On February 7th 2019, we received a call about a poorly pony abandoned on the side of the road in Mysore. Fortunately we had no owners to deal with (no surprises there, who would want a crippled pony riddled with infections) and so four days later, Gambit came home.

Poor Gambit had obviously been through all kinds of hell. His coat was miserable and covered in rain rot, he was infested with fleas/ticks and worms and likely had a fungal/bacterial infection all over his skin. Like Sawyer, he’s blind in one eye and both front fetlocks are completely deformed. After consulting with both our farrier and vet, it seems like his front legs were run over by a vehicle, crushing his pastern and leaving him flat footed. He also has a large lump just under his chest, between his forelegs. His left hock is swollen from an old injury and his entire hip/pelvis is dislodged and has shifted to the left, after what can only be massive blunt force trauma to his right side.


Upon arrival Gambit was bathed with a herbal tea/flick shampoo and was dewormed, which helped get rid of all external and internal parasites and he was given his tetanus and anti rabies vaccines.

For the first four weeks, he was separated from all the other horses, until we were certain he couldn’t pass on any infections. In those weeks he was treated with homeopathy, essential oils, nightly coconut oil massages, resulting in a huge improvement in his coat, equine sun cream to protect his sensitive skin and of course was put on a proper diet.

The farrier has already worked on his front hooves a few times. Unfortunately we can’t do much about the forelegs, we’re just hoping regular hoof clipping/shaping will help even his weight distribution.

After introducing them through the paddock fence and allowing them to safely interact for a month, Gambit is now happily settled with Sawyer & Pickett in their paddock. It’s crucial when introducing a new horse into an existing herd, to do it cautiously and slowly, allowing them the time and space they need to understand each others roles within the herd. Gambit has now established himself as the alpha, which, knowing each of their personalities, wasn’t at all surprising.

With the right care and plenty of love, Gambit will live a long and happy life with us at The Backwater Sanctuary.