Rescue Pony Updates
Rescue & Pony Updates
Back in July,2011, a worried member of the public came to our yard to report a pony she had seen on the Down near by with a large abscess on her side. On of our welfare team went out to find her and her filly foal to assess. The mare was with a small herd of fit, healthy ponies and it was apparent she was not well. Along with the rugby ball sized abscess she was underweight and in very poor condition. The pair were drifted quietly and calmly to our rehabilitation yard so we could begin treatment. We named her Venus and although she was very poorly she was adamant we were not going anywhere near her painful side. We began with oral antibiotics in small feeds, during this time she became used to a routine and human company. The vet visited many times and due to the sheer size of the abscess it took many months to show any improvement.
During the vet visits Venus was sedated a couple of times so the vets could take a proper look at the site and it was twice flushed out with saline solution. An ultra sound scan was performed to see if there was a foreign body embedded under the skin, nothing was seen. The abscess would almost heal and then reappear, this went on for months. Venus was thoroughly fed up and cautious of human contact as every time we went near her it was to treat her, she didn’t understand we were trying to help her. The vet was running out of ideas as to how to treat her and we were given a final choice, the vet could perform an operation that would involve opening the area up in order to look for any embedded objects. A tiny fragment could easily have been missed by the scan and could cause the recurrence of the infection. The site would then be thoroughly cleaned out and any dead tissue would be removed. Because of the scale of the operation she would have to stay at the surgery for a few days afterwards to be monitored before coming back to the yard to fully recover. It would be make or break for Venus!
As her filly foal, Trinity, had by this time been fully weaned we decided we would give Venus a final chance to recover. We knew it would be touch and go but she had fought so hard we were not ready to give up on her. On April, 2012, Venus had her operation, a tiny object was found embedded deep inside her flank and removed. The surrounding infected and dead matter was removed and cleaned thoroughly. She was then put on a strong course of intravenous antibiotics for a few days whilst she stayed at the surgery. Once the vet felt she was through the worst we collected her and bought her back to our rehabilitation yard to fully recover. She stayed on oral antibiotics whilst on box rest to ensure her stapled wound stayed infection free.
Within a few months Venus’ wound healed and she began to put on weight. She slowly began to trust us and realise that we were not going to touch her side. She was then put with a small group of quiet mares as we felt that would aid her recovery.
Venus made a full recovery and is progressing well with her handling, she now seeks human attention and is an intellegent, inquisitive mare. We feel it won’t be long until she is ready to be rehomed, she has been through so much we feel she deserves some one on one love and attention.
Megan came into our care in June, 2011, with her young foal, both were extremely underweight and weak. It is thought that Megan was abandonded on Bodmin moor and left to fend for herself, she was covered in bite and kick marks and she was very frightened and confused. She was put on a gradual weight gain diet and very slowly started to gain weight, this process was made more difficult as she was feeding her colt foal, Heston. After a couple of months it became apparent that Megan was not producing any milk so the two were separated and Heston was fed milk from a bucket. He was buddied up with an older bucket fed foal who showed him the ropes and kept him company during this difficult time.
After the separation Megan began to put on weight at a steady pace and we started to work on handling her, we soon discovered she liked to be scratched and used this as a way to bond with her. This turned into being groomed with brushes and eventually she had a halter put on. She began following her handler around the paddock which then turned into leading with a lead rope. She was then taught boundaries, as she could be a little pushy, and loading onto a horsebox. She is still a little nervous about loading so we will carry on with this until she is comfortable and happy with the process. Megan responds really well to natural horsemanship so when she is ready to be rehomed it will be an important factor in our choice of new home for her.
It is now almost September, 2012, and Megan is doing really well. She can be easily caught in the paddock, she leads well and she loves to be groomed, she is still a little reluctant to have a farrier look at her feet; but staff can pick them up and out. Heston was rehomed along with another of our yearlings and they are both very happy.
In May, 2012, Raven was spotted roaming the commons near Ponsdworthy. He was a stallion and he was covered in sores, bites and kick marks and he was very thin. The RSPCA were called, however their vet could not get close to him, with a local landowner our welfare officer drifted him into a nearby paddock where he was loaded onto a horsebox and taken into our care.
Once he was settled in a stable and had eaten some food he was a little easier to handle and his injuries were assessed by our vet. Along with the many cuts, bite and kick marks he had an abscess on his side and he was infested with ticks. He was put on a course of antibiotics and we were advised to cleanse the abscess if we could get close enough to him.
Raven was weak and hungry so he was easy to handle initially. His wounds were bathed and any dead skin and large ticks were removed, within six days he had made a good improvement. He was halter broken and wormed and once he was strong enough he was castrated.
We believe Raven was abandoned on the moor and his injuries were sustained in fights with established stallions, he just was not able to fend for himself. He is now doing well, he is still nervous but he has some pony pals who keep him company and we are hoping he will slowly make progress and enjoy human company.
In February, 2012, we received a call from a land owner who had found a pony abandoned in one of their fields. The pony was a piebald stallion and he was overweight and lame, he was signed over to our care and bought to our yard. His feet were extremely long and boxy and there were signs that he had laminitis. It was apparent his feet were causing him a lot of pain and needed to be trimmed.
The next day our farrier came to assess his feet and give his feet a trim. Jim-Bob was not happy about this and had to be mildly sedated. He has since had a number of farrier appointments in order to correct the issues with his feet and we are waiting for the laminitis to grow out. This will take a number of months but we are positive he will make a full recovery.
Jim-Bob has been castrated and lost alot of the excess weight he was carrying, this will help to take the pressure off his feet and ensure he does not suffer from another laminitic attack.
Over Easter 2012 we were asked if we could take in 4 ponies that had been abandoned on the Yelverton roundabout. We managed to make room for them and they arrived that same day. Bonnet was the only filly, the other three were a stallion and two colts.
The youngsters were very thin and full of worms, the stallion looked healthy but he was extremely frightened and jumpy. The youngsters were put on a strict weight gain diet and all four were wormed. After they had settled and had put on some weight Bonnet was separated from the boys and put in a paddock with three quiet mares, she was accepted immediately by them.
We started handling her and she responded very well, she was very quiet yet confident and trusted her handlers. She learnt how to lead and how to have her feet picked up, she was soon ready to have her feet trimmed by our farrier. Her first time went very well and Bonnet wasn’t worried in the slightest.
She was soon moved to our paddocks with a larger group of ponies where she settled in quickly and became firm friends with another young filly. Bonnet and her new friend were recently rehomed together, which we are thrilled about.