Waterford woman, Amanda Power, braved the elements this week, as she fought to save her ponies from the dangers of storm Ophelia.
Amanda set out on Monday to protect her two Shetland ponies and make sure no harm came to them during the storm, as reported by the independent.ie. Amanda owns two Shetland ponies and two horses as well.
Upon Storm Ophelia hitting the Irish coast early on Monday, Amanda began to worry for her ponies. She has two stables on her property and even left the doors unlocked so they wouldn’t become trapped in the event of an emergency.
“I didn't want to keep them trapped in there. They would have been too anxious," she said.
She said she was afraid the ponies would get trampled by the horses if there was a panic during the storm.
"One of the Shetlands - Little Peaches - has dwarfism and trips over everything. She's very clumsy so I knew she wouldn't have stood a chance. I was initially just going to bring her inside but she would have pined for her partner George so I brought the two of them in.”, she said.
Amanda then brought her ponies into her house! They were kept in her 24 hours and were more than happy to stay there.
"They were so happy and content in the house, I couldn't believe it," said Amanda.
"I'd been doing up the place so the spare room was quite empty anyway. The ponies are only about waist-high, about the size of a large Labrador so it wasn't too different to having dogs in the house," she added.
Amanda counts her lucky stars she decided to bring them in, as a few hours later the storm took the roof off her stables. This confirmed to her that she made the right decision.
Amanda plans to now use the ponies as therapy horses for uses in her work as a carer. She hopes to use them as therapy for elderly clients and those suffering from Alzheimer’s in particular.
"I used to be an exercise jockey. I've been around horses since I was five and I rode and looked after racehorses for two years in Australia but my horses are just field ornaments. I just like taking care of them and having them around. They'd make good therapy horses so I'd like to do that at some stage."
This is not the first time Amanda has come to the rescue of the ponies, having rescued one of the ponies, George, at a local horse fair. He was on his “last legs” according to Amanda, who ended up buying him for €60 off two locals who were obviously mistreating it.
"I bought him for €60 from two boys who had been mistreating him. There were two of them on his back beating him, he was slipping and sliding down the road. He was on his knees at one stage.”, she said.
"He ended up costing me thousands in the end because he had so many problems. He was riddled with worms, he had lice, he collicked about 11 times within a few months, he was anemic, he had liver fluke.", she added.
She was on the brink of putting George out of his misery when she stumbled upon a treatment which ultimately saved his life. She spent thousands treating him and adjusting his diet and now he is better than ever.
The other pony, Little Peaches, is also a rescue pony and she had leg problems when Amanda first caught eyes on her. Her owner had decided she was good for nothing else, but only being marked for the hounds.
"She had a crooked leg and the owner said she'd be 'good for nothing' but we took her home anyway….She had been a bit of a loner until George came along. People don't realise that they're quite emotional and fragile animals She didn't really know what to be doing. Now she has George and they're inseparable.", said Amanda.
Such was her love for her rescue ponies, Amanda even went as far as keeping them warm with tarps. Now that’s what you call an animal lover, Kudos from all of us at Thatsfarming.com