Baxter was born in 2013, taken off his mother at 3 months old and put for slaughter as he was a colt. Fortunately Baxter was sold days before what was to be his final resting place.
In the first year Baxter was re-homed 7 times, before I was lucky enough to provide him with a forever home in 2014 but what I didn’t know were the underlying issues that would unfold in the coming months.
Months later we moved premises and this gave light to the extent of Baxters problems, he just did not want to leave and this triggered major panic and fear. Baxter didn’t understand, to him he had just got settled and was having to move again. This all added to his confusion and fear.
Baxters behaviour began to plummet rapidly to the point of charging at people entering his paddock, so I contacted the vet to check there was no medical issues. Baxter was fit and healthy, he was living in his world of fear. Because of his behaviour I was advised to have him put to sleep as he was considered dangerous, so I contacted various people and a horse therapist but again the advise was the same, he was dangerous and should be put to sleep.
I had made a promise to Baxter that no matter how hard it gets, I would never leave him, we were in this together. For months I continued working with Baxter from the other side of the fence, for the safety of us both. Gradually he began to respond, it had helped us build a proper relationship based on trust and not fear.
In 2015 I came across a lady called Elaine Tyley from Horse Voices who connected and listened to Baxter and the problems that he was having. He was a scared young pony who didn’t know how to cope with his short life of rejection and fear, being separated from his mother at a early age he never got to experience what it was like to be a normal pony and on top of that he went from home to home. With the help of Elaine, Baxter was able to turn the corner and his journey to a happy life flowed.
Baxter in 2016 is now a confident loving pony, he has a huge cheeky character and loves his life. He also has a wonderful surrogate mother in our 28yr old mare Gemma, who Baxter has spent the past year with. Baxter works mainly at liberty and what this shows that with time, patience and understanding that anything can be achieved.
Against all the odds… we made it!!