Bransby Horses’ oldest resident, Ebony the mule, turned 30 years old this month, making her the oldest and second longest staying equine at the charity.
Ebony - the offspring of a female horse or pony (mare) and a male donkey (jack) - was found wandering the streets of Gainsborough back in 1992 when Bransby Horses were called to her rescue.
It wasn’t clear if she had escaped from a field or been dumped, but when no one claimed her, the equine welfare charity ensured she had all the love and care she needed.
Ebony’s character and cute looks have earned her legendary status and she is a firm favourite with staff and supporters alike.
Visitor centre team leader, Michelle ‘Shell’ Craven, said: “Everyone loves Ebony. She is such a cheeky little lady who doesn’t act her age at all.
“She has a distinctive voice when she brays and I can tell it’s her just from the noise she makes.
“Ebony has very specific care needs, which is why she is in a herd with equines with similar needs.
“For example, Ebony only has a few teeth and needs her feed adjusting for this so that she can continue to eat well. “She needs more than one rug to keep her warm and dry because a mule’s coat is not as waterproof as a horse’s.”
During her early years at Bransby Horses, Ebony was trained to pull a small cart to help with weight management and keep her busy.
Shell added: “She’s a very intelligent mule and when she was younger she liked to be doing things rather than just grazing in a field.
“She’s retired now and is happy playing and relaxing in her paddock with her little herd.”
On her big day, Ebony was presented with an equine-friendly cake made from grass nuts, carrots and molasses, which she shared with her companions, Shetland pony Cinderella and Penelope, the charity’s only other mule.
Bransby Horses were only able to care for Ebony and thousands of other sick and abandoned horses thanks to donations from supporters.
To find out more, visit bransbyhorses.co.uk/