.
Look out for the large half derelict old WWII building on the left, called The Command Centre, with multiple caravans and a few small ponies. (Let's be honest, it's a mess!).
Follow the road round the 90 degree bend to the left and down the slope with the big house on your right.
My road is about 150 yards on the right beside double galvanized gates to the small field in front of the big house. There is no sign at the end of the road and the track is deliberately left unkempt to discourage uninvited visitors! The stud is about 300 metres down this gravel track, past the big ugly shed on the right, amongst the trees.
A new locator: Have you heard of What3words? Click the link in the brackets (haggis.solar.intrigued) and off you go! Zoom the map to whatever scale you want. I think you can also install it on your mobile phone but I haven't tried as I don't have a mobile! It's as simple as that.
Travel: The Morrich Highland Pony stud is about 40 miles from Inverness Airport (Dalcross) and there are regular and cheap flights to many UK and European destinations. You can hire a car at the airport. There is also a main line railway station at Inverness.There are plenty of good hotels and Bed & Breakfast establishments in the area. The Scottish Tourist Board site at Visit Scotland is full of ideas but some find the site difficult to navigate. Trip Advisor is a much better site with details of accommodation, prices, reviews, and maps.
Try these touristy things for a start:
http://www.northcoast500.com/ for sight seeing and tourist routes.
http://www.highlandsunbridled.co.uk/local_activities.html Highlands Unbridled trekking centre is about half a mile from the stud and have put up this excellent "local activities" page. Highlands Unbridled is a seperate business and has no connection with Morrich Highland Ponies but if you want to ride while you are here, give them a ring.
https://www.hottubhideaways.com/lodges/scotland/northern-highlands-hideaways/ Fancy accommodation with a hot tub?
http://www.scottishhighlandswebsite.co.uk/ Looking for somewhere to stay? This is a most helpful site!
https://www.visitscotland.com/ Lots of information but not the best in helping to decide on where to stay.
https://www.scotrail.co.uk/scotland-by-rail/great-scenic-rail-journeys My facourite way to see Scotland. Let someone else do the driving!
https://www.thetrainline.com/ For cheap train fares if you book ahead. Highly recommended.
https://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/Scotland/ I don't fly. Enough said.
https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/ This one also looks good, although I haven't used it because I never go anywhere!
Horse Transport: There are several excellent professional horse transporters who carry horses up and down the country and to the rest of the world every day. The transportation of horses is highly regulated in the UK so these firms have stables at various stages and horses get regular rests and checks. The cost of delivering a pony to the south of England might be £300 - £700 depending on location and bookings. To western Europe, £500 - £1,000. This cost will probaby be balanced out by ponies being cheaper in Scotland and there being a wider selection. For UK transport, we recommend Eric Gillies Ltd and for transport to Europe and further afield John Parker International Ltd. These two companies have been working together for several decades and regularly transport race horses worth hundreds of thousands of pounds. Your pony will get exactly the same careful handlng!
Horse height conversion - Hands (UK) to metric (EU).
Rider height and weight conversion - Metric to Imperial.
About the breeder:
My name is Derry Argue and I am a retired chartered surveyor (with a dgree and diploma in agriculture and land agency) and farmer. I am better known for breeding, training, and working English pointers which I did for over forty years.
I was also a keen falconer and have trained and flown most species of birds of prey commonly used in the sport.
I am passionate about animal behaviour and training.
I was only able to fulfil a lifetime ambition to breed Highland ponies when I retired. I chose to breed the active riding type of Highland. These have all the characteristics of the Highland pony but are quite active, not tending to become obese with sensible management. They are tough, long lived, and grow their own rugs in winter. They also have a delightful temperament, so are generally easy to handle and suitable for the whole family. My stallion, Josethdene, bred by Scott McGregor, is a Highland Pony Ridden Champion.
The Highland pony has been selected by its environment. All our ponies live out 24/7 in the Scottish Highlands north of Inverness, mostly with natural shelter, and they seem to prefer it that way. They do well on just good hay with a salt block for minerals. They don't usually need hard feed, let alone supplements. None of our ponies has had Laminitis, Sweet Itch, or has been sick or sorry. I won't breed from anything that has. The ponies are bred for work, not show -- though they can compete against the best of them as Josethdene's record demonstrates.
Morrich Finn (below) is doing the breed's traditional job of extracting culled deer on the Scottish hills.
"Josethdene" (left) lives out 24/7. Morrich Finn shares the dogs' paddock. And Morrich Fearna and Morrich Kelpie enjoy a trip to the beach.
(From the left) Phil Burgess with Upperlochton Fergus. Lisa Inglis with Reserve Champion Morrich Finn.
And Phil and Fergie again.