New start for Shetland pony found with hooves resembling ‘Aladdin’s slippers’

  • A neglected Shetland pony suffering from laminitis and with hooves so overgrown they resembled “Aladdin’s slippers”, is looking forward to a brighter future after he was rescued.

    A spokesman for HorseWorld said the charity was contacted by the RSPCA, which had removed eight-year-old gelding Charlie from a home near Yatton in February.

    “Charlie was not on the correct grazing for his breed and size, which had resulted in him developing laminitis,” he said.

    “To make matters worse he also hadn’t had his feed trimmed for a very long time. They had grown and twisted into a distorted shape resembling Aladdin’s slippers.”

    The “sweet-natured” gelding is now being kept on a soft surface and managed carefully under veterinary advice.

    “Depending on his recovery we hope Charlie may eventually be able to take part in our discovery courses, where rescued horses work alongside vulnerable children and those who are outside mainstream schooling to build confidence, self-esteem and communication skills. Charlie has the perfect temperament for it, ” said HorseWorld welfare yard manager Sarah Hollister.

    “He’s still in the process of rehabilitation at the moment. It is essential that we are able to provide him with the comfortable, safe environment he needs to give him the best possible chance of making a full recovery.”

    The spokesman added that the charity is running an appeal to raise funds to replace damaged rubber flooring in the stables, which will make an “enormous” difference to the rehabilitation of rescue horses such as Charlie.

    “We ran an appeal earlier in the year to fund the replacement of the rubber flooring in the isolation hospital unit and we were very grateful that our generous supporters responded,” said Amy Williams, the charity’s fundraising officer.

    “Now we are trying to bring the rest of the stable yard up to the same standard so that horses with long-term problems can have the same level of safety and comfort once they have completed their quarantine period and are able to leave the isolation unit.”

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    Ms Williams spoke about the importance of having rubber flooring for the charity’s horses such as those with painful feet, lame horses who need a supportive surface, or those with respiratory problems that need a dust-free environment.

    “The list of benefits to rescued horses goes on and on,” she said.

    To donate visit: www.horseworld.org.uk/safe

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