In early 2019, the team at Oak Tree Animals’ Charity received a distressed call from the owner of a Shetland stallion as she was no longer able to cope with looking after him and felt that she needed our support. His feet were significantly overgrown and he was struggling to walk. After discussions with the owner it was decided the best outcome for the pony was to come into Oak Tree Farm, to receive veterinary care, appropriate farrier attention and to be rehabilitated and eventually found a loving new home.
‘Little Wascal’ (as he was named by the team), following a vet check to confirm fitness to travel, was collected by the team and he struggled to load into the trailer. Oak Tree worked alongside the farrier and vet to reduce the length of his feet which enabled him to be able to walk easily again.
Vicki Dobbin, Equine Supervisor at Oak Tree, explains; “When Little Wascal arrived at the Charity he was unable to walk and needed urgent medical help as his hooves had grown so long they were starting to curl upwards. As soon as our farrier was able to reduce the length of his hooves, Little Wascal quickly found his feet, enjoying exploring the paddocks, walking, trotting and, once he’d gained confidence, cantering round the field.
“Once he had settled in, he was ready to be castrated and work could start on his rehabilitation which will eventually allow him to be rehomed. As soon as he was able to enjoy moving around again, Little Wascal’s character quickly came out and he started to show what a fabulously cheeky pony he is. He certainly loves carrots and is busy delighting visitors to Oak Tree Farm with his antics!
“This case highlights for everyone the importance of regular farriery to ensure the welfare of horses, ponies and other equines for both shod and unshod animals. We are more than happy to offer advice to any owner about how to find a registered farrier and would advise them to draw up a hoof care programme with their farrier to ensure their horse or pony gets the right care for them.”
For more information about horses and ponies, the Charity’s work and how you can help, please visit their website www.oaktreeeanimals.org.uk, call them on 01228 560082, follow them on social media or email [email protected]. They are open 7 days a week, 10.00am – 4.00pm.