Five extremely frightened and malnourished ponies are currently being treated and nursed back to health at a horse rescue charity on the outskirts of Bristol.

Equine welfare charity, HorseWorld received an urgent call to ask if they could help with a major rescue operation involving multiple rescue charities.

The economic crisis has had a huge impact on the number of horses in need and HorseWorld, like many other charities, were already at capacity. Despite the pressure this placed on finances and resources, the charity couldn’t turn away from horses who were in desperate need of  help.

After a long journey to the rescue site, they were greeted with the pitiful sight of animals that had clearly been dealt a very cruel hand in life.

“They wouldn’t have survived much longer without help” said HorseWorld’s Head of Equine Welfare, Sarah Hollister. “They had been abandoned and were completely unhandled and terrified of humans. In a situation like this the equine skills of our team are really tested but with plenty of patience and kindness they were able to coax the frightened, bewildered ponies into the lorry and transport them to the safety of HorseWorld.

“These ponies are likely to be the subject of a prosecution case meaning we are unable to go into details about their identity, location of the rescue and the circumstances that led to them being in such an appalling condition until court proceedings are over.”

Sarah continued “Our veterinary team have begun treating these rescued ponies which will be continued over the summer and it will take years of rehabilitation in the safe surroundings of HorseWorld to reach a stage where they might be suitable to find a loving home on our rehoming scheme. All this will place a financial pressure on HorseWorld so we’ve launched an appeal in the hope that our kind supporters may be able to help. The number horses and ponies finding themselves in desperate need seem to be increasing faster than we can rescue them!

One of the mares in the group appears to be heavily pregnant but is extremely fearful of humans making it difficult at this stage to give her a proper veterinary examination. This would mean that the extra five ponies the charity have made space for, could soon become six!

HorseWorld’s Fundraising and Engagement Coordinator, Amy Williams explained “It's incredibly difficult to raise the sizeable funds needed for a rescue like this when we are prevented from telling you all the details while the court case is incomplete but as soon as we can, we will publish updates on their progress.

“Any amount you can give to help us meet these unexpected and substantial costs would make a real difference and help to give these ponies a chance of a much brighter future.”

The appeal can be found on oHorseWorld’s website.