Little bundles of fun …
Have you met Cookie and Alan yet? They’re our Shetland Ponies who joined us in March 2018 via World Horse Welfare. They’re great characters with a story to tell and we thought you might like to know more about them. Cookie and Alan have settled in well at Wroxham Barns and are proving to be real favourites with our visitors of all ages.
Shetland Ponies are a unique and hardy breed, instantly recognisable and standing at only around 1m high when fully grown. They’re thought to have roamed the exposed hills and moors of Shetland for more than 4000 years. With a short summer coat with a silky sheen, in winter they develop a double coat which along with a profuse mane and tail help to protect them against the harsh conditions.
First, a little about World Horse Welfare, who are the UK’s largest horse rescue and rehoming charity with 4 UK Centres (the nearest to us is at Snetterton). They work with horses, owners, the veterinary profession, sporting bodies, law enforcement and government to promote and protect the welfare of horses.
So, say hello to Cookie and Alan …
Cookie – she’s the black pony – arrived at World Horse Welfare in 2010 as a foal with her mum from Cumbria where they were part of a group of more than 100 ponies, feral and unhandled, roaming on open common. World Horse Welfare discovered that from a small group released by their owners they had been allowed to breed indiscriminately and the large numbers were causing welfare issues, with some in very thin condition, so all were removed and taken in by various charities. Cookie was weaned and handled and formed a close relationship with another Shetland pony who were rehomed together for a number of years. Unfortunately, however, had to be put to sleep after developing seizures. So, she returned to World Horse Welfare where she shared a pen with Alan before coming to Wroxham Barns. Cookie can be a little bossy at times!
Alan is a miniature Shetland. He’d been with a group of 5 horses seemingly abandoned in a field where the owner could not be traced, leading to him going to World Horse Welfare in 2014 as a 3 year-old stallion. Unfortunately, he was severely lame at that time; suffering a deformed shoulder which was diagnosed as a condition called “Sweeny”. Fortunately, he was able to be treated with physiotherapy and special exercises by one of their vets who rehomed him to ensure he got the necessary treatment for a full recovery. He was gelded and became a beloved family pet for their young daughter until she progressed to a ridden pony when he returned to World Horse Welfare, sharing a pen with Cookie before both joined us at Wroxham Barns Junior Farm. Alan is an independent character but can be a little timid and sometimes needs to be bribed with a bowl of food to catch him!
Pop by to say hello next time you visit Junior Farm and daily at 1.30pm (weather permitting), as part of our daily programme of visitor activities, you can help the Team to groom Cookie and Alan to help keep them looking and feeling at their best. (Closed-toe shoes must be worn – just in case!).
Here are some lovely photos of our little bundles of fun – thank you Mark Ivan Benfield.