Much-loved RDA pony adapts to new life after eye removal

  • A Riding for the Disabled Association (RDA) pony is adapting to a new way of life after having his eye removed.

    Last Monday (17 January) when the team at Cotswold RDA went to get the ponies in at 8am for their lessons, 18-year-old gelding Chester was standing alone. Holly, one of the grooms, went to Chester and discovered he had severe damage to his eye and Cheltenham Vets were called.

    “As soon as the vet saw him she said the eye had burst and there was absolutely no way to repair it. We think he was kicked by another pony,” Lesley Gorton, the group’s general manager, told H&H.

    riding for the disabled

    “It was obviously a very traumatic day because we still had our clients to look after, while Chester had his eye removed but the vets were absolutely amazing and did a great job looking after Chester – and us.”

    Lesley said Chester was very “jumpy” following his operation but the 12hh pony is now regaining his confidence.

    “We made sure only a couple of people were dealing with him to start with as he was quite unsure of himself but now he’s doing well and adapting – you can tell he’s much more confident. He very much thinks he’s king of the castle because people have been bringing him carrots and apples,” she said.

    “We’re hoping in another week he’ll be able to start some gentle work again and we’ll reintroduce him to the indoor school to see how he copes with the surroundings.”

    The group has created a “Chester fund” to raise some money to cover the gelding’s vet fees. Donations can be made via the group’s Facebook page or website.

    “Every single donation makes a huge difference and we are hugely grateful. Chester is much loved by many children and has a lovely character so we hope he can continue being the wonderful pony he always has been, working again in the near future,” said Lesley.

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