What do you do when a youngster just keeps on growing?

mare-foal-sanctuary-devon-chris-cole-puzzle-man-babbacombe-jigsaw
They call him the Puzzle Man…
December 21, 2018
mare-foal-sanctuary-devon-may-colic
Emergency surgery saved May’s life
January 21, 2019
Show all

What do you do when a youngster just keeps on growing?

mare-foal-sanctuary-devon-big-ben-gentle-giant-swep-yelverton

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.

mare-foal-sanctuary-devon-big-ben-gentle-giant-swep-yelverton   

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!”

mare-foal-sanctuary-devon-big-ben-gentle-giant-swep-yelverton   

 

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.