Haggis, a Shetland pony that was obese and could hardly walk two and a half years ago has become a poster boy for World Horse Welfare’s “Rehome a Horse Month”.
Since the charity rescued Haggis in August 2010, he has changed from an obese, severely lame pony to one with a svelte physique that schmoozes with royalty.
The 9.1hh Haggis was found riddled with lice, grossly overweight and laminitic. His untrimmed feet were curled up, forcing him to walk on his heels.
World Horse Welfare farrier Donald Nicol said: “[Walking on his heels] forced him to rolls his feet onto the outside and twist his leg outwards, which put a great deal of pressure on his legs, causing extreme soreness.”
“Once I had trimmed his feet, it took him a long while to get used to walking normally again,” he added. “We had to give him pain relief to him get through that.”
Once Haggis had been rehabilitated, he was rehomed as a companion pony with Chloe McCutcheon, after which he took part in a demonstration for the Princess Royal at World Horse Welfare’s Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire.
Although Haggis was too nervous to be ridden, Chloe says he is “a fantastic companion”.
“Just because [he is] a companion doesn’t mean to say [he is] not used,” said Chloe. “Haggis has a job, as a nanny when he needs to be, leading youngsters in and out of trailers.”
Rehome a Horse Month takes place throughout April across the country, giving the public a chance to offer horses that have had bad start in life a new home, giving space for the ones needing help.
There are currently nearly 7,000 horses needing rescue or new homes.
Watch part of Haggis’s rehabilitation, featuring detailed farriery work on his terrible feet, also featuring Her Royal Highness, the Princess Royal: