Sitting at the kitchen table the following morning, my friend and I are discussing the possible outcomes of our visit to the traveler camp. I had driven past that morning to find the filly no longer tethered to the roundabout, and nowhere in sight. This could be the end of the road in our plight to help this sorry looking pony. We agree to visit anyway, walking the long way around the public bridleways and fields trying to find the filly’s latest location. Eventually, through the thickened hedgerow and littered grass, we spot her tethered on the other side, no water or hay in sight once again. Her head is hung low and sorrowful, her fragile limbs seeming to strain with her tiny frame towering over them. The leather brace around her neck is a dead weight that only adds to her pitiful appearance, dragging her head down, stopping her from being able to lift it for long. In that split second, my friend and I have silently agreed there is no going back. We will even offer money for her if we have to. We’ve come this far, and we have nothing to lose.
We walk straight into the traveler camp and I approach the first man I see, he eyes me suspiciously, until I tell him I like the little filly and want to speak to whoever owns her. He reaches for his phone and makes a call. I overhear him telling them “They look like proper horse riders, legit.” Within a few minutes we are pointed in the direction of a caravan and told the owner’s daughter lives there and will speak to us. Unsure what to expect, we knock, and a young girl in her pajamas answers. The filly is her dad’s, and she has recently come back from another area. We explain we have seen the pony around and are interested in buying her as we can see she needs some TLC. The young lady tells my friend and I that “There’s no point feeding her whilst she needs worming”. She has been harnessed trained already, hence her short tail, and she is only 2 years old. We ask her price and she says £300. I am stunned. How can they consider this poor pony to be a money-making avenue? I tell them I wouldn’t pay that much, as she no doubt requires medical care. I offer the girl £150 and explain this to be extremely generous for a young thin pony without a passport, but she refuses. I ask her to consider the offer and my friend gives her phone number. All that we can do is thank the girl for her time and turn to leave. My friend and I decide the only thing we can do now is to call the welfare agencies (again), and hope that the young girl changes her mind. Walking back to my car, I can’t help but feel deflated. This poor pony has to go another day without proper care, or even clean water. Will they call? Or will we lose this pony to another location and possibly never see her again?
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