About 10 years ago, it was very popular in certain parts of Spain to buy little ponies and keep them as pets.
"These ponies were very fashionable," Sue Weeding, cofounder of Easy Horse Care Rescue Center (EHCRC) in southeastern Spain, told The Dodo. "People were keeping them like they keep a dog. But then Spain had this huge financial crisis, which we're still in."
Without the financial resources to care for such a pet, demand dropped and breeders no longer had use for their ponies. And that can help explain how a 15-year-old pony now named Annie came to the rescue center this week in such horrible shape.