Neglected Pony’s Hooves Grew So Long That He Could Barely Walk

From fancy pedicures to a simple pair of clippers, we humans spend a lot of time making sure that our nails stay in tip-top shape. Luckily, we have a number of methods and neat tools to help us on that front!

Although, not every creature can do this so easily. Horses, for example, need to have their hooves trimmed down every few weeks, or else they can have serious issues. One recently rescued Shetland pony in Belgium, for instance, was so neglected by his owner that he hadn’t had his hooves trimmed in nearly a decade.

When rescuers finally got to him, they could hardly believe their eyes: the poor thing could barely walk.

When rescuers with the Belgian animal sanctuary Animaux en Péril were alerted to the condition of this Shetland pony, they knew they had to help. Still, they were stunned when they actually laid eyes on him.

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

Because his owner failed to trim them for around 10 years, the poor pony’s hooves had grown wildly out of control. They spiraled outward and made it almost impossible for him to walk.

Animauz En Paril / Facebook

Not only that, but the pony, along with another full-sized horse who was also malnourished, were found standing atop a pile of manure that had risen close to two feet high. They weren’t in good shape.

Animauz En Paril / Facebook

“[The] pony and horse have a body index of one in five, the last stage before death by undernutrition,” Animaux en Péril wrote on its website. “It is cachexia, or extreme leanness, that causes muscle wasting, the body literally self-consuming.”

Animauz En Paril / Facebook

The pony tipped the scales at 154 pounds—about the size of “large dog”—which is less than half of what it should have weighed. Shetland ponies should be closer to 450 pounds when fully grown.

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

The rescuers believed that the pony and horse, who were later renamed Poly and Everest, respectively, had been in the same building for three months. At last, Poly was ready to have his hooves trimmed!

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

Though no one knew it just yet, he was about to look like an entirely new pony! “In 24 years of existence, our refuge has never hosted an equine with hooves so long,” the sanctuary explained.

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

“It is impossible to imagine the distress of the last few years, the omnipresent suffering, the hunger that gnaws and disintegrates, the torture of itching, the confinement in the impenetrable air,” they continued. “Under torture, time is infinite.”

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

Thankfully, the makeovers that Poly and Everest received clearly helped their moods. In just five days they had greatly improved. Poly was soon ready to show off his new look!

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

“[Poly] already feels much lighter,” the sanctuary’s post concluded. It’s easy to see just how true that was! Look at Poly with his warm blanket; he looks so happy to be free of those massive hooves!

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

Since his rescue, many have pushed for Poly’s former owner to face punishment for having neglected him so terribly. Whether or not that happens, Poly can rest easy knowing he’s safe and properly cared for now!

Animaux En Peril / Facebook

What a turnaround for Poly! He’s like an entirely new pony! It’s so wonderful that he’s finally being treated the way he always should have been. If you’d like to help Poly’s recovery, as well as others like him, you can make a donation here.

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