Dartmoor Pony Skin Rucksack

by | Convenience (↓) | Authenticity (↑) | 2 comments | 1 question

Practical, stylish, comfortable, free range pony skin rucksack raised organically on Devon’s wild moorland.
An ideal accessory for the environmentally conscious walker the bag is handcrafted by fine leather maker Tony Piper out Devon moorland pony skin, a waste product created by contemporary land management practices.
Moorland ponies are mostly kept as pets or used by the authorities for keeping vegetation under control for the benefit of walkers on moors. However over the past 15 years human use of the ponies, and hence their economic value, has declined with some selling for £1. With little market demand farmers are forced to humanely cull older, infirm and unwanted animals each year in order to keep the whole population sustainable, a matter of much dispute. Carcasses are sometimes given to Paignton Zoo or can end up in landfill.
25L capacity, approximate dimensions h 50cm x w 50cm x d 40cm

Materials: Devon moorland pony skin, kid leather interior, cattle leather straps with tough polypropelene webbing and buckles. Wind and rain resistant. The skin is sourced from a licensed hide and leather dealer.

Where and how is it used?

It is used for walking on Dartmoor at all times of year, for keeping sandwiches and spare clothes in.

What did you or someone else pay for it?

£750

Why do you want to add it to the museum?

As a unique product it belongs in a museum.


How was it made?

Is made in a factory

Is farmed

Is mass-produced

Is produced by local cottage industry

Is made to particular specifications

Is craft / hand-made

Is foraged

Is found

Is colonised

Is a service


Materials & Making

Who made or produced your commodity?

Tony Piper, webbing supplier

Who was paid to make it?

Tony Piper, webbing supplier

What skills does it take to make it?

Leather working, tanning, skinning, plastic manufacture and molding

Where was it made?

Nr Okehampton, somewhere else

What does it cost to make it?

£750

What is it made from?

1. Pony skin:

Dartmoor pony skin, tanned in Italy

2. Polypropelene webbing:
3. Polypropelene buckles:

Buying & Owning

Who decides how much it costs?

Me

Who or what assesses its quality?

Me

Where is it sold?

Nowhere - pony activists have asked me not to reproduce or market it as a commercial product.

Who or what sells it?

Noone

How did this thing arrive from where it was made to where you got it?

I picked it up in a car

Where is it used?

Dartmoor

Where is it kept?

Dartmoor

How and by whom is it cared for?

Dried and hung up

How long will it last?

It could last for thousands of years if preserved in peat.

Where will it go when it's finished with?

A museum

What is it worth?

£750


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Questions and answers

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Question: Why do we not recycle our pets ?

Answers:

Probably because we would be constantly reminded of our loss by whatever we recycled them into. Also, people are freaked out about the trappings of deaths and find remains uncanny. They get around this by disassociating meat and everyday animal products from the living animals they came from. Perhaps to be reminded instead of the happy life of the pet would be a good attitude, and it could be deemed to honour the animal to make good and mindful use of its parts.

by dcarpenter on April 25th at 2:20pm

Apart from the fact that Dartmoor Ponys aren't anybody's pet really, why do so many people seem be inclined to pay more money to donkeys than to children in need or the homeless?
I would argue that as a culture we have largely managed to disconnect ourselves from the effects of our very being, in an ongoing effort to sanitise the violence we are inflicting on the many other the species around us, just by being consumers. It's the old human condition that what is out of sight is out of mind. The sentimental aggression of some animal lovers is simply part of that disconnection. I am all for avoiding meat and keeping animals well, but I am not sure what's the filthier habit, buying cheap meat at Tesco's or a shiny 4K TV for the hell of it.

by scharfrichter on April 28th at 6:13am

There are taxidermists who will stuff dead pets, but people often return them and ask for their money back because the stuffings don't capture their pet's personality. This is high risk taxidermy.

by ian on May 18th at 9:53am

Conversation

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I'm interested in the lister's involvement with this product - are they involved in its production, as implied by the reference to contact with 'pony activists'? I can understand the need for humane culling if deemed necessary by experts, but saddened and angered to hear that the meat sometimes ends up in landfill. It speaks to the unbalance in our so-called natural habitats, and the lack of apex predators. Could pony meat be consumed by humans in place of low-welfare farmed meat? I'm also interested in why the hides have to travel to Italy to be tanned - are there no local tanners who will process them?

by dcarpenter on April 25th at 2:28pm

Hi dc, I developed the idea with the leatherworker Tony Piper as a use for this material. It has to go to Italy as there are no tanners in the UK capable of working it as they are geared to sheepskins and cow leather. It is interesting that Charlotte Faulkner, founder of the Dartmoor Hill Ponies Association said quite recently “The Dartmoor Hill Pony Association believes the meat trade should be (used) too, strangely, having a meat trade should improve a pony’s chances of finding a new home at sale.” In contrast the South West Equine Protection society say :“Dartmoor hill ponies were there for a reason, for ecology purposes to keep grass on the moors down, and they have been there for thousands of years. People have never eaten them before. It is promoting over-breeding for profit.” http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-devon-29353194

by alexmurdin on April 25th at 3:48pm

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