Our Story.....we began with a rescued pony!
Our first rescue was in 1986. I was travelling in Country SA for my job. A colleague and I had to visit a remote property north of Adelaide. I had recently bought a new camera and was experimenting with black and white film. On arriving at the property, I noticed a small piebald Shetland pony in a yard away from the house. A photo opportunity called. We surveyed what needed to be done at the house, nobody was home and I ventured over to the pony. I have had horses since I was 12, so knew a bit about them.
I walked up to the yard and almost cried. The little Shetland was in a yard full of manure, nothing to eat, and a bowl of not very clean water. I began to take photos, then noticed her hoofs. They were over six inches long and curved upwards, I had only seen this type of neglect in books. I absolutely seethed, and took heaps of pics to show the RSPCA!
I couldn't get her out of my mind, I was so angry. When I got home, I rang the owner of the property, who was actually very nice. He had just bought the property and the previous owners had left the Shetland behind, but also a dog, left in a cage! I asked him to give the pony to me, with undertones of reporting him if he didn't! He thought her name was Holly or Molly - so Holly she was. He was going to shoot her for dog meat, as he knew nothing about horses, but enough to know that she was in a bad way. So Holly became ours.
How to get her home? I must say here that I lived on a few acres, so had the
facilities to care for her. As I was currently horseless, I didn't have a float. I did
have a trailer with caged sides. It would have to do. So the next evening (I don't
mess around) off we went to get Holly. I had no idea if she floated, or if she could
even walk. The trailer was quite wide, so I had tied a bright green mattress
along both insides of the trailer, and made a dodgy looking ramp.
On pulling up at the property, Holly looked up and whinnied, really loudly. The man
was home, and as I said, he was nice. I went in and put a halter and rope on her
with no problem. Then I led her to her 'transport'. She could hardly walk with her
long hoofs and was struggling along on her heels. This was not going to be easy!
The dodgy ramp in place, and the bright green walls were a sight to behold. This
was not going to work. A horse would not just be upset at this contraption
but probably terrified. I was already pondering 'plan b' when Holly looked at the
ramp and tottered straight into the trailer! Then she stood there looking at us
as if to say 'well, lets go!' To say I was amazed is un understatement.
It was an hours' trip home and Holly took it in her wobbly stride. Down the main
street of Gawler, the shoppers looked as a little pony, her head above what must
of looked like we were moving beds, neighed, loudly, very loudly and continuously.
I laughed myself silly. So Holly came to live with me.