Help bring Frances home

Updated: May 15

Can you help bring Little Frances home? Little pony Frances is in hospital receiving around the clock care from equine specialists. She is fighting so hard but she needs your help too.


During this uncertain time, we had planned to use our unexpected spare time to work on projects around the farm before – hopefully – resuming normal operations when the crisis has passed. However, life threw us a curve ball, and because of that, we’re asking for your help.


Little Frances was one of the first animals rescued by Head Over Hooves, she was dumped by her previous family. When they moved house they decided to leave her behind. Their reason was simple: “The kids have grown, she’s too small for them to ride anymore.”


Little Frances is the tiniest miniature pony and she loves everyone she meets. She is strong willed and playful but due to her breeding she is also very fragile and requires a lot of TLC to keep her healthy.


You will see in this video that Frances is much loved by animals and humans alike.

One week ago our dear Little Frances developed choke for the fourth time in 18 months. Choke is a partial or complete obstruction in the oesophagus. Horses affected by choke can breathe, but they can't swallow. They foam at the mouth and nose and become very distressed. They can also develop aspiration pneumonia.


We called our after hours equine vet and they rushed out, sedated Frances and passed a nasogastric tube to try to move the obstruction. But soon after, her symptoms returned. We were advised to monitor her overnight in the hope she would move the obstruction on her own.


Frances tried all night to pass the obstruction to no avail. By the morning she was exhausted. The vet returned and again tried to move the obstruction, and advised she needed to be referred to a specialist for emergency care.


We rushed Frances across the QLD border to the specialists, fearful that we may be turned back given the recent border closure. Thankfully, with a permit displayed on the windscreen, we were waved through.


On admission Frances was sedated once again and an endoscopy was performed which located a large ball of food at the base of her oesophagus, this was removed by a small hook passed via the endoscope.

After suffering from choke for 24 hours little Frances was weak, dehydrated, her oesophagus was inflamed, and she was exhausted. She was placed on IV Fluids, antibiotics and anti-inflammatories. She remained on IV Fluids over the weekend until she started to eat of her own accord.


A barium study showed no signs of growths, strictures or foreign bodies in her oesophagus. The bad news was her blood test showed low white blood cells and low neutrophils which pointed to aspiration pneumonia. A chest ultrasound was performed and pneumonia was confirmed.


Frances will remain in hospital until her pneumonia is treated. She is receiving daily blood tests and having her vitals checked throughout the day. We didn’t anticipate she would be in hospital for such a long period and require so many expensive procedures.

We understand this is a very hard time for many people, but no amount is too small. We know how much you care for Frances. Every cent will help us save Frances and bring her home, where we will continue her care.


A chuffed fundraising campaign has been set up to help Frances at https://chuffed.org/project/help-bring-frances-home. This campaign has closed - below is an update on Frances and how you can support Frances's ongoing care.

If you have already donated please accept our sincere gratitude.


We - and the animals - deeply appreciate your support. Particularly her constant companion (and partner in crime) Forest, who misses her terribly.



Update on Frances


You did it! 🦄 Thanks to your support Little Frances is home! ❤️

After 7 days in hospital and a three hour drive, Little Frances is back at Head Over Hooves.



Frances is still being treated for pneumonia and we are monitoring her vitals very closely. But she is very happy to be back home with all her friends.

Thank you again for making this possible.


From all of us at Head Over Hooves...but especially Frances!


Other ways to give


To help Frances and other animals at Head Over Hooves you can also donate here on our website


Or via direct bank transfer

Account Name: Head Over Hooves Inc

BSB: 035-075 Account number: 332384


Please email me at info@headoverhooves.org with details of your donation so I can sent you a tax deductible receipt and our appreciation.

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