“No shame” in asking for help, says equine welfare charity

The staff at Mare and Foal Sanctuary lead George and Tomahawk out of the barn. © Sanctuary of mares and foals

A cob and a Shetland pony who had been confined to a concrete yard for over a year now have a better outlook on life after their owner, who could no longer care for them, sought help of a charitable organization.

George, a 27 year old bay groyne, and Tomahawk, a 12 year old Shetland Skewbald, settle down well at the Equine Welfare Charity the Sanctuary of mares and foals near Newton Abbot, joining over 600 other rescued horses and ponies.

The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s welfare outreach and advisory team found the couple had been confined to their yard with just a cattle shed for shelter. They had various health issues and their routine deworming and lice treatments were long overdue, meaning they were plagued with internal and external parasites.

Their owner Devon had struggled to provide the level of care these horses needed due to a change in their personal circumstances. They contacted the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, which offers “unashamed advice and support” to horse owners.

Tomahawk had a history of laminitis and equine asthma (RAO). His feet were long and his toes “slipped” and he had thrush in each foot. George had rubbed his coat where the lice had irritated him, he had bilateral stiffness in his hind limbs and poor grazing ability from his worn incisors.

The charity agreed with the owner that George and Tomahawk’s needs could not be met under the circumstances, so emergency intervention was taken – bringing great relief to their owner.

The couple arrived at the sanctuary’s veterinary and wellness center in Newton Abbot and both recently completed their quarantine periods. They now have a sanctuary for life.

George, 27, had lice and bad teeth, and was lame in posture.
George, 27, had lice and bad teeth, and was lame in the hindquarters. © Sanctuary of mares and foals

The arrival of George and Tomahawk a month ago brought the total number of equines rescued by the Mare and Foal Sanctuary to five in 2021, an average of one rescue per month. As the pandemic’s restrictions ease, the charity is relieved that its reintegration program can once again be fully promoted – a vital way to create space in its sanctuaries for further rescues.

Welfare Advisor Leah Brock was involved in their rescue. “I’m glad the owner had the courage to contact us for help and relief for George and Tomahawk. They have a safe and secure future. “

Tomahawk, 12, had a history of laminitis and asthma.
Tomahawk, 12, had a history of laminitis and asthma. © Sanctuary of mares and foals

The charity has recently changed its name to reflect the scope of its work, which has grown significantly in recent years, and to provide future support for the charity. Managing Director Sarah Jane Williamson said the colorful new look “reflects the hope and positivity we hold on your behalf for every equine in our care”.

“We remain a place for people who want to make a difference in the lives of foals, horses and ponies,” said Williamson.

Wellness Advisor Leah Brock with George.
Wellness Advisor Leah Brock with George. © Sanctuary of mares and foals

The Mares and Foals Sanctuary saves horses and ponies that have been abandoned, neglected or abused. It also ensures that horses and ponies have a sanctuary for life. Most horses and ponies are cared for for life thanks to its network of knowledgeable caregivers. Horses and ponies with more complex needs are cared for in its sanctuaries.

The charity has particular experience in the management and training of wild and non-wild horses and ponies, and in caring for orphaned or abandoned mares, foals and foals.

The Mares and Foals Sanctuary was founded on the premise that horses and ponies, as sentient beings and close companions to humans over the centuries, have value and purpose. He offers equine assisted learning programs to enable people to connect with horses and ponies and gives advice and support to any horse or pony caregiver. It has four shrines and five charity shops in the southwest.

»Those who wish to help the association support its daily work to provide lifelong care to horses and ponies like George and Tomahawk, can donate here.

Learn more about relocating a rescue horse or pony

About Sharon Joseph

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