2014 | Skewbald | Gypsy Cob | Under 14.2hh
Sponsoring a pony like Donald means you are making a commitment to helping us, help unwanted foals who are abandoned and left for dead. This is a serious aspect of the continuing horse welfare crisis in the UK and one that will need intervention from charities like ours for years to come.
Donald came to us as a distressed colt foal, discovered by one of Northumberland County Council’s Animal Welfare Team. He had been abandoned – left tied to the railings of a derelict school, with two other foals, later named Doogie and Marvin.
It was a freezing wet night in December when three cold and wet, hungry little ragamuffins arrived.
Their filthy, matted coats barely disguised their skeletal little bodies. Riddled with lice and suffering from a heavy roundworm burden, they quickly lay down together in the deep straw bed, munching quietly on hay. It’s always good for the team at times like this, to know they have found a bit of horsey heaven.
Foals in this state, having been weaned from their dam (mother), at 4-6 months of age and never been de-wormed, swiftly become malnourished. They barely weigh more than the day they were born. It is very sad to see.
It was necessary to put Donald and his pals through a careful programme of re-feeding. This is a very important process – as providing too many nutrients to a starved animal can cause organ failure and even death.
Re-feeding is a subject we plan to cover soon in our advice for owners and keepers, as sadly some well-meaning people rescue starving ponies, only to cause their death by allowing access to too much of the wrong foods.
Donald has been with us for five years now, stands 13.2hh and was started under saddle in 2019, by our good friends and supporters, Christene Allison and Sarah Gaskin.
Donald has always been the most sensitive one of the three and has taken time to learn to relax and allow himself to be ridden. It is unlikely that he will become a novice ride anytime soon but we believe that in time, when his confidence grows further, he may prove to be a very capable showman and/or dressage prospect for the right ambitious, amateur rider.
He is a cob with substance, a proper leg at each corner, with good proportions – lovely stamp of pony.
Donald will be ready for our Loanie Pony Scheme around Easter 2021 and we look forward to finding his human soul mate soon.