An equine charity has revealed the identities of five malnourished and frightened ponies they recently rescued. Last month, Brisol-based HorseWorld launched an appeal to raise the funds to nurse the herd back to health, but weren’t able to share their details or photos while the case was under investigation. However, as no owner could be traced, the investigation reached a dead end.

The Welsh ponies, now named Pretzel, Peanut, Pumpkin, Peaches and Plum, were part of a group of 25, seized from Gelligaer Common in MerthyrTydfil, Wales. They were running wild on common land with no sign of anyone caring for them. The herd were completely unhandled, “terrified” of humans and in “terrible” condition, without enough grazing to sustain them.

HorseWorld collaborated with several charities to remove the ponies and brought five of them to safety of their sanctuary. One of the ponies, Plum, was heavily in foal, but sadly the foal, Damson, only survived 24 hours, despite the best efforts of vets. The charity team said the neglect her dam suffered during pregnancy “was just too much” for her foal to survive.

However, HorseWorld’s Head of Equine Welfare, Sarah Hollister had some positive news about the surviving ponies.

“All five are doing really well now and are expected to make a full recovery,” she said. “Our team have started some very gentle rehabilitation training with them to help get them used to being handled. The training is taken very slowly and is led by the individual pony in order to keep their stress levels low at all times.

“For ponies like this that have likely never had human contact, we start with a glove on a pole and slowly get them used to being touched with the trainer remaining at a comfortable distance for them. As they accept this, we can move a little closer. This is a long slow process which is never rushed, it takes as long as it takes. The welfare of the horses, their comfort and happiness is paramount.

“It could take years for these ponies to be fully trained and ready to embark on a new life ahead of them. This might be looking for a home on our rehoming scheme, it could be taking part in our HorseWorld Discovery Courses. If the HorseWorld team’s opinion is that neither is an option, they will remain at HorseWorld living with a herd in the fields here.

“Whatever lies ahead, once a horse or pony comes into HorseWorld’s care we guarantee they have a home for life. These ponies will never know neglect, mistreatment or starvation ever again. They are safe for the rest of their lives.”