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On arrival Ingra was incredibly nervous. She would avoid all contact with our grooms and kept her distance. Once she had given birth and weaned her foal Ida, we decided to begin Ingra’s farrier training.

We took time to build trust with Ingra so that we could catch her. However she was incredibly nervous and this made it difficult for us to tend to her feet which needed to be trimmed by the farrier. Abi made it her mission to work with Ingra to build up her confidence so that she was more comfortable with the farrier.

Ponies like 22-year-old Ingra benefit from our patient training methods. She arrived at the Sanctuary in 2018 from the local moors. Her owner was concerned that Ingra couldn’t survive another harsh winter out on the moor as she was in foal.

Abi told us: “This was a very gradual process spanned over many months for Ingra. I began by running my hand down her front legs and rewarding her. When she was confident with this, I began asking her to pick up her feet. As she became more confident, we increased the time Ingra’s leg was held up. We also introduced other grooms into the process to make sure she was used to being handled by other people, and Chris the farrier would make a point of visiting her too.”

After months of patient training, Ingra had a breakthrough and Chris trimmed her feet for the first time. Her foal Ida was weaned and had also been gently handled by staff since her birth so mother and daughter were both seen by Chris at the same time.

Since then, Ingra has been visited by Chris again. She is still nervous but stands well and picks her front feet up for Chris when he needs her too. This shows exactly how far she has come since her arrival.

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