When Missie arrived at South Manor, she had a number of health problems; Cushings disease, a heart murmur, metabolic syndrome, cataracts, and damage to her eye. We were told that she was here to live out the last of her days - whilst still comfortable and pain-free. It was expected that she wouldnt be with us much longer than a few months...
Missie is among 26 horses and ponies living here at South Manor - our retirement sanctuary nestled in a quiet spot in Devon and just under a mile away from our Beech Trees veterinary hospital. It is the perfect place for our older rescued equines to retire and see out the rest of their days, living comfortably and pain-free.
We like to call them retired, but the truth is that theyre the residents with the most complex, long term care needs at the Sanctuary, and thats why they come to us. Each of them has their own health issues and all need specific medication and a carefully developed, individualised care routine. Their quality of life is our top priority and we absolutely dote on them, providing the love and care they deserve.
At South Manor, the expert grooms manage the horses and ponies in small groups, according to their needs. As well as Missie with her complex needs, there are the arthritics and laminitics (a condition affecting their feet), who with careful management can lead a very happy life. There are the bad breathers who have respiratory conditions similar to asthma, those with sweet itch who require constant care of their sensitive skin. Many, due to old age, have ongoing dental issues and missing teeth, which require regular dental check-ups by our vet and our staff having to make regular extra feeds consisting of soft and palatable fibre nuts.
Four years later Missie is thriving and happy, thanks to the expert health care she receives. Even to this day, she jogs in and out of her field and loves galloping round with her friends in the field. She certainly still has her cheeky moments too; she gives us the run around more often than we'd care to admit when its time to come in!
Of course, we always keep an eye on her and she has regular check-ups with Richard, our vet, to make sure everything is in order. She's been in our care since 1999, and is living proof that with love and the right kind of care, every pony can enjoy an active life and is valued for the rest of their days.
With your support, we are able to provide an incredible sanctuary to all the equines passing through South Manors doors, but this busy little corner of the world has ongoing costs and is in need of improvements.
How your donation could help
Your donation could help us to renovate our former storage barn into a new crew barn making more room at South Manor for the horses and ponies that need our specialist care like Missie. Crew barns are great for keeping small groups of horses and ponies who are friends together under one roof.
Your donation could help us to provide specialist rugs specific for sweet-itch sufferers and cosy ones to keep our horses and ponies warm in inclement weather and the forthcoming winter months.
Your donation could ensure our horses and ponies always have enrichment toys. Whilst our older friends might not be as energetic and spritely as the youngsters, they still love to play just like Missie.