Grossly obese Shetland ponies given new life at HAPPA

HAPPA (Horses and Ponies Protection Association) have offered a Second Chance to three grossly obese Shetland pony stallions.
The three poniesThe three ponies
The three ponies

After being alerted to their plight by a member of the public in the Cumbria area, HAPPA’s equine inspector investigated further.

On arrival at the scene the inspector found three unhandled, grossly overweight ponies with extremely overgrown hooves that needed the charity’s help immediately.

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HAPPA’s equine inspector Tracy Heaton said: “This doesn’t happen often, the majority of the time I respond to equines that are underweight, in an extreme contrast these three are so overweight that we needed to act immediately to ensure that we put an end to their suffering.

"It is the owner’s responsibility to ensure their animals don’t get this overweight, it is animal cruelty. As with humans the effects to health can be catastrophic.

"The current temporary carer for the ponies didn’t have the knowledge to meet their needs correctly and also informed me that their owner had passed away from Covid-19.

"It was agreed by all concerned that they needed to be signed into the care of HAPPA to prevent further suffering."

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All three ponies were taken to safety at the Charity’s Rescue Centre, Shores Hey Farm, based in Burnley.

Senior equine care officer, Kelly Laird, added: “It will be a difficult recovery ahead for these three cheeky chappies, we will have to manage their weight to ensure they still receive enough nutrients, but begin to lose weight.

"We will also have to slowly introduce exercise to their daily routine whilst monitoring heart and respiratory rates.

"I must admit I have never seen ponies this fat before. My wish is to get them healthy and happy so they have a long, healthy, life and can go on to find that perfect Forever Home."

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Named by the charity HAPPA Samson, HAPPA Sunny and HAPPA Sol, all three are now enjoying bespoke rehabilitation plans in order to begin to lose weight, receive farrier treatment for their hooves, and head on the road to a healthier life.

Supporters will be able to follow their road to recovery on the charities social media channels.

At this time the charity is calling for donations to help buy an equine weigh bridge.

Weight management is crucial for both the Shetlands and for all the horses and ponies in HAPPA’s care.

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A weigh bridge will give an accurate measurement of the ponies’ weights over the coming months to ensure they are on target to a healthy lifestyle.

You can contribute to the Weigh Bridge Appeal by visiting or calling 01282 455992.