I have a shetland pony at my stable right now who came from very abusive conditions. This mare is only about 41" tall at the whithers and had never offered to hurt anyone once she realizes you will not hurt her. The man who use to own her would never feed them and just let a stallion run loose and breed whenever they wanted. He would also go in and hit this littlr mare in the head or body, wherever he could just because she came up to see him and he wanted nothing to do with them. He bought them for his grandkids and after a month or two they had no more interest in them and no on cared anymore about them. I am amazed he even gave them water or let the out on pasture to eat. Even though the pasture was not much, the grass might have been 1/2" tall maximum, and bare in most spots. This poor mare now weighs around 450lbs and when I got her the vet weighed her in at 137lbs. He kept her locked in a stall most of the time because he had 4 ponies total and finally got the idea in his head that he did not want her bred again, thank goodness he finally got a good idea in head for once. Since I have owned this mare I have talked to the original owner and breeder of the horse and he was appalled to hear about her and her foals. Her foals are in good care by the way, my mother owns one of them and had taken in all 3, but found the other two good homes after they were socialized and safe for kids to be around. The original owner since has told me she was broke to drive and ride, was even KID SAFE at one time. She also is missing a hunk of skin behind her right eye and I asked the original owner about this and he told me he knew she had no marks on her when she left his place because he had shown her and she was even papered with the modern shetland pony club. I asked the other guy and found out why, this was the most disturbing thing I found out, he was driving her the first week he owned her with his kids, she was trotting along and he asked her to turn and she supposedly went straight on, so instead of working with her to correct this (she had not been driven in about 2 years the original owner said when he sold her) he DROVE HER INTO A CHAIN LINK FENCE AND RIPPED THE SKIN FROM BEHIND HER EYE! He demolished the cart in the process and also ruined this poor horse for ever being driven again. I think this is the reason for the nervous breakdown. Of course the papers were transferred to the other guy and he refuses to give me the papers or a reg number on the mare. She is to mentally messed up now to ever be shown, but she makes a great companion horse as long as you understand why she is the way she is. These types of abuse cases are able to be rehabilitated, it takes time and does not always mean a 100% recovery. I have owned this mare for 2 years now and she is pretty good most days, a little skittish some days. She is still scared of men and I definitely would not call her a kids horse anymore. I really think that the guy pushed her into a nervous breakdown, almost like she is bipolar due to the way her mood can swing from day to day. I was told by so many people there was no hope for this mare, and here she stands, so happy to be out with other miniature mares to run and play for the first time in a long time without having to worry about where her "owner" is so she doesn't get beat on. She comes running to the pasture gate to see me when I go out to bring them in each night, this mare has made such an amazing mental recovery I just had to share her story with others. She may have been starved and beaten, but he couldn't break down her spirit and will to live and love someone again. This is her now, I wish I would have taken pictures of her when I first got her, but any little noise or flash scared her so bad she would tear down a wall or run through a fence to get away from it.
These are pictures of her damaged eye
I will try to find a better picture of her standing square tomorrow so everyone can see what she really looks like! I am so proud of this little mare. She may not have been the worst body condition rescue I have made, but definitely gets the trophy for the worst mental state.