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Dubri's Legacy -
Dubri was our beloved family pony and a rescue we welcomed from the World Horse Welfare nearly 20 years ago. When Dubri first joined the family, we kept our horses on a very traditional set up on a old farm turned livery yard. There were stables for each horse to use at night or in bad weather, and of course rich, lush paddocks to turn our horses onto during the day. Next door, only an electric fence strand away, was the pasture that the farmer turned his cows onto during certain times of the year.
Dubri having been a neglected pony, was left to her own devices and had suffered from Laminitis and EMS before she came into our care. Not having the knowledge we have now, once rescued we kept little Dubs on a small paddock, ripe with overstressed grass. Additionally, Dubri was somewhat of an escape artist, and many a time found her way into the dreaded, neighbouring cow pasture.
Problems started to arise and the vet soon became a regular attendee at our livery yard. With a clear diagnosis of Laminitis, we followed said vets advice to the best of our abilities. Dubri then spent 5 months on box rest with restricted soaked hay, bute, no hard feed and shoes.
Dubri, over 17 years ago, at the old dairy
farm we used to keep our horses.
Dubri on box rest for Laminitis.
Dubri with a cresty neck and fat pads (ems).
Looking back, we now know what we were actually doing. We restricted her movement and socialisation with other members of her species, we restricted her food despite horses needing constant access to forage, we further compromised her hoofs and took away its natural ability to function and then we waited for a miracle to happen.
When said miracle never happened, just like many owners of laminitic ponies, we found ourselves asking what the right thing to do was and if Dubri really had any sort of future, free of pain or isolation. It wasn't until we took to doing our own research that we found a barefoot trimmer attending Your Horse who had success in treating Laminitic cases. Off to Your Horse we went, unsure of what to expect but desperately hoping we would find the answers to Dubri's ongoing issues. After spending most of the day talking to said HCP, we went back home with a completely new outlook on keeping horses and with a long list of things we needed to change.
The following days were spent putting up a tiny track in her small paddock and turning her out for the first time in 5 months. Angela, the HCP, had arranged to visit the following week to remove Dubri's shoes. Our barefoot journey then began because we had nothing left to lose and we desperately wanted to give Dubri a future she could thrive in. Fast forward 15+ years later, we now try our very best to help owner's struggling with Laminitic ponies before they too find themselves with nothing left to lose.
After several yard moves, we found ourselves on the 18 acres of land we have now built PB Livery on and it's safe to say we haven't looked back since. Dubri lived to the age of 27 among her herd of 5 on her non-grass Paddock Paradise track system, with access to adlib meadow hay and the sweetest of friends - barefoot, sound and pain free.
We will forever be grateful to Dubri for the knowledge, love and laughter she has given us. She will continue to live through the work we do, helping horses just like her.
Dubri Firkin, the bestest of friends: 1996 - 2023