A rescued horse with severe and distressing behavioural problems has been given a second chance – after an animal charity built a brand new paddock for him.
Riley’s extreme aggression and anxiety towards humans and other horses at Redwings meant he was unsafe to be around – but his carers refused to give up on him.
He is enjoying a happy life in his own specially-built paddock, at the charity’s dedicated Behaviour Centre near Hapton, where he can spend the rest of his days.
The handsome bay hinny – a cross between a female donkey and a male pony – arrived at Redwings in 2013 after his owner appealed for help when they were no longer able to cope with his nervous behaviour.
They had purchased him at auction a year earlier after spotting him being dragged around the car park by a man threatening that he would be put to sleep if no-one offered to take him home. Riley had baling twine tied tightly under his muzzle cutting into his skin, and was covered in scars and bald patches.
His new owner took him straight to their vet who said poor Riley would only have survived another week if it had not been for their swift intervention.
He will never be free of all his anxiety, but with lots of specialist rehabilitation we hope he will learn to trust us and we could even reduce his hormone treatment in timeSarah Hallsworth, Redwings’ equine behaviour manager
Sarah Hallsworth, Redwings’ equine behaviour manager, said: “We all held our breath as we had tried so many times to integrate him with other companions without success, but not only had we finally found the right equines for the job, but it led to a total transformation in Riley’s behaviour.
“With his new paddock and friends, Riley stopped fence walking completely, there was little vocalisation and he at last began gaining weight. Now he was relaxed in his field, his aggressive behaviour subsided and his handling really progressed.
“He will never be free of all his anxiety, but with lots of specialist rehabilitation we hope he will learn to trust us and we could even reduce his hormone treatment in time.
“It’s an absolute joy to see him living happily with Herbert and Stanley, knowing that after all these years of trying we have finally been able to secure his future and give him the peaceful life he deserves.”