12-year-old Shetland cross Freddie began his new life at Far From alongside his poorly mother, Flossy. Just like mum, Freddie suffers from sweet itch (an allergic reaction to insect bites that badly affects the skin). When he arrived, he was covered in open wounds and was in an upsetting amount of discomfort. The constant irritation on his skin meant he couldn’t deal with being touched or handled, and he was terrified of the fly spray we tried to treat him with.
To add to Freddie’s list of problems, he was overly dependent on his mother. If they were separated for more than a few minutes, he’d get dangerously stressed. He naturally has a nervous disposition and can easily become hysterical.
We believe Freddie was never weaned, which would explain his lack of independence and confidence. Weaning foals allows the mothers’ milk production to stop and enables the foal to grow and think independently. Flossy’s dominant nature made it even harder for Freddie to be alone, and now he can’t be without her. Unfortunately, Flossy’s life is drawing to a close, so it’s our job to make sure he’s strong enough to deal with her inevitable passing.
Freddie’s instability made it tough for us to decide how to treat him. Eventually we agreed that he must face his fear of the fly spray with our help (there’s other ways to apply it, but none as effective). With a calm, patient, and loving hand he is gradually becoming accustomed to his daily medical treatments. We never rush, or raise our voices, and luckily, it’s paying off as we’re seeing an improvement. We believe in ‘prevention over cure’, which consists of injections from the vet, supplements added to his dinner, fly spray twice a day, medicated cream every 48 hours and new fly masks and sheets every 4-6 weeks. Luckily it’s working – he’s managed to get through the summer without a single sign of sweet itch. A real achievement!
We still have a long way to go with our boy Freddie, but he’s starting to form bonds with the Far From team, which gives us all hope for his future. We’re willing to put in as much work as we need to to make his quality of life the very best it can be.
Like most of our wonderful rescue animals, Freddie is reliant on medication to live comfortably. His sweet itch is kept under control using the items below – if you’d like to gift any of these to our little boy, we would all be extremely grateful.
We opened the Far From Holiday Retreat in order to provide us with funds to enable us to continue our work with these beautiful animals. All new arrivals must be microchipped and passported (and normally they aren’t), vaccinated three times, rasped, wormed and given a general health check by the vet – with the majority requiring many more visits to ensure that they are happy and healthy.
If you are unable to come and visit us, you can still help us to continue our work by supporting us financially. We have included a couple of options below.
Salt is the one nutrient that ponies will self-supplement to balance their diet and is a real treat for Freddie! He gets very excited when he gets a salt lick and becomes great entertainment for him and us!
Ponies are used to eating small meals throughout the day and breaking up the treats will help maintain their eating schedule. Almost any fruits – and many vegetables – are safe treats for healthy ponies. Apples and carrots are traditional favourites especially with our miniature ponies!
This has a DEET based formula combined with Lanolin and Glycerine to help keep skin soft and prevent it drying out. Nettex Summer Fly Cream allows for easy application around sensitive areas such as eyes, nose, muzzle, sock, sheath, teats and ears
Fly masks can help provide a healthy and stress free environment in the stable and the pasture for Freddie especially in the warmer months. They cover the most vulnerable parts of the ponies, the eyes, jaw, and sometimes ears and muzzle, protecting it from nasty and painful bites!
All our miniatures have come to us either with or struggle with laminitis. Making sure minis get their vitamins is really important. Now because we have the landscape that these miniature are designed to live on, they probably don’t need all the supplements.
Every equine needs their hooves trimmed every 6 to 10 weeks (depending on the pony). To have a happy, healthy pony it is essential to have a fully qualified, caring, reliable farrier to complete this task.
Pro earth is designed to make sure they get all the vitamins they need. Because they can’t be on lots of grass, they are either in large bare paddocks or tiny paddocks with very little grass.
Sweet Itch is extremely common and one of the most difficult skin conditions to control. The disease is caused by an allergic skin reaction to midge saliva introduced when the midges bite. Most cases are seen from March to October and remission usually occurs in the winter