Two Little Ponies that Could: A Tale of 2 Starving, Cruelty Cases turned Show Ponies

Their story is the type we cannot ever tire of telling, friends.

Tonks and Cerise came into the rescue from separate cruelty cases.


Cerise, a 4 year old chestnut pony, was being tied by a roadway to a stop sign to forage on the weeds her short rope could offer in Kanawha county, West Virginia. She arrived at a body score of 2.5. Her halter had caused damage to her face. Her fecal count pulled when she came into Heart of Phoenix at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital was over 3,500. A high count is 500+, so you can imagine the process we had to safely address her parasite issue.


Tonks was a young Arabian cross pony part of an extreme case in West Virginia, and she arrived covered in lice at a body score of 1. She was really in critical condition. Her herdmate had to be euthanized due to injuries and neglect she had sustained she could not recover from in her previous “home.”

Neither pony had any previous training undersaddle, so upon rehabilitation and their cases being decided in court, we had each pony started.


Tonks was adopted first.


And it wasn’t long before her sister was also in need of a pony of her own, and their mama reached out to us about Cerise, and since then, this pair has shown at lots of shows and the family’s trainer raves about Cerise’s potential often!


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When the family sent me this heartwarming, pre-Christmas photos of the girls and their ponies, I had to pause and think about what an incredible journey these little mares have been on in the last few years, and who would have dreamed they would go where they have?

Well, Heart of Phoenix would and did.

And so did the DiPietro family in Maryland!


The thing that defines a wonderful horse is the right person, and we are so thankful we can step in over and over and change everything by making sure the right person can find Good Horses over and over again.

If you believe in this work, we want to ask you to head into 2018 as a Sponsor of Heart of Phoenix and our efforts by clicking here. The amount you give each month can be $5, $10, $25, $100 or $1,000 or anything between and beyond. All donations facilitate HAPPILY EVER Afters like the one shared by Tonks and Cerise in Maryland. 


5 thoughts on “Two Little Ponies that Could: A Tale of 2 Starving, Cruelty Cases turned Show Ponies

    1. I love seeing this! Watching these two girls work their butts off with these two ponies and the endless efforts we all have put in to help them along the way makes it worth it! This IS what horse rescue is all about!

      1. You are amazing Karen. Without all of your help with the ponies and the girls, we would not be were we are at today! You are a big part of this wonderful story and we will be forever grateful!

  1. Happy tears recounting this story!! Every horse deserves, at least once in their life, to be loved by a little girl. Saying these ponies are loved is an understatement! Great job Heart of Phoenix and the DiPietro family!

  2. So proud of your girls Kim and the way they love and care for their horses. Love watching the girls and their ponies grow together. They’re perfect pairs.

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