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Rescued from Bodmin Moor: Blossom, Tracey and Florence’s story

31st March 2022

Scared and hungry, Blossom an 11.3hh bay pony was among a group of abandoned horses rescued from Cornwall as part of a joint mission with other leading equine charities in 2017.

All of the feral ponies, including Blossom were in a poor state of health, untouched by human hands and in need of specialist training and medical treatment.

Months of skilful handling and veterinary care, made possible only by the many kind donations from our supporters, saw Blossom learn to trust and enjoy human company.

Stef Leversedge, Bransby Horses’ Farm Manager, who was involved in Blossom’s rehabilitation said: “Although she had very little experience of humans, Blossom’s willing, kind nature shone through from the very beginning.

“This helped with her acceptance of veterinary procedures and the moment when she became eligible for a foster home.”

When Blossom was ready, she was placed on the Perfect Partner rehoming scheme as a Companion with Potential, which meant she was initially a non-ridden companion pony but, with the right training, could possibly become a ridden pony.

And that’s exactly what happened.

Tracy who now fosters Blossom and another Bransby Horses pony called Elvis, takes up the story: “I am now a grandma and began dreaming of getting a pony for my granddaughter, Florence. My intention was to wait until Bransby Horses had a ready to go, safe, done and dusted lead rein pony available. I had been so fortunate with Elvis so thought I would try my luck again but, unfortunately there wasn’t a suitable match at the time of application.”

“We carried out two Applicant Assessments to introduce us to Blossom. Her gentle, sensible personality shone through when my granddaughter approached her with brush in hand, so it was decided she would come and join our other ponies April and Elvis.

“I began her education slowly. Most days we would just go for a walk around our village in hand. She showed little sign of being bothered by anything, traffic, dogs, scary plastic bags, nothing appeared to phase her.”

“Florence was allowed to help with grooming; and Blossom stood and allowed our excited little human to brush her, it was delightful.”

“Within a few weeks we had introduced a saddle pad – not a problem. I then filled an old pillow case with sand and popped that on her back, again she accepted this without issue. I then decided to adapt Rosie, a child size rag doll into a suitable ‘first jockey’.

I put a cane up her back and tied her to the sandbag. Better to test drive her first with Rosie than my precious granddaughter. We walked around the village, Rosie on board. Apart from a few curious looks from passers-by, all went well.”

Then when the moment felt right, Tracey allowed Florence to sit on Blossom for the first time.

“With three big people in attendance and one very joyful smiley child, Florence was on board. After a few sessions of walking, we have now progressed to short bursts of trot. We have a fabulous saddle pad with a handle for Florence to hold, “two hands” her mummy reminds her. We have baby reins on Florence, her assisting big person holds on to these, just in case.”

Blossom and florence
Blossom shows no fear as she carries her tiny jockey through the water

“During the summer I took Blossom to our local show, she was just so good for me and ended up getting a red rosette in the best rescue class, proud or what.”

Blossom now shares a paddock with Elvis in her new home -Tracey says he’s the boss and the relationship seems to work.


And she added: “I am so delighted to have our Bransby Horses ponies. They have brought us so much joy but best of all, I believe Elvis and Blossom are happy, as much as a human can tell anyway.”

The Bransby Horses successful Perfect Partner rehoming scheme offers some of our equines the chance to enjoy life in a carefully selected loan home, whilst freeing up time and space at the charity for the rescue and rehabilitation of more animals in need of our help.