An ageing mare bringing up two foals has become the poster horse for equine charity Redwings’ New Year appeal as an example of what can be achieved with simple, life-saving treatment.Helen, a mare of about 20, was found close to starvation on Llangynidr common in early 2016, and feeding two foals. She had given birth to a tiny foal the day before her rescue and she was still feeding her foal from last year.
Her ribs protruded from her woolly winter coat and her teeth were so bad that she could not eat properly.
Left alone, not only would Helen have succumbed to starvation, but so would her family.
“This beautiful mare who was struggling to eat enough to survive was keeping not one but two foals alive with what little energy she had,” Redwings said.
The charity discovered the reason she was so undernourished was the poor state of her teeth. She had been unable to graze on the short coarse grass of the common. By giving her simple dental treatment she was able to eat comfortably again and provide for her tiny newborn foal, Callum.
Redwings has praised its supporters for their help in donating funds that enable the charity to help horses like Helen. In her case, just £28 is enough to provide dental treatment – a life-changer for a suffering horse.
Helen was one of 139 abandoned or neglected horses whose lives were changed by the intervention of Redwings. “Everything that saved them was funded by you – thank you,” the charity told its supporters.
Helen has thrived since her dental treatment, and will live out her days at Redwings sanctuary. Callum also has a home for life at the charity, and may be rehomed to a Redwings Guardian when he is fully grown. The yearling, Peaty, is also doing well.
All of the horses from the Llangynidr common were named after British Olympic champions from 2016. Peaty is named after 100m breaststroke gold medalist Adam Peaty, Helen was named after Helen Glover who won gold in rowing and little Callum was named after Callum Skinner who won gold in cycling.
There’s even another horse named Blueberry in honour of dressage champion Valegro.
How to donate to Redwings New Year Appeal.