While fending for herself in the hills of Winters, CA., her clubbed feet had become so overgrown that Ziggy, a 19 year old zebra/pony hybrid, suffered stoically while often lying down from the pain. Because she desperately needed her feet trimmed but no one could get near her, her owner was considering shooting her.
When word of Ziggy’s plight traveled to Caroline Hegarty, Founder of Equitopia, she jumped in to help. Caroline hired a team of people, including Behavior Consultant Jody Ambrose of Train with Trust® and Zoo Veterinarian Dr. Jackie Gai, to find a creative solution to help Ziggy.
In “Don’t Shoot the Zebra Pony,” Jody patiently incorporates training techniques commonly used in zoos, such as classical and operant conditioning, to teach Ziggy to willingly participate in her own care. Ziggy gradually learns to trust, and make choices to benefit her own well being.
What started out as a project to save one wild “zony” becomes a strong message to the horse industry… if training techniques that provide an animal with CHOICE are effective with virtually every other species… why aren’t we using them with horses?