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Neglected ponies

(10 Posts)
GrannyPiggy Thu 19-May-16 10:06:04

I may be a smallholder but I have never had dealings with horses so I'm hoping some of you have
During the winter I have been feeding two elderly new forest ponies and a donkey for a lady who rents the neighbouring field
This only came about because DH contacted her about the state of the grass and no one was visiting the horses
She has been bringing feed in and we feed them once a day but that is all
Now the longer days are here DH suggested she could do this herself in the evenings and she really took the hump !
Now we really don't mind feeding but surely they need more than this , like brushing, cleaning the field or even just contact with their owner
These poor creatures have not been cared for/ visited regularly for years
Any horsey people out there I'd welcome your views

Tegan Thu 19-May-16 10:14:21

What are their feet like? (especially the donkey).I always think the main sign of neglect are overgrown hooves. New Forest ponies are pretty hardy I'd imagine.Do understand your concern.

merlotgran Thu 19-May-16 10:21:54

They probably need worming as well especially if they've been grazing the same field for a long time.

Seeing as you are feeding them I think you are justified in voicing your concerns and asking her what action she is going to take.

merlotgran Thu 19-May-16 10:25:40

Worming is particularly important if donkeys and ponies are kept in the same field as donkeys can carry lungworm.

Iam64 Thu 19-May-16 15:52:04

Yes, you've been kind and helpful but the ponies are her responsibility, if she refuses to look after them, maybe you need a plan B. We had a similar problem locally. The rspca were useless, denied neglect but that was because others had stepped in to avoid the horses suffering.
It was only resolved when a local vet loaded the worst case into her horse box, took it home for treatment and phoned the press who photographed the poor creatures. That galvanised the rspca , the owner was prosecuted and animals removed. It was fairly dire for all concerned so Plan B may be necessary

chocolatepudding Thu 19-May-16 16:50:28

The RSPCA will not get involved as the horses are being fed.

Do you know anyone locally who has a horse or pony that you could ask to visit the field and give their opinion as to the welfare of the horses? Do you have a horse rescue charity in your county that you could phone and ask for advise? Here in East Anglia I would suggest contacting Redwings for advice see
they may know of a charity in your area.

Nearly 20 years ago over 25 horses were found starving on a local farm. I think four of them were PTS and the owner was prosecuted by the RSPCA. Since then all local people keep an eye on ponies in fields and soon shout if they are not happy with the standard of care. Four ponies were in a half acre field adjacent to my paddock and were not fed enough. Within 30 minutes of a phone call to local farmer a huge hay bale was delivered to the hungry animals.

merlotgran Thu 19-May-16 16:59:05

The field will be incredibly horse-sick by now so the next time she delivers food you really need to get some answers from her as to how much longer she is going to keep them on there.

chocolatepudding's idea of getting a second opinion is good because like tegan said, their feet will no doubt need attention. Their coats shouldn't need much attention during the summer months but I bet they looked pretty mangey whilst shedding their winter coats.

Poor things sad

GrannyPiggy Fri 20-May-16 08:36:29

Thank you all
We know the field is 'sour' and will soon be full of ragwort
We were feeding them this winter because we threatened her with RSPCA also we arranged a farrier last year because she said she couldn't find one ! They have no shelter and the poor donkey was very bedraggled
She has sent someone out to feed the last 2 days but feeding isn't really the issue
We know this won't last so next time we will have to report it. It's only about an acre and hasn't been cleaned or rested in the 3 years we've been here and probably a lot longer

whitewave Fri 20-May-16 09:12:48

I think the truth is often that like so many pet animals people's hearts rule their heads. They desperately want a pony or horse but do not have the means to care for it as it deserves. They can give neither the time nor money in order for it to live a healthy and happy life.

alchemilla Fri 27-May-16 15:01:47

To add insult to injury she may - if she's a commoner - be claiming SPS for the animals. They had a 1.7m£ uplift from the EU with some animal owners claiming from well outside the NF. Most commoners do care and tend for their animals but with the incentive to put more animals out the Forest is overgrazed in places and stick thin unwormed ponies can be seen. So it's not just those in fields.