Working in animal welfare can be really tough. There are so many heartbreaking endings and the inevitable sadness and tears can be mentally very challenging.

Some people struggle to cope with the grief on a regular basis; others adapt well but need to always be mindful of the positives.

It is very important for the sanity of any team, to focus on good outcomes whenever possible.

Humbugs story is one such outcome – we hope you enjoy her story with a fairy tale ending and please remember, we can only continue to give ponies like her a second chance, with your support. Please visit www.here4horses.org.uk to find out more about what we do.

Humbug was discovered by an RSPCA Inspector – tethered on wasteland without water, supplementary food or shelter.

She was in a dreadful state – her spine and ribs were clearly visible despite her filthy, long and matted coat.

She was scouring very badly (diarrhoea), and intestinal worms (parasites), were clearly visible in her watery droppings.

She was dull and listless and needed help quickly.

Humbug was immediately taken in by the RSPCA who then met all of the costs associated with Humbugs rehabilitation and subsequent re-home with her perfect partner.

The process of bringing humbug back to health was a lengthy one. We will cover the subject of ‘re-feeding’ emaciated horses and ponies – including those with heavy parasite infestations – in future articles.

Suffice to say for now, that the process must be followed very slowly indeed, in order to avoid organ failure and potentially kill the horse through overfeeding.

Once we had Humbug on track for a full recovery, she was moved to the RSPCA’s Felledge Animal Centre in readiness for re-homing.

This is where she met her wonderful new adopter who now takes over the story.

Where do I start? If it wasn’t for the RSPCA and the lovely lot at Here4Horses, I wouldn’t have discovered the ultimate pleasure of owning Felledge Humbug.

After losing my childhood pony, the companion to my other mare to colic and other issues, I was in a predicament. My mare was living alone and needed a friend.

I decided to try the RSPCA centre at Felledge for my next horse and went along to take a look, with the criteria in my head of coming away with a 15-16hh warm-blood type that was broken but green.

The centre unfortunately had nothing in residence fitting that description but offered to take my details and suggested that if anything came in, they would contact me with a match.

After explaining to the team, the problem I had with the need for a companion, the suggestion was made for me to short term foster a youngster for 6 months. This youngster would keep my mare company, whilst I found what I was looking for.

I was taken on a tour of the yard and shown some of the horses in at the time…at this point I didn’t for a moment, think I’d be walking away with a 13.2hh, 2 year old, unbroken, coloured cob. How wrong could I be?

A week later, with application submitted and home checks complete, Humbug came home with me. The rest is history as she never returned to Felledge as per the original plan…because we all fell in love!

Fast forward five years and what a journey we have had!

The little coloured cob, that at one point I would have been guilty of turning my nose up at, has well and truly changed my life!

She is the friendliest, most bomb proof, yet versatile little cross country machine I have ever met.

Her braveness and willing to work is second to none and literally nothing fazes her. I have no doubt this is down to the individual care and rehabilitation she received.

I have had the pleasure of starting her under saddle myself, which was another first for me and I have enjoyed every minute of our journey so far!

I would recommend a rescue to anyone – even if initially you don’t think there is anything taking your fancy!

The process is so easy, you are giving a second chance to a horse or pony that hasn’t had the best start in life and there is advice at the end of the telephone when you need it.

I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to take home my absolute pride and joy, my cheeky yet so loving heart horse – Thank you all 🐴💓

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