“WTF…the agony that little soul must have been in. My vet described it to me like having pins driven down your finger nails, then walking on them! He is one hell of a lucky little pony to have had rescuers, willing to fight to get him out of the horrendous state he was found in. I would have liked to know more about his previous owners & their excuse for letting him get into such a state. Their sentence was pitiful, just another slap on the wrist; which just pisses me off so much! 

“Any sound horse owner knows without a good foot, the horse is useless.  Hooves are just like finger nails, they grow constantly which is why they must be filed by a trained farrier, every 6 to 8 weeks. It’s one dedicated farrier who has Bingo walking on near normal a hoof as possible. I’ve seen pictures of horses with similar hooves where the bone has sunk too far, that remedial therapy was out of the question, the horses were in so much pain, the kindest thing was to put them to sleep!”

” Eating too much rich grass can cause colic, to any horse & can kill if not dealt with immediately. Which is why one has to restrict rich grass grazing, by rotating feeding areas in the field; either by electrical tape or just fencing! I think far too many people buy horses because their learning to ride, or they just want one as a garden ornament…yet they have no idea about horse management; not even the basics, i.e. feet, food, teeth! Anyone wanting a horse should attend a horse management course, learn about facts such as plants, that grow in normal fields, yet are deadly to horses…not knowing some simple basics, can result in a pony ending up just like this…which is just so sad!!”

  • Bingo’s hooves grew to six inches long and turned up at the ends
  • They will need specialist treatment for the rest of his life
  • The Shetland pony was overweight because he had not been cared for
  • Tissue in his hooves had broken down and the bone had moved
  • A Bristol charity rescued the eight-year-old from a pile of litter
  • His owners were prosecuted and he was nursed back to health

This pony‘s hooves turned up like Aladdin’s slippers after he was neglected and forced to live in piles of rubbish.

Eight-year-old Bingo, whose hooves will need specialist treatment for the rest of his life, was rescued from terrible conditions by Bristol-based charity Horse-world.

The Shetland pony was overweight and living in litter, having been neglected by his owners for six months to a year.

Sore: Bingo’s hooves will need special treatment for the rest of his life, after they curled up at the ends

His hooves had grown to six inches long and curled upwards, which would have hurt as much as trapping a hand in a car door, a vet said.
It took a year to get Bingo back down to a normal weight, and his hooves will need specialist treatment for the rest of his life.

On a scale of one to five, where five is morbidly obese, Bingo’s weight was ranked a four by the charity, who helped to rehabilitate him.

Sarah Hollister, equine training manager for Horse-world  said: ‘Bingo was in a sorry state when he was rescued by Horse-world.

‘It took months of remedial trimming and painkillers to bring his hooves back to a relatively normal and pain-free state.’

Amy Williams from Horse-world, who owns two Shetland ponies of her own, said: ‘The vet said that his hooves would have been causing him as much pain as trapping a hand in a car door. He was still making his way around on them but he would have been in excruciating pain.

‘Shetland ponies are easy to look after. They are adapted to live in Shetland where grass is sparse. If they are left in a healthy field here, they will literally eat themselves to death.

‘I have an electric fence that I move a little bit each day to stop mine over-eating, but Bingo was just left, which is how he got so fat.’

Cruel: Horses’ hooves should be regularly trimmed – but Bingo’s were left to grow to six inches long

Bingo’s hooves were so bad when he was found in July 2011 that the tissue had broken down and the bone had moved. “This little guy is so lucky, had his coffin bone sunk any further, the kindest option would have been to put him to sleep!”

He has his hooves trimmed every four weeks to try and get the bone back to a normal position. A regular horse would need their hooves trimming every six to eight weeks. “I have my horses trimmed every 6 weeks, its a necessity if your going to own horses”

Malformed: The Shetland pony’s hooves would have hurt as much as a hand trapped in a car door

Bingo’s owners were successfully prosecuted in January 2012 and were banned from keeping any animal for two years, except dogs, fish and chicken. “Why only 2 years? If they can neglect a pony, they can neglect any animal…this is atrocious!”

Horse-world volunteer Nadine Bennett, 14, has struck up a friendship with Bingo.

She said: ‘When I met Bingo I thought he was quite cute – he’s a cuddly little thing, but he’s got a cheeky side too. I often catch him sticking his nose in my pockets to see if I’ve got any treats.

‘His favourite is hay – I sometimes sneak him big handfuls when I know that no-one’s looking.

‘I used to work with a horse called Shallou and we got on really well, but she had to be put down a few months ago. It’s nice that I now have Bingo to keep me company instead.’

Bingo is now fully rehabilitated and helping with Discovery Courses at Horse-world. The courses provide first-hand experiences of working with horses for children and young people.

Nadine was encouraged by her mother to start a six-week Discovery course at the charity, and was then asked to stay on as a volunteer.

‘I was a bit shy when I started going to Horse World, but after a few weeks I got  really into it,’ she said. ‘It was like the horses read my mind. They take all the negativity out of you. They understand you. “Out the mouths of babes…she is so right!”

‘Horses like Bingo help kids that are having problems because they have been through hard times as well, so it sort of cheers them up and you can repay them. “It’s a wonderful thing when any animal can help a child overcome any difficulty they have had to face; in such short lives.”

‘I already liked animals so this helped it along. I would like to carry on as a volunteer at Horse World and help support others. I would love to have my own farm one day.’

Course leader Sharon Howell said: ‘Bingo is extremely well suited to Discovery courses.

‘Sympathetic’: Bingo now helps with Discovery Courses for children at Bristol charity Horse-world

‘It’s as though he is sympathetic and understanding to those who need his help.’

The Discovery Courses combine working with horses in an outdoor environment with classroom based studies in numeracy, literacy and art and are open to young people across the West Country.

Ms Howell said: ‘Many of the young people that have taken part in the Discovery Courses have been able to return to mainstream schooling, or have gone on to college courses, something which would previously have been out of the question for them.

‘Our future hopes are to secure enough funding to be able to help everybody who applies for the courses. We’re always on the lookout for businesses or individuals to sponsor aspects of the programmes – in doing so, they can help change lives.’

For more information on HorseWorld’s Discovery Courses, phone 01275 893023, email discovery@horseworld.org.uk or visit www.horseworld.org.uk/discovery

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