Sweet ending to a sour start for Toffee and Minty

In April, Ferne Animal Sanctuary was asked to rescue 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.

Microchip testing revealed that the horses were not registered to the people who were keeping them. They had been bought as yearlings under a payment plan that was defaulted on, leading to court proceedings and bailiffs being authorised to retrieve the horses. However, at that time the whereabouts of both the animals and owners were unknown.

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.

A member of the public visited the livery yard, noticed the appalling conditions and reported it to a local charity. The stallions were still registered with their former owner, who gave permission for them to be taken in by the Sanctuary.

“The poor boys were traumatised to be brought out into the light and the big wide world but they had no strength to put up an objection,” Nikki Haddock, Animal Care Manager at Ferne, said. “We were able to load them into the transporter with the help of sweets we brought for the journey, hence their new names: Toffee and Minty.”

The horses’ rightful owners decided that the best way forward was to sign them over, as it would have been dangerous to bring them home to a breeding farm with no quarantine facility. The Sanctuary could give the animals the intensive treatment they so desperately needed, slowly introducing them to daylight and outdoor paddocks and helping to improve their mobility day by day.

The beauty and character of the geldings is more apparent with every day as they gain strength and become healthier with the appropriate nutrition in the caring environment of the Sanctuary.  We are now looking to find loving homes for Toffee and Minty on a permanent loan basis. Their ideal owners would be lovers of the Arabian breed, experienced in educating young horses and be able to provide a suitable, safe environment.

For more information on Toffee and Minty and other horses and ponies looking to be rehomed click here