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Neglected ponies rise above sad past

When a group of sad and confused ponies fumbled off a lorry and into the yard, we were shocked at what we saw.

From the start it was clear that these were very young ponies but what was more alarming was the state they were in. Their thick winter coats had become so matted that we don’t think they had ever been groomed.

As these mats form they pull on the skin so it can become very sore and red and, in severe circumstances, can cause bleeding. Tamzin Boyd, from our Rolleston rehoming centre

We believe cobs Bagel, Brioche, Crumpet, Crouton, Panini, Pumpernickel and Ciabatta are all yearlings.

On arrival we placed them in our admissions area which would keep them safe and secure, and set up pen sections for smaller areas so that we could easily handle them.

Their coats were riddled with lice, which made them uncomfortable and itchy.Their feet were in desperate need of help from an experienced farrier; their hooves were so long. 

Tamzin added: “We don’t know what conditions the ponies are used to living in but they are all under developed and are weak behind, leading us to believe they may have been kept in small spaces all the time and possibly haven’t had the freedom that is so essential to a horse’s welfare. 

“If left in these conditions and having not seen a farrier they would have suffered longer term health issues such as tendon strain”

Despite their nervous and timid natures the ponies were very inquisitive about the team at the centre. They would observe them walking around the woodchip, sometimes approaching cautiously to get a closer look. Because of this, the team were able to slowly build up their trust and progress with training them.

Many horses are motivated by a good scratch on their withers but sadly to these poor souls that was their idea of a very stressful situation. And so the team used food to help progress their training. 

When they first gave them a feed in a bucket they had no idea what was going on or what the food was; they would kick the buckets around in confusion. After a day or so they soon learnt what it meant to have a tasty meal!

After just a matter of weeks their confidence has soared and so their handling has progressed amazingly.

They will soon be ready to find loving homes – so watch this space!