Rejected day-old foal is now thriving
Little Lucy came into the care our member World Horse Welfare in May this year, when she was just one-day old after her mother sadly rejected her. Without rapid intervention, Lucy would not have survived.
Lucy was born into a herd of semi-feral Konik ponies which made finding a foster mother for her more challenging. As time was so important, the decision was taken to transport her to the charity’s Hall Farm and the dedicated teams there began hand-rearing her.
Koniks are a Polish breed of pony and often the preferred breed for conservation grazing in this country and abroad. The stocky dun ponies, with their upright manes and often with zebra stripes on their legs are now a familiar sight on larger nature reserves. Lucy’s mother was one of the herd ranging over and helping conserve a large National Trust site in Norfolk. It is their choice of forage, level of grazing pressure and physical impact that makes ponies the ideal choice in certain types of reserves.
The positive value of grazing pressure is beginning to be recognised within the conservation sector, and cows, sheep, ponies and other grazing animals all have different impacts on the habitat.
Despite living in a semi-feral way, very different to how we usually think of horses being kept, these conservation ponies still receive a high level of care and their welfare is protected at all times. Regular foot trimming and dental work is carried out, alongside worming and other necessary health treatments. Supplementary food is provided in winter if needed and any animal showing signs of injury or illness is treated immediately and this was why Lucy’s situation was spotted straight away.
On her arrival at Hall Farm Lucy quickly settled in. Her groom Adele said “Lucy is a really beautiful silver dun filly and she is growing well. She’s socialising well and just loves playing with Tesla, and her mother Cortina, who has totally taken Lucy under her wing! Her cheeky personality is definitely shining through and we will all be sad to see her go when she is ready for rehoming in a few months time.”