A Norfolk animal sanctuary is calling on volunteers to come and walk its resident Shetland ponies to keep them trim during the summer months.

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The World Horse Welfare rescue and rehoming centre in Snetterton is currently caring for more than 100 horses and ponies and seven of them are Shetlands.

Staff said the ponies are kept on restricted grazing but need some exercise to keep them at a healthy weight.

Sue Hodgkins, Hall Farm centre manager, said: “We keep a very close eye on all our horses and ponies to make sure they are all at the right weight, but the Shetland ponies are too small to be ridden and the horse walker isn’t suitable, so we thought an excellent way for them to get some exercise is for members of the public to come and take them for a walk around our beautiful tracks.”

“After the success a few years ago when we gave staff the opportunity to walk some of the Shetlands in their lunch break, we thought this time we would extend the offer to members of the public. The ponies are all very well-behaved as they are used to taking part in demonstrations at our open days and some of them would even be happy with their handler walking a dog on a lead at the same time.”

Upon arrival, volunteers would have a short induction on how to put on a headcollar, how to lead in hand and what they would need to do if the pony misbehaves. The centre is calling on volunteers to help out any day of the week between 10.30am and 12.30pm.

For more information, call 01953 499100.

3 comments

  • If their Shetland ponies are too small to carry an able child rider they have been bred to be minaturised and are worse than useless. A goat would be better for keeping grass short. When I was a child proper black and chestnut Shetland ponies were tough little beggars, with a lot of bone,that could carry a child of six to eight or so no problem -they were bred and used for work on the Shetland Isles. These featured travesties of ponies are symptomatic of the way so called animal lovers treat animals, turning them into accessories or garden ornaments. We don't need another plug for those who get their kicks out of "rescuing" animals, we need articles about responsible animal ownership.

    Report this comment

    Daisy Roots

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

  • Daisy Roots -- I feel that your comments are rather unfair towards the sanctuary -- and would seem so even to people who share your own view that small ponies like these are 'useless'. You make it sound as if they're actually somehow promoting or even breeding these little animals at Hall Farm! In actual fact, most are probably rescue animals. It's not the sanctuary's 'fault' that they have come into the world and now need homes and care.

    Report this comment

    Trevor Ashwin

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

  • Daisy, I personally don't get a kick out of rescuing animals, its just sometimes spending time with an animal is a far more enjoyable thing to do than spending time with tedious, spiteful individuals like you.

    Report this comment

    merrydancer

    Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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