WE’VE had a couple of new arrivals on our yard over the last few weeks.

The first, a little Welsh foal, arrived late one Sunday evening. At the moment, he doesn’t have a name. I’ve been calling him Gus simply because he arrived in August.

We are only guessing at his age, which is thought to be about two months as little Gus, who is scarcely big enough to reach to the top of a stable door, was taken to a neighbour’s farm one evening and left, as he wasn’t wanted by his owners.

The whereabouts of his mother is unknown, as his owners didn’t hang around, but at least they didn’t abandon him on waste ground, which is all too often the case with unwanted foals, colts in particular.

At least they cared enough to take him to a farm where they knew there were other horses. At least they gave him a chance.

From there, late that same night Gus was brought to our spot, where our livery yard manager also happens to be a British Horse Society welfare officer. He was bedded down in the isolation barn, as is the case with all new arrivals until they have been blood tested and given the all clear by the vet, and that is how I came to meet him.

He was so tiny, I heard him whinny before I noticed little pink nostrils, poking over the top of his stable door. He has the biggest eyes, the longest eye lashes and a coat that promises to be a rich liver chestnut. Like all Welsh ponies he is full of character and watching him drink his foal milk from a bucket, simply melts your heart.

But Gus is one of the lucky ones. He has now been given the all clear by the vet and gone to live at a rescue centre, where he will make new friends and receive all the care and attention that he needs to grow big and strong, until one day he will be found a home of his own. A home where he will be wanted and loved, for that is what the BHS strive to do for all equines that come into their care.

You see sadly, despite extensive campaigns and schemes to encourage the gelding of stallions, there are still more foals being born every year than there are homes and abandonment is becoming more and more common place. So yes, all things considered, Gus is one of the lucky ones; but I can’t help wonder about his mother and whether or not she is already in foal for next year?

The second new arrival was another welfare pony, a sweet natured Connemara. He was signed over by his owner last weekend after suffering a bout of colic. Veterinary fees are not cheap, especially out of hours and this is something that all horse owners need to remember. Happily, the little Connie is recovering nicely and this afternoon was out enjoying some warm September sunshine and a bite of grass in the little paddock. Fingers crossed for a complete recovery and a bright future!

There are several former welfare ponies working in the riding school that operates from our livery yard. Ponies given up or abandoned by their owners. Ponies like little Peppa, a pretty roan mare found wandering, heavily pregnant, on a council estate a few years ago. These days, Peppa is a great favourite with many younger riders, even winning a few rosettes now and again, as you can see in the photograph.

Today, the British Horse Society work relentlessly to ensure that equines throughout the country are free to enjoy life within the guidelines of the five freedoms which are:

Freedom from hunger or thirst

Freedom from discomfort

Freedom from pain, injury or disease

Freedom to express (most) normal behaviour

Freedom from fear or distress

So if you are looking for a horse or pony, why not consider a rehabilitated rescue? Affordable, well-handled and well-mannered, they have such a lot to offer.

Further information on rehoming can be obtained from the RSPCA or the British Horse Society. Alternatively, send me an email and I will pass on your details.

Email karen.hunton@yahoo.co.uk