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Maisie : A sad story of horse abandonment

Updated: Jul 7

Back in June 2021, we received a call from the owner of some land, regarding a Chestnut mare named Maisie. The caller was rather concerned for the health and wellbeing of the horse and asked us if we could investigate – which of course, we did.

Maisie drinking


When we arrived on site, it was clear that the horse was starving and had major issues with her hooves and teeth too. We found out who the owner was and spoke to them about Maisie to offer help and advice, which we hoped would suffice.

We decided to visit the horse every day to make sure she was doing ok and help out with her care a little. We fed her each day and got her a rug to keep her frail body warm (which was kindly donated to us by one of our patrons).

“Rather see her shot!”

After many months of visits to check on Maisie and talks with the owner, it became apparent that this was now a case of abandonment, as the owner had made it very clear to us that they would ''rather see her shot'' than pay for any veterinary care for her!

So, we started the ball rolling to help Maisie as much as we could and in November 2021 we were delighted when Maisie was officially signed over into the care of Wings and Paws Rescue. We transferred her to our yard where she received the love and attention she so deserved and where she was able to spend time with the other horses in our care.

Here are some pictures of Maisie when she first arrived at Wings and Paws Rescue:

A golden racing career

When we applied for a passport for Maisie, we noticed her papers stated that she had been a racehorse in her younger days! So we did a bit of digging and discovered that the one and only Hollie Doyle had actually ridden her in her early racing career and she had raced her on more than one occasion, and they had had some decent results too....

We just couldn't believe this beautiful mare had at one time, been so healthy and quite clearly in immaculate condition, to then be left to effectively rot in a field on her own. Where had it all gone so wrong for Maisie? Through no fault of her own, she’d almost starved and must have been so uncomfortable with her overgrown teeth and hooves. Thank goodness the landowner had called us when they did and effectively saved her life!

Storm Arwen causes havoc

Things were looking up for Maisie and she was starting to look more healthy, until the beginning of December when we had some really nasty storms - Arwen and Barra, both of which brought very high winds to the region and plenty of rain too! Unfortunately, there was quite a bit of damage to the Wings and Paws yard in general, and Maisie’s stable had taken a bit of a battering and had been completely blow over.

With this much damage, poor Maisie couldn’t stay in her own field, so we had to move her for a short time, but that also meant moving her away from her new best friend Romeo, whilst repairs took place.

Things went from bad to worse!

Unfortunately, things really didn’t go to plan, as Maisie then took ill with colic and had to be seen by the emergency vet on several occasions. We were all really worried about her as it looked like we could possibly lose her, it was that serious! Luckily Clare (the Wings and Paws CEO) is a very experienced horse owner and by spotting the symptoms so quickly and getting immediate vet treatment, Maisie started to respond to her medication.

Horse Colic
Maisie with Colic

We appealed for help on social media to raise money to get her stables fixed and pay for her extensive vet bills and we were soon able to move her back to be with Romeo. Once she was in her own warm space, Maisie made a full recovery after only a few days!

Things are finally looking up

Maisie has really grown in strength now and Clare has even managed to ride her recently. She’s still very nervous after everything she's been through and needs a bit more time, patience and practice before she will be comfortable being ridden by other people again, but she’s getting more confident every day.

We've booked her in for a horsey manicure soon too – basically new shoes fitted so that she can be taken out on the road and get more practice in. We just know she's going to be an incredible horse for someone, we can’t wait to see what the future now holds for our lovely girl.

Take a look at the video of her first ride!

We think these pictures speak for themselves. After many months of TLC, a specialist diet, vet and farrier visits, plus a lot of dental work, Maisie now looks amazing, and we bet she feels it too!

We are hopeful that we will be able to start looking for a new home for Maisie in the late springtime. Maisie is available to sponsor too!

And none of this could be done without the help of our wonderful patrons. We are so very grateful to everyone who donates - every little bit really does help.

If you can help raise vital funds for our charity, no matter how small, then please click here to donate

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