Heidi the pony definitely has a mind of her own, which in her case is a very good thing.
It’s thanks to Heidi’s willful nature that she is alive and thriving today after being rescued from the very brink of death. The tough little horse simply refused to give up!
Rescue workers at Here4Horses Equine Charity were absolutely appalled when they received a call about a neglected young horse in East Durham, England. The pony’s owner reported that the animal had died and requested a burial, but when the rescuers arrived, they realized the horse had a weak pulse and was still breathing — but just barely.
A spokesperson for the nonprofit said it was one of the worst cases of abuse and neglect they’d ever seen, but they wanted to give poor Heidi a chance.
It took five people to lift the horse up onto her feet and whisk her out of there.
The pony was starving and was covered in open sores. She was so weak that she could hardly stand, but she refused to rest.
“They don’t want to lie down again for many, many days, sometimes weeks, because we’re pretty convinced that they know they are not going to be able to get back up again,” a Here4Horses spokesperson explained.
Each day for 45 days straight, handlers forced Heidi to rest and then physically hoisted her back onto her feet. Even with round-the-clock care, her condition was touch and go. She’d been in starvation mode for so long that she required blood transfusions from two healthy horses to bring the protein level in her blood back up to normal.
This is where Heidi’s spirit came in handy! “Right from the beginning she was a real fighter,” the nonprofit said. “We just thought it was worth the effort.”
With time, love, and lots of food and kindness, Heidi began to transform right before their eyes.
Her energy levels returned and she started to play again, enjoying the company of the other rescue horses. She also basked in the attention of her human handlers, regrew her hair and mane, and put on some much-needed weight.
These days, you can hardly tell she was suffering so badly when she was first found!
“She’s unrecognizable,” one of her rescuers said. “Looking back over those earlier pictures, even for me, it is amazing how far she has come. It is lovely to see though.”
“She is very willful, but I think that is what saved her,” they continued.
There’s no doubt about it. We’ve seen so many horses in similar situations that would never have made it off the building site. They would have been euthanized there and then because they’d given up. And she was as close to death as it gets.
This is a true “Cinderella” story! It’s revolting that people treated Heidi this way in the first place, but we love seeing her living her best life thanks to these kind rescue workers.
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