I absolutely adore my two rescue Shetlands, Dodger and Slick. They are darling, very sweet, very smart and wonderful little guys. I’ve had them for 15 years and they have never been any trouble. You have to watch that you don’t over feed them. You have to make sure your locks work or they will pick them… and you have to make sure you groom them a few times a year to help with their massive amounts of hair. But, all in all, they are e-a-s-y and just adorable. Really, really adorable. (Here is a pic of my two boys.)
So, I guess it comes as no surprise that today I’m writing about a Shetland all-out rescue. This isn’t a Rescue that rescues Shetlands, this is a group of people who are rescuers who came together to rescue a group of Shetlands in need. The project is called the Keebler Elf Herd Rescue. You can visit their blogspot here.
Anyway, as the story goes, a few weeks ago, someone noted a herd of neglected Shetlands. The huge clue of neglect was the elf like slipper shape of their hooves (hence the name…). Most of the Shetlands had never been trimmed, ever. And, if you are a horse who hasn’t had a foot trim –and you aren’t roaming the Plains — your hooves are going to grow really really long, most likely. And, they did. Their hooves grew so long that one poor 3 year old filly had to be euth’d because this condition created a deformity in her legs. So sad.
But, the good news is that when Animal Control heard about the horses in the field, they got involved and decided to contact Falconridge Equine Rescue who rallied the troops and out they went to gather this unfortunate herd.
Since I house two Shetlands, I cannot imagine the state someone must be in to not be able to care for them — they are so easy — I was just saddened and shocked. Shetland ponies have wonderful personalities and practically come right up to you and ask for what they need in a sometimes smallmanpushypony way, but mostly in a very polite little horse way. For me, I just felt awful for this motley crew and wondered how this could have happened. When you look at the length of foot here, you know this went on for years… I don’t know, maybe I am very lucky, but my farrier just loves the little ones (He’s 6’8″!) and it takes him no time (and hardly any money) to trim them. And, I know it takes very little feed to feed them. As I’ve said before, they are very easy to house. I mean, just think about it. Shetlands came from the coal mines of England. They are very hearty. They are very smarty, too. Hearty and Smarty.
Anyway, back to the story… So, all the little ones were brought back to Falconridge. All were evaluated. The boys were separated from the girls. I think gelding operations are in the works. One poor girl had to be put down. The rest are being groomed, halter broke when necessary and trained to the human way.
Go to the blog for the ponies and look at the adorable pics! I also love the names… How fun to match a name with a furry face who just wants to finally be recognized! I’ve posted a few shots of the horrendous feet. I also posted a few shots of the wonderful volunteers who helped do the trimming. When you figure that these ponies had very little handling and probably never had a trim, but they needed a trim desperately, desperate measures (or comical measures) had to be put in place. As honorable as these trim photos are, they made me laugh! They also made me realize how much easier the little guys truly are.
Do you need a Shetland? (I think everyone does who has the room and the ability.) If so, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Or, maybe you just want to become a fan of Falconridge who save all kinds of horses all the time. Their website is quite complete. Maybe you want to send some wormer over to the Keebler Herd. After all, one tube can worm 3-4 ponies! Or, perhaps keep them in your thoughts and spread the word… every little bit helps these mighty little beings. I just adore them. And, I’m hoping you catch ponyities as well!