Mudita Guests - Charly

Date of Birth: late 1997

Gender: Male

Gotcha Day: 05/10/1998

Breed: Shetland Pony

Charly is a Shetland pony from Belgium who suffers from dwarfism. He was bought alongside four other ponies by clients during the period our founder was working as an interior architect. These people told her they were looking to rehome him because, since he was handicapped, he would constantly get kicks from the other ponies and would not be allowed to eat. The people were worried he would not make it so they were desperately looking for somewhere else for him to live.

Our founder lived on a property in Belgium with four horses and decided she would try to integrate Charly with the others. He was so small that she was able to get him and put him in the back of her car, like a dog. 

He was not even a year old when he got there and was instantly given supplements and vitamins used for race horses to develop his muscles and give him strength. Charly was deliberately kept whole as long as possible, because it reinforces their personalities and their psyche. Contrary to his previous home, he was not living with ponies but with full-size horses who were very kind to him and accepted him as part of the herd. So much so that Charly is since sure he is a tall horse, but we’re not going to tell him he’s actually a dwarf pony. If he identifies as a horse, we respect that. 

Even though he has been neutered in 2002 he still acts as the lead stallion watching over his mares. He will graze at the top of the hill overlooking the others and be perfectly content. One day, Touki was in heat and Fedj, our only stallion, who is in another field with his best friend Victor, jumped over two fences to meet her. Charly wasn’t going to let anything happen and kicked Fedj in order to protect his mare and love interest Touki. It’s important to note Fedj is still very much a stallion and at least 5 times taller but he respected Charly and left Touki alone.   

Whenever there’s a new equine guest at the sanctuary, Charly is the one who introduces them to the herd. He is very much respected by them all, ponies, horses and donkeys alike. What’s more, he is the only one who can enter the stall with Opaline who allows nobody else to do so. Since he is so small and so confident, he can be seen walking underneath the horses’ bellies, just passing through their legs.

He’s got an incredible personality and we think his dwarfism just makes him all the more charming and impressive.