Blues and Toos Story


Shortly after 7pm New Years Day 2015, we received a call from Cheshire Police requesting assistance with 2 seemingly abandoned ponies in the Ellesmere Port area. We were shocked when we arrived at how emaciated and lethargic the 2 young fillies were and as the Police had looked into where they may have belonged and unable to trace an owner, the Police and ourselves decided the best thing for these lovely girls was to remove them and place them in our care at the sanctuary, of course any owner had 7 days in which to claim their ponies back subject to an emergency livery fee and veterinary costs. Providing adequate proof of ownership and on agreement from the Police Welfare officers who would have to address why these ponies were so emaciated. Otherwise aptly named by the Police Officers ‘Blues’ and ‘Toos’ they were seen by the vet first thing the next morning and started being nursed back to health until such time they are fit and well enough to find lovely lifelong homes.

2nd January 2015

The girls woke up with a nice full belly for the first time in a long time and were thoroughly examined head to toe by the lovely Andrea of Leahurst Equine Practice. Firstly they were a bit older than first thought, Blues was 3 and a half and Toos a yearling, and also we could confirm they are mother and daughter, however, as Toos has never been weaned mums tired, weak and poorly body has been trying to produce milk for her still but on examination she only had a dessert spoon worth in her which was a horrible stinking, infected yellow milk so both Mum and Baby were placed straight on to antibiotics and bute as both seem to be sore and achy all over which goes hand in hand with malnurishment.

Both were riddled with Lice and Mum had Ringworm, Toos temperature was elevated and her pulse too but not enough to be overly concerned about. Their feet were bad enough that Toos in particular couldn’t walk properly and her baby joints were under massive strain. Mum had very nasty sharp teeth and an upper respiratory tract infection.

Both girls scored a 1.5-2 out of 10 on condition scoring and were very weak and poorly so the decision was taken to make them comfortable and start treatment for a few days then the girls would go into the Practice to be have their wormer as the Vet had a massive concern that it may give them life threatening colic and also we could make use of the hot shower facilities on site to give them a good scrub. Neither of them were microchipped.

3rd January

Blues and Toos on arrival






The girls  had a good day, still very down in the dumps but ever so slightly more interested in life, the wonderful Tom Clothier came to us on his way home, out of hours to sort the girls feet out. Blues weren’t too bad but Toos had clearly never been done and her frogs had been rotted away with thrush and were very sore.

The girls also had a visit from our lovely Reiki healer David Bell which they really responded well to. One of our fab dentists Lee Shakeshaft  came to check Toos teeth were growing normally and sort out Blues mouth of razor sharp teeth on the Monday so the poor girly could eat properly, they also had blood tests and manure samples taken on the Monday to give our super vets at Leahurst a better plan to follow, going forward for when the girls went in for their worm treatment.

 Margaret Allin also came for a visit with all her Aloe Vera know how to give the girls a good, natural immune boost as a good base for all the work and effort our Vets would be putting in to get them better, and when the girls were a bit stronger after a week or so our fab Physio Claire Burgess Vet Physio came to start working with them to help recover the damage done mostly to little baby Toos from her bad feet and lack of nutrition.

Also our lovely Sue Harwood using her Equine Massage Therapy techniques came to help them recover in both body and mind.

We really do have the best team of experts around and the girls got everything they could possibly need and want not only from us and our volunteers but from the experts too, who regularly go out of their way massively to help us and particularly poorly new admissions.

 4th January

Looking for breakfast







We were greeted by a nosey and very playful Toos, both girls seemed to have a new zest for life today and a real sparkle in their eyes. With treatment now under way and 48 hours into their antibiotics and pain killers they were obviously really feeling the benefit.

5th January

Blues getting teeth done







The girls had their teeth done, and bloods and poo samples taken. They loved their supplement feed and Blues got grumpy if you tried to take her feed bucket away before she had totally licked it clean, bless.

They were only on small amounts of hard feed at this point, which we increased slowly. As you can see from the photos they were already looking more relaxed and brighter in themselves.








12th January 2015

10 days in






This is how the girls greeted us every day, they knew what was coming. They were getting stronger every day and putting weight on.  This picture is similar to the one taken on the 4th, you can just see the top of Blues head in the other photograph. Due to her condition she was too weak to hold her head up, now as you see they both liked to watch what was going on, on the yard and their eyes are much brighter after 10 days.

Statement from Claire Burgess Vet Physio 

I regularly assess and treat Horse Sense Wirral’s rescue ponies when needed!

On Sunday Amy asked me to pop along and see Blues (mummy) as she was concerned about her stifle locking, she was also struggling eating her dinner/hay from the floor!

These poor girls are so poor and malnourished that there is very very little muscle tone to work with which could cause the rotation of the patella resulting in the locking! – this is something that is difficult to treat at present due to their general health and ability to exercise without becoming fatigued!

What we did work on is some soft tissue release around her poll causing her restriction in range of movement at her neck, we have also started some forelimb and hind limb rhythmic stabilisations to activate her deep stabilisation muscles.

Then to try to improve her core Amy and her volunteers will be working on some baited stretches with Blues within her comfort zone!

Both girls are lovely and Blues was a pleasure to treat! I will be seeing Blues again in a couple of weeks and I’m sure I will see a big difference!

20th February 2015

B&T Leahurst






Day 1. Both girls were impeccably behaved all day and settled well into their lovely huge stable at Leahurst Equine Practice as you can see here they were slowly gaining weight but hopefully following a week of worm treatment we would start seeing an even more dramatic weight gain in the following weeks once the nasty parasites had gone.

Day 2. The girls settled very well in their holiday home at Leahurst Equine Practice and were taken off Antibiotics and pain relief, in fact their lovely Vet Andrea decided they were doing so well that they should be okay without the steroids that were a provisional plan. They were however, passing huge amounts of worms so she, along with the excellent team kept a good close eye on the girls but Andrea was very happy with their progress.

Day 3. The girls had their dose of tape wormer, when tested they showed high levels of tape worm we anticipated if they were going to have problems it would be today/tomorrow. 

When we visited them they were both seeming a bit ‘down in the dumps’ Toos more so and when their Vet Andrea did her last check before going home she also felt they weren’t their usual selves, so she stayed late and along with the evening staff popped the girls into the hospital for a good check over which revealed that Toos’ heart rate was rather on the high side, this could have been an early indication of colic so the staff were now keeping an extra close eye on her and both girls were given steroids to support them through this latest battle. 

It could have been that it was an extra hard struggle for such a poor young lady to clear all these worms and on the positive side she did get a little excited when crossing the yard to the hospital but just in case Andrea and Amy (Chair) had the conversation as to what action to take if Toos did colic and Amy consented to any intervention required which could be anything from an ultrasound to see what the pesky worms were doing to full colic surgery to remove the worms, we hoped it wouldn’t get to that stage but having a plan of action in place would save time if the worst should happen.

This was exactly why the decision was taken for the girls to go to Leahurst for their worming treatment, as we know everything they could possibly want and need is right on hand and they were in the very best place possible.

Day 4. The girls were doing great and eating well. Providing everything was ok  the girls could come home the next day. Now they had been wormed the weight should go on and we will see a huge difference over the coming weeks.

I have included the next picture by way of stressing just how important worming CORRECTLY is. This picture was what came from Toos, any old wormer just wont cut it, if you are unsure about worming please ask your vet or even us, if we don’t know the answer we will get the answer for you, please don’t allow ponies to suffer in silence through lack of knowledge.










Toos nearly at her expected weight just 5 weeks on, just look at that nice round little bum and cheeky face. 

 Toos 5 weeks in







Everything about her is better bless her. We were still fighting a bit of a battle with mummy Blues but she was getting there, she was allot worse off than baby Toos to start with.

27th February 2015 

Blues was showing signs of colic, the vet from Leahurst was out within 20mins. She had a relaxant and painkillers while bloods were rushed to the lab.

Blue’s gave everything she had to keep her baby Toos alive, therefore we knew she would take longer to recover her ordeal. We got the test results back which showed that even after all the worming, poor blues was still riddled with worms and now had anaemia too, so they went back in to hospital for further more invasive worming and also Blues was treated with steroids to support her getting through all this.

April 9th 2015

What a lovely site. Blues and Toos out in the sun. Toos was doing great, however, Blues still had a way to go. The fresh air and grass would do them both good.

B&T in sun









May 11th 2015

B&T (2)








The girls started looking fab, they would soon be off to their forever home. They now have life in their eyes that was not there when they arrived, and canter round the field full of life, such a joy to see the girls living how they should

June 7th 2015

New home





Blues and Toos have now found their forever home. We wish these 2 very special girls a long and happy life.

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