Re-homed May 2013
John was one of 3 Dartmoor colts we took in 2011 after learning the previous year of the terrible situation that wild Dartmoor ponies are in.
There are far too many Dartmoor ponies being bred and not enough homes, so each year they are rounded up. They are separated into groups and some mares and stallions re-released into the wild. The remaining ponies are put through an auction where they fetch as little as £2 each. Because they are such a cheap source of meat, Zoos buy whole lorries full of these foals and they are slaughtered and fed to animals such as Lions and Tigers.
There are some small organisations who each year rescue as many of these foals as they can and distribute them to rescue centres and homes all over the UK. When we heard that they were desperate for safe places for these ponies we offered to take 3 of them on in the hope that we could tame them and give them a chance of a happy and long life, rather than end up as dinner for a lion at such a young age.
On arrival all 3 ponies were very tired after their long journey. We expected them to be terrified and skittish but they were so bewildered that they were happy just to huddle together in a large stable in a deep bed.
As time went on it was worrying to see that the ponies would only eat hay and straw, and had no idea what hard feed or a bucket was. They were too timid to handle, but needed worming and de-lousing desperately. Underneath their thick matted fur they were skeletal and their skin crawling with lice and mites.
After a few weeks they began to eat hard feed and we sprinkled herbal worming pellets into this which they ate. Then a few more weeks later they ate some stronger wormer, which produced thousands, and thousands of worms in their droppings. There were every type of worms and Bots.
In the end it took 12 months to completely rid John and the other ponies of worms and lice as they were so infested. But over time they put weight on and began to come out of their shells.
We tamed them using patience, kindness, scratches and handfuls of grass and treats. Two of the ponies soon had headcollars on and were being led around and groomed. But Little John had different ideas! He was so smart and refused to have any part of being tamed. It took us twice as long to gain Johns trust using Clicker training. But he is now a beautiful 3 year old pony who loves people and other horses.
John went into a foster home with a couple who have 2 big horses who take part in medieval battle re-enactments. Because John settled so well and bonded with his new friends he was offered a forever home there where he is settled and happy. He’s even learning about being calm around swords & shields, he is really brave and may even end up being a battle pony himself! We are really proud of how far Little John has come.
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The beautiful, timid Welsh pony, who’s learning to trust again
Our most inquisitive (AKA nosey!) donk
The one-horse job-creation scheme, always rolling in mud
Terrified when he came to the sanctuary, now growing in confidence
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Donate to our wish list... every little helps.
Flies are a real bother for all ponies and donkeys.
Ponies need their feet trimming every 4-6 weeks.
Quality haynets with extra-small holes
Makes hair more pliable for easier grooming
Integrated, multi-modality method of equine massage.
Non invasive holistic technique.
Gives optimum levels of vits, mins and amino acids for our ponies.
We always need these in stock.
Low in sugar, our ponies eat this every day as part of their dinner.
Essential annually for every pony to keep them healthy.
Not nice to talk about, but essential.