The Lockdown Diaries Week 5 – Spring Newsletter Stories

An update on Ava
February 10, 2021
Arnie and Marmite
February 10, 2021
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The Lockdown Diaries Week 5 – Spring Newsletter Stories

The latest stories from across the Sanctuary delivered
straight to your inbox and on our website every Wednesday
The LOCKDOWN Diaries

This week’s Lockdown Diaries we’ll be shining the light on our spring newsletter, packed full of stories, news and updates on our rescued horses and ponies and life at the Sanctuary.

Your support for our Lockdown Diaries has been overwhelming. We have been delighted to show you some of the special work we do here at the Sanctuary which is all made possible by our dedicated supporters.

Arnie and Marmite

Little did we know that a global pandemic would strike as we entered 2020. It was a time we needed to work to reduce our numbers by successfully loaning out more horses and ponies through our Sanctuary at Home scheme so we could rescue more horses and ponies in need.

But we found ourselves having to restrict new admissions for the first time because our rehoming offer was paused due to the two lockdowns with our staff having to work in smaller numbers throughout the year to stay safe and prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Only in exceptional circumstances could we take in extra mouths to feed. As you will have read in our previous newsletters, our new admissions included Phoenix and Phaedra who were both abandoned with ongoing health needs. Then there were our three pregnant mares who we’d rescued in 2019 who all had their foals – Lio, Tulip and our 1,000th rescue, Teyah.

We then found ourselves in an exceptional situation at the end of October – and we stepped in to assist an overwhelmed owner with the emergency care of Arnie and Marmite.

Arnie and Marmite’s emergency admission Arnie and Marmite were in poor health and an emergency veterinary intervention was needed. Their owner recognised that they couldn’t cope and asked for our help. We strive to provide no-shame advice and support to ensure the best possible welfare outcome for the equines involved and to make a very difficult time easier for the owner when they reach out for support like this.

Arnie, a 14.2hh skewbald Gypsy Vanner, was losing considerable weight and appeared dull – we were worried he had an underlying health problem. His companion Marmite, an 8hh miniature Shetland pony, was suffering with sweetitch and was covered in scabs under his fluffy coat. Their living environment was far from ideal too. Their mounting care needs and veterinary costs had become overwhelming and we provided support, patience and understanding to the owner in their hour of need.

Because of the wonderful donations we receive from supporters like you, we are able to provide this emergency veterinary intervention for ponies like Arnie and Marmite.

Read Arnie’s and Marmite’s rescue story here.

Ava’s Story

You may remember the story of orphaned foal Ava who arrived with us in 2019. She was found terrified on Dartmoor at only a few weeks old. Her mother had died out on the moor, leaving Ava completely alone. Upon arrival it was clear that Ava had multiple health issues and was in need of specialist treatment.

Following three months of 24-hour care at our veterinary and welfare centre, Ava began to make a recovery and we celebrated the day that she was able to go out in a paddock with other young ponies.

Now, after almost two years of rehabilitation and endless dedication from her grooms, Ava has been given the all clear and is ready to find a new home.

Sally Burton, Head of Sanctuary Care, said: “I’m so pleased that Ava is finally ready to be loaned to a Sanctuary at Home Carer after such an uncertain start.

“She needed months of high intensity care at a very young age and we needed to be confident that she was finally well enough to be rehomed. Our horse care team and vets worked hard to give her the best chance. I can’t wait to see some pictures of Ava enjoying her new home.”

Becoming a Sanctuary at Home Carer means you help provide a sanctuary at home for as many years as you can for a horse or pony from our charity on a loan basis. It is a very rewarding experience and enables space to be created at our peaceful sanctuaries for more horses and ponies in need.

Learn more about Ava and our Sanctuary at Home scheme.

Ovie’s Story

The first six months of life for a foal are crucial to their development. Good nutrition, socialisation with other equines, exercise and their mother’s milk are just some of the requirements that help a foal grow into a healthy and happy youngster. Sadly, life didn’t begin in this way for little Ovie.

Orphaned foal Ovie came into our care in 2019 after he was found abandoned and alone on private land. Sadly, Ovie had been separated from his mother and left to fend for himself at just four months old. Ovie was in poor condition and in need of immediate veterinary care. Poor Ovie was malnourished, covered in ticks and bites and had a severe locking stifle, causing great discomfort.

Our grooms and veterinary teams provided the specialist care Ovie needed and after a few weeks Ovie’s health improved dramatically. There was no way of knowing how long he’d been separated from his mother and our grooms noticed that Ovie was unusually disinterested in other horses, paying them no interest whatsoever. In fact, he was far more interested in his grooms and began to behave with them in the playful manner you’d expect when two foals interact.

Despite never showing any aggression, Ovie’s playful behaviour became challenging to manage and it was critical that we taught him to behave respectfully around people to give him his best chance in life.

Find out how our grooms and behavioural lead, Anna Haines, helped Ovie overcome his challenges. Read the full story here.

If you would like to be the first to hear about our latest rescues and learn more about life at the Sanctuary then sign-up to our newsletter. You’ll receive our jam-packed Honeysuckle newsletter three times a year delivered straight to your door.