Meet Aisha, the gentle giant. Aisha, a Brabant Draft, came to Perfect Ponies in April 2012 about 400 lbs underweight, but quickly bounced back with proper diet and some love. After a few test runs with long reins and learning that was not for her, she found her place helping special needs children and war veterans. She does amazing work and would let anyone ride her. She was even letting kids on her to practice vaulting, a sport that requires doing gymnastics while mounted on a moving horse!
She had the patience of a saint and was helping so many people. She loved to play follow the leader with her people friends and go on long trail rides, with of course, tons of stops to taste the grass. Rolling in the pond was a fantastic summertime treat too; maybe she’s part fish?
However in 2013 her behavior started to change. She had become stud-like in her play – rearing and nipping, or constantly in heat – and was found picking fights with the mares she was living with as well. We keep the horses here as a herd on as large an area as possible with run in sheds. Their “natural as is possible” lifestyle allows them to be normally peaceful and calmer around clients – always ready for people.
Aisha was moved into the pony pasture in late April 2013, mostly due to her unruly behavior with the larger horses and partly because her weight was now high and we were afraid for her to go to larger pasture where she could gain more weight and possible founder. She has been good to the ponies, a Pony of the Americas, a Welsh and a Shetland, but still plays nipping games with the Quarter Horse over the fence. Her behavior with the gelding prompted nippy ground manners when in hand, which we are still working at correcting. During summer she began rearing in hand, just when walking about or even in pasture around humans. Aisha’s behaviors point to the possibility of an ovarian tumor, where testosterone is elevated and sometimes painful to tendons due to location of the tumor; affect the mare to behave unruly and like a stallion, similar to how Aisha was playing with the gelding. Mares just don’t play with geldings that way.
A fall 2013 blood test for the ovarian tumor, along with examination by our vet was indicative but not conclusive. We were advised to test again during winter, and need ultrasound (our farm vet does not have this equipment), and necessary surgery to remove the ovary with the tumor. Local Veterinaries are not qualified past the blood work so at the advice of our farm vet we are planning a trip to Annabessacook Veterinary Clinic in Southern Maine (Monmouth) for a full work up and procedure if necessary, or alternative medical advice.
We are looking at costs of up to $5,000 at the hospital, not including travel and lodging, and time spent there. Without this medical care, Aisha will either need to be surrendered to a rescue with the funds to treat her or be put down. So we would like to raise $10,000 to cover the total expenses with anything not used going to feed, especially hay.
Perfect Ponies Learning Center is a volunteer operation, and also the name of the farm the horses are living on. Some donations do come in, but those typically cover only a fraction of the annual hay costs. To make a donation, please visit our GoFundMe Campain.