Over a year ago, Ferne Animal Sanctuary rescued two very unwell horses from a badly managed livery yard. The four-year-old stallions had been confined to stables for three years and were severely malnourished, suffering from developmental problems, liver damage, UV intolerance, lice and dental problems.
As the stallions were in desperate need of intensive treatment and quarantine facilities, at the request of the breeder (also registered owner), the Sanctuary came to their rescue. This meant the horses could be given the urgent medical treatment needed, a carefully managed introduction to daylight, outdoor paddocks and eventually, socialisation with other horses.
“When we rescued these horses a year ago, they were very traumatised to be brought out into daylight from the stables where they’d been confined to and were in a dreadful state of general health,” Nikki Haddock, Animal Care Manager at Ferne, said. “On arrival, they’d already earned their new nicknames of Minty and Toffee, from the treats which lured them into our transporter for their journey to Ferne. We cannot believe the transformation they have both made after a year. As they gained strength and became healthier their beauty and character became very apparent with each day. It just goes to show the power of good care, love, understanding and attention that thankfully our equine team at Ferne were able to provide.”
One year on, Toffee, who can never be ridden due to stunted growth has found a lovely new home as a pet and Minty is now happy with his new owner and looking at a future career in endurance with great prospects ahead and a real zest for life.
The horses come from an outstanding line of champions, showing that even if an animal begins its life with exceptional upbringing, a caring home and impressive pedigree; there is no immunity from this kind of subterfuge, neglect and abuse.
Toffee and Minty were the lucky ones, rescued and re-homed by the Sanctuary before it was too late. As a registered charity, Ferne relies on the support of the public and dedicated volunteers to continue its vital work. It has been caring for unwanted and abandoned animals for more than 75 years.