At Thorowgood we want to be ‘Kind to Your Horse’ in more than just our design. We think it’s important to show some kindness to horses and ponies who’ve had a terrible time and are in desperate need of help. The story of Gwen the orphan foal touched our heart, so we’ve decided to support Lluest Horse & Pony Trust by covering the feeding, veterinary and rehabilitation costs of this brave little filly who was found trapped in the Welsh hills.
Saved thanks to lost walkers!
When two hikers got lost in a remote part of the Brecon Beacons National Park, they didn’t expect to become rescuers themselves. Way off the beaten track they’d spotted a tiny foal stuck in a gorge. After pulling the little filly free, they left her to rejoin the herd of ponies standing nearby and went about trying to find their own path home.
That night, the walkers couldn’t stop thinking about the poor little foal. Her plight preyed on their mind so much that they re-traced their steps the following morning to check on her. Instead of finding her grazing happily with the herd, they were heartbroken to discover her alone in the same spot, left behind by the other horses.
When Lluest Welfare Assistants Shannon and Rhian arrived, the bedraggled little foal seemed to know they were there to help and greedily drank the bottle of mare replacement milk they’d brought. Lluest had sent an ambulance, but they were so far off the beaten track there was no way it could reach her. Thankfully the ‘wild’ foal – already named Gwen by her rescuers - was so trusting she allowed herself to be carried to the back of their 4x4 for a cross-country drive to the waiting ambulance.
Underweight and malnourished
The vet who examined Gwen said she weighed less than a collie dog. Hourly feeds throughout the day and every three hours during the night were necessary just to be in with a chance of survival. The staff had fallen in love with this frail little filly and were willing to do anything to help her make it through. The devoted grooms made her a pen in the corner of their living room where she spent the first few days and nights under their constant supervision!
A kindhearted volunteer donated a teddy especially for Gwen. In those early days the little orphan would often sleep cuddled up to her companion bear, no doubt missing the warmth and comfort of her own mother.
Gwen’s debilitating parasite burden caused several setbacks with episodes of painful colic and bouts of coughing. But thanks to the dedication of the staff at Lluest this tough little cookie gradually pulled through, becoming stronger and more independent as the days went by.
At the time Gwen arrived, an abandoned mare and her yearling colt – Lucky and Chance - were also at the centre. The foal had recently been weaned from his mum and she was looking a bit down. Gwen was beginning to grow out of her cuddly toy and needed some proper equine interaction. Gwen and Lucky were introduced and they hit it off instantly. Althoguh Gwen didn’t suckle from Lucky, the kindly mare cared for her new baby as if she were her own in every other way.
The two were inseparable for those first few months, with Lucky giving Gwen all the confidence, support and education she would have received from her real mum.
As Gwen has grown and matured under Lucky’s care, she has made a new friend – Zazu. This little grey colt was born at Lluest to a rescue mare, so he has enjoyed quite a different start to life. Despite their different beginnings the two have become the best of friends, playing and getting up to all sorts of mischief like happy healthy foals should!
Gwen and Zazu will stay in safety at Lluest until they reach four years old. Then, if they look like they’ll make suitable riding ponies, they will start their education on the farm. With the care, time, patience and training that the amazing staff there put in, the hope is that these lucky ponies will go on to find a loving guardian home of their own. We are very grateful to those two walkers for making that call to Lluest and giving this lovely little horse a chance of life.
If you think you can help with time, a donation, or even a home for these rescued ponies, please get in touch. www.lluesthorseandponytrust.co.uk