Tulip meets the dentist

18 October 2017

Tony the Chronicler is a new volunteer on the museum team and he's been out and about on site meeting the staff, volunteer and animals that make the Museum of East Anglian Life

Hi there, I’m Tulip the Suffolk Punch. Thought it was time to have my teeth done and just want to thank these wonderful people- Amanda, Shaun and my dentist Christopher. I call him Chris Toofer.

I’m lucky to be able to chew grass all day but it means those back teeth get a little uncomfortable without anything abrasive being munched. In the old days they weren’t lucky enough to have acres of lush green grass and chewed on anything. Probably didn’t have dentists either. Phew, all over for the year.

It’s amazing how far back my teeth go. Toofer has to shove his arm deep into my mouth, right up to his elbow, in order to do the work on the back teeth. He’s very gentle and kind.

I came in today with my friend Tyson, the Welsh pony who is 25 years old and, lucky boy, his teeth are getting worn out. Shortly he will be eating the Museum’s special porridge rather than the grass. It’s made of pelleted grass, pine nuts, water and a little linseed oil. Can’t see him lifting a spoon though!

Lots of people, when they come to see me, expect me to be taller. Fact is that in this part of the country, for hundreds of years, the ground has been a lot harder than up north where it can be softer and muddier. A lifetime of ploughing soil has meant that generations of us Punches, and we are the oldest English horse breed alive, have slowly become shorter and stockier than the working horses up north. Still I am about 15 hands high, that’s how they measure us, and about a ton in weight.


I’m only 13 years old and shall be around for some time to come so please come and see me and Tyson and the other live ones here. We love seeing you.


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