Helping a pony with Cushing’s disease

Maybe it’s the perpetual childlike appearance of a pony, but it’s hard to think of one as wild. They look like they should be curled up under an apple tree somewhere, ready for a good long brushing. But a pony can be just as spirited as a full-sized horse, make no mistake. If you have any doubt, pay a visit to Sira, the newest—and only—pony at the sanctuary right now. Sira may be cute as anything, but she also likes to run, buck, and leap over large obstacles if she’s so inclined. Only thing is, you wouldn’t have known she had it in her if you’d met her a month ago.

Pony with Cushing’s disease

Sira’s been at Best Friends for close to two months. When she first came, Sira could barely stand up, let alone run or jump. She has Cushing’s disease, something that affects the feet, among other things. Even standing was painful. Her family wasn’t able to care for her special needs any longer and so she came to Best Friends to heal up.

Treating the disease

Cushing’s disease can’t be cured, but it can be managed, sort of like diabetes. With some expert farrier help at Best Friends and the proper medical treatment, Sira started feeling better. Then, all at once, she pulled a personality switch and became this mischievous little fireball!

Spirited pony full of personality

"You want me to come over there? Tough! I’m feeling better now and I’ll do what I want!" Once Sira started improving, she saw no good reason to follow the rules because, of course, she had some lost time to make up in the fun department.

At least she’s getting a head start in that arena. She’s hanging out with Mercer, an older horse who seems to think he’s still a teenager. The two of them get along perfectly. She likes old, feisty men and he likes the super-energetic younger girls. Seems to be working out just swimmingly so far. Look at it this way: As hard as these two try to keep up with each other, at least there’s little danger of boredom.

Glad you’re feeling better, Sira. Even so, try to take it easy on poor old Mercer now and again.

Find out about Horse Haven at the Sanctuary

Photos of Sira (grey/white) and Mercer by Sarah Ause