BORN: 8 June 2004
BREED: Mini Pony
ARRIVED: March 2019 – purchased from a ‘dogger’ sale
STRESS RESPONSE: Flight
PAIR BOND: Her son, Rocket
LIKES: Being able to choose when to interact withe people and when to be left alone.
DISLIKES: Loud people, quick movements, strangers, people wearing gloves. Not a big fan of being groomed.
Lucy is incredibly sweet and very vocal at feed times – giving us loud and excited nickers continuously until her bucket arrives. Feed time is the only time that Lucy becomes an extrovert and we all want to be there at feed time to see her so happy! She undergoes a complete transformation in winter when she grows the thickest, shaggiest coat and looks like a giant teddy bear.
Poor little Lucy has had a hard life. Used as a broodmare, forced to give pony rides and clearly physically abused, Lucy was terrified of all humans. Sold to the doggers, Lucy was saved from that horrible death by unexpectedly having a foal just days before being sent to the factory. She and her tiny foal, Rocket, were sent to the Gympie sales instead and were spotted by one of our volunteers. They were both in a terrible state and we knew we had to make room for them at the sanctuary.
It took Lucy a long time to trust us. It was many months before she would let us catch her without becoming stressed. If someone walked past her carrying something, she would cower like a scared puppy, waiting to be hit. It really was heart-breaking to think of what she must have been through.
Because of Lucy’s life-threatening anyhydrosis and other medical needs, we had to force Lucy to let us catch her on numerous occasions in the first few months so that she could receive the medical treatment she needed. Each time, this would set back all the work we’d done in trying to gain her trust. As the weather cooled and her health improved we were able to go back to progressing at Lucy’s preferred speed and slowly but surely she opened up and let us in.
Lucy can be easily caught now and, although she’s still not keen on being groomed, we can safely and calmly take care of all her physical needs – she really has made amazing progress.
Lucy arrived with a number of health issues including horrible dental problems that must have been very painful. Worryingly, Lucy had anhydrosis – meaning she had lost the ability to sweat, leaving her unable to regulate her body temperature on hot, humid days. Lucy overheats easily and needs constant care and attention to keep her comfortable. There is no medical treatment or cure for anhydrosis but with careful management of her symptoms and excellent nutrition we have seen improvements every summer.
Lucy is still feeding Rocket even though he is four years old. We don’t forcibly wean any foals at the sanctuary, we leave that decision to their mum. Lucy will decide when Rocket is ready, just as nature intended.