Over-grown feet, no access to water and cramped, heavily soiled living conditions alerted the RSPCA to take action quickly. Aggressive, non-understanding owners only added to the problem as they did not want to accept any offered help. The horses were housed at undisclosed premises whilst the owners were trialled. Bransby Horses agreed to take eight into our care in order to provide more direct care to the horses that were desperately in need of skilled husbandry.
The ponies either had severely over-grown hooves or they were cut back so short it was extremely painful for them to even stand. After receiving emergency treatment from the vet and farrier and made as comfortable as possible, all of the horses are now feeling much more sprightly. The saying ‘no foot – no horse’ could not ring more true and these ponies are very lucky to have been helped when they were.
It would seem the popularity of having more than one equine is on the increase, however if not managed correctly with financial back up and routine care, it is easy for one horse’s welfare to begin to diminish, let alone herds of horses of this volume.
Ranging from as young as two years old to thirteen, they will now be able to live out the rest of their days without fear of unnecessary pain or suffering. This is a relevant reminder of the five freedoms as highlighted in the animal welfare act 2006 to provide a duty of care to equines.
1) Freedom from hunger and thirst
2) Freedom from discomfort
3) Freedom from pain, injury and disease
4) Freedom to express normal behaviour
5) Freedom from fear and distress
If we can achieve these, our horses can live in happiness and fulfilment and maybe, just maybe, we will one day see the back of these challenging times.