Horses, ponies and donkeys removed from Spindles Farm in Amersham last week are all making good progress at the rescue centres they were taken to.

H&H has spoken to the three charities involved about how their new charges are getting along.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary took in nine donkeys and 13 ponies at their centre in Norfolk.

Nicola Markwell from Redwings told H&H: “They are all getting on really well; we’re really pleased with their progress.

“They are feeding and are less frightened than they were but are still very nervous. We have a specialist handling team coming in and they are improving.

“Little Esther [the two-month-old donkey foal whose plight launched the Operation Esther campaign on the H&H website] is still very nervous though which is unusual for a donkey.

“They are being wormed, seeing the farrier and having blood tests also to make sure everything is all ok.”

Ten ponies and one horse went to the ILPH.

Spokesman for the charity Hannah Rowley said: “All the animals have had a very good weekend.

“When they arrived they were covered in mud and excrement but now they’ve had a good groom, their cuts and scrapes have been treated, their feet trimmed and they have been thoroughly checked by the vets, including blood tests.

“They will remain in quarantine for a couple of days.”

The Horse Trust, based close to Spindles Farm in nearby Speen, took in 31 equines in total.

Seventeen have now been moved to safe locations while 14 remain in their care – three donkeys and the rest mainly ponies.

Susan Lewis at The Horse Trust told H&H: “They are all doing ok. They were in the poorest condition; emaciated – malnourished and dehydrated, it’s going to be a long road to recovery.

“When they arrived they were all very thin and had their heads down. Now they are less depressed and responding well and we are gradually beginning to see bits of their personalities coming out.

“It is a remarkable improvement and they seem so grateful for all our help. We’re taking the medical treatment slowly to work out exactly what they need so they each get individual care. I’m really hopeful. We’ve all fallen in love with them here.”

All the charities say they are extremely grateful for all the help and donations they are currently receiving.