A Blackpool mother-of-two has escaped jail after RSPCA inspectors found her pony had received 'prolong neglect'.
Ashleigh Hindle confessed to an RSCPA inspector she had been unable to catch the little bay-coloured Welsh mare named Dolly for a year.
The pony was found to have a catalogue of health problems including being lame, having overgrown hooves and so thin its spine and hip bones were sticking out.
The pony was also covered in lice and had over sharp teeth which caused her eating problems as well as being infested with worms and suffering from the liver disease hepatitis.
Hindle, a 27-year-old car showroom worker, of Barclay Avenue, Marton pleaded guilty to causing unnecessary suffering to a pony between March 1 and April 10 this year.
She was sentenced to 12 weeks imprisonment suspended for 12 months and ordered to pay £100 costs with £115 victims' surcharge by Blackpool magistrates.
The court also banned her from having any horse or equine animal for 10 years and ordered that she should be deprived of Dolly the pony, which should be given to the RSPCA.
Presiding magistrate, Sylvia Kirby, told her:"We have taken this case to be prolonged neglect which would have caused a high degree of suffering."
Paul Ridehalgh, prosecuting for the RSPCA, said an inspector was called to a field near Benedict Drive, Blackpool.
They found that the field was hazardous to keep a pony in and contained a roll of barbed wire, glass bottles, litter and metal poles sticking out of the ground.
There was a very small amount of what appeared to be rainwater in a bathtub for the pony to drink and the pony had to be tranquillised before it was caught.
When interviewed Hindle, who did not realise the RSPCA had seized the pony until days later, said she had been unable to catch the pony for a year.
Hugh Pond, defending, said Hindle had bought the pony for her daughter and either she her sister or mother had visited it every couple of days making sure it always had hay and water.
She noticed the pony had lost weight but put it down to it being out in a poor winter and was giving it horse feed.
Mr Pond added: "My client was unable to examine the pony closely as she was unable to catch the pony for a year. It had escaped from the field it was supposed to be in a couple of weeks before it was taken away by the RSPCA.
"She did not realise it was lame or its poor state of health. She was not terribly experienced as a horse owner. She now realises she should have got some help to catch the pony and see it was alright."
Hindle accepted the pony' needs were not met and apologised profusely.
She had initially refused to hand the pony over to the RSPCA but had now agreed to do that.