What happens when you have a foal with deformed legs, who you all assume will end up being a moderately sized pony – only to see him grow into a whopping 16hh?
In 2012 the Sanctuary rescued a tiny foal whose mother had been sold to a meat dealer at a local market. The foal was left behind with a tendon problem which left him barely able to stand up – meaning his chances of survival were slim.
So, the Sanctuary brought him home and named him Ben – short for ‘Bendy legs’. He was taught to drink from a bucket and needed lots of regular veterinary treatment, including limb casts to help correct his deformed legs.
But, after months of treatment, he made a full recovery and his cheeky personality – and stunning looks – began to show.
However, Ben was growing at a rapid speed. By the time he was weaned, he had reached 13hh – already well above the average height of a typical moorland pony.
At 10 months old, Ben was rehomed by Gail Springall.
Gail said: “I was looking for a horse that would be big enough for me to ride, but I didn’t think I would find one at a rescue.
“Mum persuaded me to have a look and the first one that came up was Ben! It was like it was meant to be!”
Gail’s vet predicted that Ben would make around 14hh when fully grown, but was shocked at his next visit to find Ben had reached a whopping 15.3hh!
Gail said: “Ben is now 16hh. I did wonder if he would ever stop growing but it seems he finally has. I wouldn’t have minded what size he grew to. He is such a wonderful horse. I love him dearly.
“I hope to further his training in the future. I’d love to ride him eventually and perhaps teach him to drive.”
This gentle giant may have had a difficult start but, thanks to the Sanctuary and Gail, his future is now secure.