Christmas came early for Tia the mare and her foal, Sulley, when they were given the best present ever earlier this year.
Tia was pregnant when she was handed over to the Scottish SPCA’s Drumoak centre in December last year after her owner could no longer care for her. Sulley was born in the centre in May.
Fast forward a few months and the pair were introduced to mother and daughter, Ria and Alex, who were looking for a new addition to their family.
Alex’s current horse, William, was reaching retirement age after helping the family through her battle with leukaemia 10 years ago.
Ria said: “We are absolutely over the moon with our new additions.
“We rehomed the pair in September and they have settled in so well. Alex has bonded with both of them so it was definitely the right decision.”
The family visited several times over the summer to get to know the animals and ensure they were the right ones for them.
“By the time we took them home, Alex had fallen in love with them both”, Ria added.
“Alex was diagnosed with leukaemia around 10 years ago and it was a very difficult time for us. Thankfully, she was given a clean bill of health and is looking forward to her 10 years in remission in 2021.
“Alex has shown amazing commitment and helped with all the hard work of not just riding horses but caring for them to prove she was ready for her own horse that she could progress on with.
“She’s always loved animals, we all do, and it has been the best decision. It’s been the best thing for her recovery, physically and mentally.
“Horses are amazingly intuitive, as I found with William. He wasn’t the easiest Highland pony but when I needed him to be there he took me off into the hills to just scream sometimes.
“Not once after Alex’s diagnosis did he ever hesitate. It was just incredible.”
Tia and Sulley have joined the family’s resident horses, William and Flounder.
“Sulley is very clever, he’s a smart wee thing. It seems Tia was well handled before she came to the Scottish SPCA. We trust them and they trust us,” Ria added.
Acting centre manager Louise Griese,said: “Tia and Sulley have gone to their perfect home with Ria and Alex.
“We’re over the moon that the horses have had such a positive impact on Alex and the whole family.
“Animals can bring such joy and can have such a positive effect on those around them.
“They are companions when people are lonely, an excuse to get out of the house and a constant, loving presence.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better home, they have definitely landed on their hooves!”