AN APPEAL has been launched to raise money to treat a neglected horse suffering from a painful condition.

Portland resident Joanne Weatherby helps run a smallholding called Greenacres Farm in Milborne St Andrew with her family and is well known for raising young horses using natural horsemanship methods.

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Earlier this month she was approached by the owners of a horse on Portland. She said: "His owners originally made contact asking if I was able to help them with their confidence handling a young horse. I was concerned and met them at the horse's field. The horse was very lame and in need so I suggested the horse come to my yard so my farrier could take a look.

"Once I had him with me it was evident he was in pain. I suspected laminitis and called my vet straight away."

Laminitis is inflammation of the laminae of the foot – the soft tissue structures that attach the coffin or pedal bone of the foot to the hoof wall. The inflammation and damage causes extreme pain and can be fatal in severe cases.

As well as this painful condition, the horse was treated for worms and lice and had an untreated maggot-infested infection deep into one of his hooves.

Joanne added: "I don’t think his previous owners are malicious however I do feel too many people buy a horse without the knowledge to care for these animals and end up putting pressure on the RSPCA

"The neglect comes from a lack of responsibility. He was clearly in pain and they did nothing. If I hadn’t have intervened the horse would still be there with an infection full of maggots. It absolutely breaks my heart."

After the previous owners surrendered the horse to her, Joanne renamed him Takoda.

Joanne praised the work of her farrier Harry Spinks: "I could not bear the pain this horse was having to endure. I was concerned for his future. However within a few days he was up in his stable looking bright and keen to say hello to my other horses.

"I cannot thank our farrier enough for his dedication. To see him pain free and being a normal two-year-old is remarkable and a reflection on his skill and knowledge.

"He is becoming more confident every day and I couldn’t be more proud. He really does have a big heart and I am looking forward to spending our days together."

Because of the medical expenses, an appeal has been launched to help pay for Takoda's treatment. Joanne added: "We fully appreciate since lockdown was announced everyone is struggling but every penny donated we can assure you will be a relief and I personally will be eternally grateful."

To donate, visit the page here.