Back in 2015 we were working closely with a Borough Council to help tackle their Fly-Grazing issues, this is when equines have been left illegally grazing on a land owner’s property (either private or local authority) .
A call came into HAPPA about two colts, there were serious concerns for their welfare and they were grazing on council land. The Council served ‘Notice’ under The Control of Horses Act 2015 allowed the colts to be taken into care, once the ‘Notice’ period had been served. After 96 hours the Council removed the two colts and they came into the care of HAPPA, to ensure their welfare needs could be met.
They were named HAPPA Buzz and Woody.
On arrival at the Centre it was clear that the colts had been left due to the ill health of the black colt Woody. After receiving treatment for severe worm and lice infestation in our Isolation Unit both ponies moved onto the Main Yard. Woody was a small black colt with a thick white stripe down his face, he had the kindest nature and loved attention. However, it soon became apparent that he had mobility issues, we normally see these issues in stifles of younger horses that haven’t had the correct nutrition during the early stages of growth. In Woody’s case he had a similar problem, although it affected his fetlocks, creating excruciating pain and prohibiting him from even the simple tasks of walking round his stable. Following Veterinary Advice the best option for Woody was to end his suffering.
During this time we were trying to get the worm infestation under control, without compromising the health, of the piebald (black and white) colt known as Buzz. Being able to worm egg count him and target worm helped achieve what we needed to. He later found a home under our Temporary Foster Care Scheme, once he had been castrated, and enjoyed a family life for the next two and a half years. All of our equines are expected to come back to the Centre in the year that they turn four years old, in order for them to be assessed to become a Rideable equine.
In March of 2019 he returned from his home and the Equine Team were keen for him to start his education. He had such a laid back character for such a young horse, nothing seemed to bother him and he sailed through the backing process, then disaster struck.
In August of 2019 things took a significant turn for the worse with Buzz’s health, having contracted a viral infection that left him fighting for his life. Our Veterinary Surgeons worked tirelessly to find out what was causing Buzz to be so ill. The virus caused him to have a huge hematoma under his belly which enlarged his sheath, resulting in difficulty urinating. He lost all of his appetite and a considerable amount of weight, leaving him frail and lethargic. He had thickening of the bowel and evidence of losing protein. He was placed on a course of steroids for a number of weeks along with a specialised diet.
Constant advice and visits from the Vets became a regular routine for Buzz, whilst we all waited with baited breath, would this little guy with a fabulous character make it through?
And he did, he pulled through and fought the biggest fight of his life to survive. After all he had been through as a youngster he seemed to find the strength needed. He started to put on weight and his medication was slowly reduced, by January of 2020 he was given the all clear by the Vets and a bright future lay ahead of Buzz.
Since then he has come back into work and picked up from where he left off from. This little horse has won his fight and deserves everything he now has. We can’t wait to find him a Perfect Match and his Forever Home.