The Angelic Stallion
I'm a pretty stallion without a home or a name. I'd been dumped and forgotten but then someone found me, they brought me to the sanctuary, they took the pain away and gave me yummy food. I made friends and I learnt what it's like to be loved and cared for. I like it. I am still learning things and improving every day.
In July 2020 the sanctuary recieved an email from animal welfare with a photo attached and a short message. 'Do you have room to help this pony. Feet need seeing to.'. - that was all we had to go on. That and a photo of a pony from behind in a field - from that photo all we could really tell was that he had a nice tail.
We had no idea of gender, age, condition; but we've worked with less and we were definitely working with less considering we were down a shelter, paddock and stables since lockdown had delayed the replacement building.
On a Monday morning in August one of our staff member's set off with the transporter to track down the pony and bring them home. For those of us preparing for his arrival at the sanctuary we didn't know what to expect. Getting a call around 12 to say they couldn't find a pony nor the address put us into investigative mode, trying to contact animal welfare and reaching out to people in the area for details. Eventually the address that didn't actually exist was found and the search began for the pony.
They set out to find the tiny Shetland in 3 massive fields where he was last sighted by the property owner. Eventually, when spotted in the bottom of a field he didn't move. They approached slowly, his head movements showed him to be nervous but curious. As they neared the damage became clearer. It took great effort for this crippled little pony to get up the hill his poor feet where overgrown and he was exhausted, each step causing him more pain. Over a foot of his tail trailed behind him and hard mats hung from his mane.
Immediatly he was transported to Tullyraine Equine Clinic where we hoped we could get him xrayed and gelded - if he was healthy enough. He wasn't healthy enough, although thankfully not so far gone that we couldn't save him. The vets took xrays while discussing anemia and blood transfusions. The pony was severely overweight, we couldn't even begin to imagine the stress his joints were under with the overgrown hooves and extra weight. He was riddled with worms too. All signs of his life of neglect and abandonment. They aged him at only 9 years approx. Only a youngster in many respects.
He wasn't fit enough to travel that evening and he stayed on at the vets overnight for monitoring and treatment. On the Tuesday afternoon he made the journey to the sanctuary, where a large deep bed was waiting for him.
He spooked at the ponies in the yard, but there was no fight in him. He was so weak and run down, it hurt to witness him crossing the yard, every step obviously causing him a lot of pain. He was given more pain relief and left to settle; with a promise that he was safe and loved.
We named him Gabriel, for he was a true angel. Even in pain and obviously scared, he allowed us to move him and work with him to get his feet trimmed and shaped. He allowed us to groom his coat, removing the large build up of dust and dirt. He let us cut away the mats in his mane and we took over a foot of length from his tail. He never showed any aggression or fight, just watched us with soft eyes and a calm demeanor.