Even the most robust pony needs a helping hand in old age, as Rebecca Hamilton-Fletcher MRCVS explains
“He’s worth his weight in gold!” Such praise is frequently applied to the older schoolmaster pony, who has taken numerous children off the lead-rein for the first time, safely introduced them to the hunting field or helped them enjoy their first Pony Club camp.
These ponies may not have the looks, conformation or athleticism to win in the show ring or on the performance field, yet they are so sought after that they rarely leave the local area. They are often booked well in advance for the next excited family, even though they may be entering their twenties or even thirties.
The very fact that they keep going and going, however, frequently passing from one home to the next, means that their routine care – as well as any specific veterinary needs – can become inadvertently overlooked.