Update: June 7, 2018:  We are overjoyed that Daphne has found her forever home!  It has been a long rehab for her but she has been a brave and patient pony and we couldn't be prouder of her.  Congratulations and thank you to Cindy for making Daphne a member of her family!


5 y.o. Welsh Pony Mare

Daphne is an adorable Welsh pony mare who had a rough start in life. She grew up without handling or care; this included complete neglect of her feet. Once in the CHANGE program, Daphne received all the care she needed, and she impressed everyone with her will to learn and get better as her abscessed feet were causing her tremendous pain. While her feet will always need special attention, Daphne in many ways has gone on to become a “normal” pony, and she will only get better as her education continues. She leads, ties, and is generally good about being touched and brushed. Daphne is not quite ready yet to be a “kids’ pony”, but she has shown that she will take human direction and channel her “ponytude” positively. While with CHANGE, her foster family continually works with Daphne to help her be the best possible little pony she can be.

Daphne is looking for an experienced family to love and care for her!  If you think you can give her an awesome home, please contact CHANGE at director@sonomachangeprogram.com

$150 adoption fee to approved lifetime home

For more info: director@sonomachangeprogram.com

Update: May 3, 2017

Daphne still struggles with abscesses as her little feet continue to heal. She is coming around great with her handling and training, and still holds the title of Cutest Pony Ever! We will be moving her to a more permanent long-term foster home this month. Stayed tuned, the future is bright for this sweet girl! Check back here or you can follow us on Facebook for updates.

March 25, 2017 

Our little girl Daphne continues to do well. She recently had her follow up trim and x-rays of her feet. She continues to battle abscesses and her lamina and white line still show the stretching and damage caused by the neglect she suffered. However, she continues to heal and blossom. Her wonderful foster Mom has been providing not only excellent care, but training as well, and Daphne can now be caught, led, groomed and fussed with. She is working in a round pen, and ponying on trails. She is proving to be a quick study, if a bit opinionated. We are so thankful to her wonderful foster Mom for all the work she has put in on Daphne. We are also thankful to the wonderful Dr. Amber Bowen and farrier Brian Slubick for their continued care of Daphne and her challenging feet. This pony is going places and is going to make an amazing partner for someone. Stay tuned as she continues on her journey!

March 12, 2017

What a difference a few months makes! Daphne, our pony with the overgrown hooves is doing great, thanks to the amazing work of her dedicated foster Mom. This near-feral pony, who took a team of people to catch and sedation to handle, now ties, leads and can easily be caught from her turnout. She has also learned to have her feet handled and cared for, which is incredibly important as her feet are still in need of significant care. She recently got a hoof abscess, a common occurrence for horses that have overgrown feet, and our program vet needed to treat it. She stood patiently while he dug it out, drained it and wrapped it. Before this little hiccup with the abscess, she was also being ponied daily, and enjoying her outings immensely. Daphne has such a gorgeous face and is such a charmer. This little girl has a ways to go, but will be so amazing for the right person. Stay tuned for more Daphne updates.

Update: January 15, 2017

Week one of her rehab is over and our wonderful foster barn, and an exceptional volunteer, have been working with Daphne multiple times a day on gentling and halter breaking. They have been out there daily, even through the strong storms we have been having to work with
Daphne on halter skills and just hang out with her. She is coming right along. As she begins to understand the "language" we are teaching her (basically pressure and release), she relaxes and trusts a bit more. Daphne still has a long way to go as far as taming down and training,
but she is doing very well only five days into the process. Our experienced foster Mom says, “I'm fascinated with the phases a feral or unhandled horse seems to go through in the taming process. Right now, we're just past the "Who are you? Leave me alone!" phase and have entered the "Well . . . maybe you are not so bad" phase. Daphne is understandably very sore in her body and feet. The muscling in her body is rock hard and overdeveloped in places where she was obviously using her back and hind end muscles to shift weight off her front end and kind of gimp along. Her foster Mom has been doing a lot of massage with her in between very short (2-3 minute) training sessions, and it appears to be helping. Daphne loves carrots and is slowly learning to enjoy petting and brushing. Once she is a bit more stable and somewhat halter broke, we'll move her into a more long-term training/foster situation.

January 10, 2017

On January 6, Sonoma County Animal Services requested emergency assistance from CHANGE in the case of a Sebastopol pony found down in a pasture. The feral 5-year-old pony had excessively long hooves and appeared to be laying down due to pain. With a massive storm approaching, SCAS moved quickly to impound her. Within two hours, CHANGE volunteers, a veterinarian and SCAS staff had herded the unhandled pony into our stock trailer and she was transported to a critical care foster barn.

There, Dr. Amber Bowen, Dr. Grant Miller and farrier Brian Slubik worked together to anesthetize the pony and lay her down for hoof trimming and physical evaluation. The pony's feet were over 8 inches long and extremely distorted, as it's believed she has never had her feet trimmed. She also had painful abscesses in all four feet.

We named the Welsh/Shetland cross pony, "Daphne" for the character in Greek mythology whose feet became tree roots. Today, she is safe and warm in a dry stall. Her feet and body are quite sore, but she's a brave tough girl. CHANGE volunteers are working to gentle and halter-break her and show her how nice people can be.

The pony's caretaker is under investigation. We'll share details as we are able. Please follow Daphne's progress as CHANGE volunteers work to rehabilitate and gentle her.