Bodmin Moorland Pony Rehabilitation is a small equine charity devoted to rescuing abandoned hill ponies from Dartmoor, Exmoor and Bodmin Moor.

bodmin moorland pony rehabilitation logoThe charity’s mission is to give these feral and emaciated ponies a second chance to become fantastic family companies, riding ponies or best friends. The staff are passionate about promoting the ponies which they describe as having wonderful natures.

Like many other charities, Bodmin Moorland Pony Rehabilitation has felt the strain caused by the coronavirus crisis and applied to the Trust’s Covid 19 Equine Rescues Emergency Fund. We awarded a grant of £3,200.

Two little chaps who have benefitted are Rudi & Orca who came into the charity’s care on 11/10/18 as young foals from Dartmoor.

two colts at bodmin moorland pony“We have consistently worked with welfare officers & organisations in that area for a number of seasons, helping responsible hill farmers each year who do not run stallions of their own & who actively seek help with the consequences of others’ irresponsible breeding practices,” explains Imogen Holt.

Rudi and Orca were estimated to be around 3 months of age and far too young to be away from their mothers. Since their arrival the charity has worked with their health and handling, building trust without fear or force. They have been waiting for both boys to mature ready for castrations (as is their policy) in order that they can find loving new homes for them.

According to Holt, Orca quickly showed he was a confident & trusting soul. Rudi, on the other hand, took longer to learn to trust humans.

“Both boys now are happy and trusting individuals who love human attention,” she says.

dartmoor ponies bodin moorland pony rehabilitationSadly, Orca was showing signs of being cryptorchid, meaning one of his testicles was not descending into place. In some cases, this can happen naturally given time. However, the condition can mean complicated abdominal surgery.

“Sadly, the longer surgery is delayed for young colts the more complicated the operation, and we felt that at two years of age we should not delay any further and by becoming geldings we can then find them the homes of their own they deserve. Covid 19 lockdown had also delayed the intervention further,” explains Holt.

two dartmoor colts running“The boys had surgery last week & thankfully Orca’s missing testicle was found although it did require significant surgery. Both boys are swiftly recovering and will be available for homes in September allowing us the space we then need to help other ponies desperately in need. The bill came to £1,900!

“Our Herd Manager, Shelley Oldfield, does amazing work with these wonderful ponies on a shoestring and without a salary and the security that brings. I am privileged to be involved, and thank you so much for helping.”

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