Razzle and Shadow were among 26 horses taken from North Devon Equine Rescue in Barnstaple where they had been left to suffer in dirty stables and without enough food and water to stay healthy.
A prosecution led by the RSPCA earlier this year resulted in the owner admitting three offences of causing unnecessary suffering to horses and ponies in her care.
As part of this multi-agency rescue we worked alongside the RSPCA, the Blue Cross, Horse World and World Horse Welfare to take them all – with six coming into our Sanctuary. Razzle is an 11-year old 13.1hh Bay crossbreed and on arrival was in a very poor condition. He was malnourished and his feet were long. He’d also had one of his eyes removed in the past.
Both Razzle and Shadow presented us with multiple health issues which meant we needed to work closely with our vet Richard to come up with a specialist plan for them. Our immediate concerns were trimming their feet, rasping their teeth, treating their high parasite burdens and getting them onto a proper diet.
Our welfare and veterinary centre supervisor, Natasha, was one of the first people to work with the ponies when they arrived. She said: “Razzle was a real sweetheart from the start. He was very nervous to begin with, but he soon came around and let us lead him and pick up his front feet. We learned that he loves apples, and this has been helpful in rehabilitating him through positive reinforcement, as he’ll do anything for a slice of his favourite treat.
“We work closely with these ponies and show them they have come to a place where people will care for them and handle them gently.
“You could tell Shadow was a lovely youngster. He was just unsure of himself – and us.”
Now both ponies are at our Yelverton Yard and continue their rehabilitation. We’re hopeful we can find great loan homes for them both in the fullness of time.