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A Small Pony Wearing “Slippers”

  • Palomino Shetland Pony Mare
  • Entry Date – 4/28/08
  • Type of rescue – Surrendered
  • Reason – Severe neglect of her hooves
  • Special needs – None

For Dapples, who spent a good part of her life as a party pony, the party ended when her owner’s business failed. The dappled (of course) Shetland mare was placed with one other horse in a pasture where both were left to fend for themselves on sparsely growing grass and weeds. Because lightweight ponies like Dapples don’t abrade their hooves as effectively as heavier horses do, their hoof walls, left untrimmed, can grow into the deformity exhibited by Dapples when she came to the Equamore Foundation. Its various names—Aladdin Slippers, Dutch Shoes, and Ski Slopes—belie the serious consequences of the condition that requires an animal to walk on deformed feet. Luckily for Dapples, the deformity of the outside hoof did not deform the delicate bones inside, and Equamore’s trimmer was able to trim away the excess and reshape her feet successfully.

Dapples is a testimonial to what can happen when an equine is seen as valuable only if it can be used to make a profit. The years of neglect that followed her career as a party pony may well have contributed to a serious arthritic condition that developed later in her right knee. Quite elderly now, Dapples has also developed insulin resistance, controlled by medicine, and dental problems that require special feeds. Despite these problems, the gold dappled Shetland is a happy mare with the breed’s feisty nature. She will live the remainder of her life at our sanctuary in the company of our other ponies and minis, under the careful watch of her best friend, The General.


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