In 2020, we all learned the power of lending a helping hand in our community. Right in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, The Horse Trust was contacted by Communities for Horses about a mare and foal who had been abandoned in Swansea in an absolutely appalling condition.
Underweight, undernourished and with serious health conditions we felt compelled to rescue these girls from a life of neglect and abandonment; we knew we had to give them a second chance at life.
You can watch this video to learn all about their rescue.
The beautiful 5 year old mare (later named Bronwen) arrived with her three month old filly foal (Seren) after being referred by Swansea Trading Standards as the mare was in great need of veterinary attention. She was very underweight, with a body condition of 1 out 5, she had what appeared to be old hobbling wounds on her legs and she also appeared to be carrying a heavy worm burden but most noticeably, the white parts of her skin had been very badly damaged. Skin and hair were missing in places and literally hanging off in others. She was only about 10hh and had given everything she had to nurture her foal, who thankfully seemed fit and well.
Prior to her rescue, Communities for Horses in Wales received a number of calls about a poor mare reported to have burns and an injury to her neck, with a very young foal at foot, roaming the streets of Swansea. Working with the authorities it was intended to impound the mare and foal, however unfortunately a post was placed on social media, which alerted the owners who then moved them and sold the mare for £50 without her foal. This must have been very distressing for both of them.
The community in Swansea went into action and this led to the mare being located and impounded by the Local Authority Trading Standards team and taken to a place of safety but her foal was still missing. Late the following afternoon, her foal was finally found having been abandoned in a park. The people of Swansea had done an amazing thing in helping to reunite her with her mother in the care of the Local Authority. Not surprisingly, the humans involved in their rescue where pretty emotional seeing the pair reunited.
Swansea Trading Standards are only able to offer minimal care to any horse they rescue as they are an emergency temporary facility, but due to the nature of her condition the mare was seen by a vet and bloods taken as it was suspected she may have serious liver disease.
Seeing that they needed significant care, we agreed to take them in and the pair made the journey to Buckinghamshire. They stole our hearts straight away and we began the work to try to get her back to health and to ensure her foal made it through with her.
We named them both after their individual face markings and their Welsh origins with the mare being called Bronwen (meaning white hill/ white brow of a hill) and the filly Seren, meaning star.
Tragically, Bronwen passed away in March 2021 from suspected ragwort poisoning. It is highly likely that she ingested this prior to her arrival at The Horse Trust, when she was scrabbling around trying to find enough to eat to keep her and her foal alive. We miss Bronwen terribly, but know that Seren will carry on her legacy. Seren is now happily settled in with us, having got through the difficult period after losing her mum – her cheeky character is on full show and as she matures, more of her mother’s gentle nature is beginning to show.