A pony found “crawling with lice and infested with worms” is looking for a loving new home.
The Blue Cross hopes that April’s namesake month will be the one in which she finds her rehomer.
The chestnut mare was “battling the odds for survival” when she was taken in by the animal welfare charity as a “pitifully underweight, parasite-infested” yearling.
Three years on, she is difficult to recognise from the youngster she once was and is ready to find a new home where she can fulfil her potential to become a riding pony.
“April was crawling with lice and infested with worms when she arrived at Blue Cross in 2015,” said a charity spokesman.
“With a body condition score of just 1.5 she was a tragic sight and was terrified of human contact.”
Marie Kavanagh, horse rehoming coordinator at Blue Cross Rolleston, said staff had to win April’s confidence.
“We had to train her to be caught and handled before we could treat her”, she said.
“Her condition was so poor that had she not come to us when she did it’s unlikely she would have survived much longer in the circumstances in which she was found.”
Following treatment, April was placed in a short-term home to enjoy growing up with other youngsters.
She became used to dogs and children, as well as staying calm when being treated by the farrier and the vet.
“April really blossomed in her short-term home,” added Ms Kavanagh. “It’s put her in good stead for the next phase of her life, which is to find a project home.
“She is a calm, clever pony and shows every promise of becoming a super riding pony.”
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The pair have put their tricky start in life behind them and are blossoming in their eventing careers
April is one of several ponies at the Blue Cross centre in Rolleston, Staffordshire, looking for homes. Her fieldmates Beastie and Tristan both came from Bodmin Moor, where they had never been touched by humans and had to fend for themselves.
“They are now very sociable and comfortable with being left alone for short periods so would make excellent companions for a ridden horse,” added a charity spokesman.
The Blue Cross has two horse rehoming centres at Burford and Rolleston. To find out more about equines and other animals needing a home, visit www.bluecross.org.uk
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In this week’s magazine, out on Thursday 19 April 2018, don’t miss our special report from the British Dressage Winter Championships, plus full analysis from the Grand National — including expert comment, pictures and more. Read our report from the dressage and showjumping World Cup finals, and in this week’s ‘vet clinic’ we discuss the facts about fitness.