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Semi-feral pony overcomes trauma with the help of charity staff

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Mare and Foal sanctuary

Photo credit: The Mare and Foal Sanctuary

Follow the story of rescued pony Mouse from his arrival at The Mare and Foal Sanctuary with the charity’s latest appeal

As part of The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s latest charity appeal, supporters can follow the story of Mouse, a terrified, semi-feral pony who was rescued from Bodmin’s East Moor in 2016 as part of an enormous, multi-agency rescue. Now under The Mare and Foal Sanctuary’s care for life, Mouse was considered one of the most nervous ponies staff at the rescue centre had ever worked with – it took years to fully gain his trust.

Yard Manager Terri Saunders is one of Mouse’s main trainers. She said: “If a leaf blew across the yard he’d be startled. It was upsetting to see how on edge he was and we were very concerned for his wellbeing. Horses and ponies like Mouse pose a real challenge for us. There are simple things we cannot do with semi-feral equines, like check their teeth or feet, because they’ve never been handled. Often, the rescue is just the beginning. In Mouse’s case, it’s taken years of our specialist care, gentle training and confidence-building to help him move towards a happier and healthier future – I think he’s finally found his sanctuary.”

As the videos show, The Mare and Foal Sanctuary specialise in rehabilitating feral, semi-feral and unhandled equines, although they care for all horses and ponies in need.

Sarah Jane Williamson, Chief Executive, said: “We have expert understanding of the physical, psychological and social needs of horses and ponies. Our staff know how to deal with ponies with extremely complex behaviours and have persevered over many years to rehabilitate and train Mouse to know that humans can represent safety. Our staff work tirelessly to keep our horses and ponies healthy and make sure all their needs are met, despite being in smaller teams due to the necessary physical distancing measures. Our appeal will help raise vital funds so that we can maintain a regular routine for ponies like Mouse as his training continues.”

For more information and to view Mouse’s film, visit mareandfoal.org

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