Rewarding improvements in pony welfare in Cambodia

Cambodia is a developing country that is still considered one of the poorest countries in the world. Outside the city of Phnom Penh many communities still rely on a family pony as the main source of transport for people and goods. Cambodia has a population of around 14,000 ponies and typical welfare concerns include exhaustion (from being overworked in hot conditions with too great a load), lameness, colic, injury, wounds and inappropriate care.


The Cambodian Pony Welfare Organisation (CPWO) is working to encourage pony owners to change the way they manage and work their animals by reducing key welfare problems and preventing the suffering from happening in the first place. Owners are now providing their ponies with water in their stables, ensuring their loads are balanced and increasing the size of the stables so that they have somewhere comfortable to rest. They have great pride in the changes made and a real desire to share their knowledge. 


CFAF’s partnership with the CPWO rewards the owners who make changes for their ponies by funding a scheme whereby they can receive certificates as a pledge of their ongoing commitment. In addition, more significant changes to the pony’s welfare are rewarded with small useful items such as hoof picks, fly fringes, brushes and buckets (only very basic items but each cost more than a day’s earnings for many owners).

Rinda Nop, Senior Vet for CPWO describes the changes he has seen: “Many of the ponies are now fed more appropriately, with less bran and more grasses and many are receiving calcium supplements. Many owners now understand to give more water to their pony. Owners are kinder to their ponies than 5 years ago – they have watched us handle their pony in a more gentle way and they understand not to over work their pony to the level that was happening before”

Case study


2nd June 2014 written by Piseth Hang, Senior Vet, CPWO:


“Today CPWO vets visited one pony owner at Leuk Dek district. We saw some changes from this guy. Before he did not care whether to keep his pony in shade or under the sun but now he always keep his pony in shade with food and water when he stop using his pony. Before he don't care about the stable even it small, dirty or no mosquito net but now he made a big clean stable with mosquito net and food and water available all time. Before he believed that giving more sugar make his pony strong that'd why he gave a lot of sugar to his pony in the past (luckily his pony did not have laminitis) but now he give salt instead of sugar to his pony because he knows the essential of salt to his pony.” 

CFAF-sponsored reward scheme


For just a small donation you can support the changes owners are making in their community, motivating them to make more improvements.


  • 5 USD funds 10 hoof-picks enabling owners to remove stones from their pony’s feet preventing lameness and pain. This amount would also pay for two strong buckets to be used so that ponies can have access to water in their stables when they are not working.


  • 10 USD funds five brushes – grooming the ponies can prevent skin problems from developing and provides an opportunity for a positive interaction between pony and owner so they can build a good relationship.


  • 20 USD would fund the printing costs of certificates to reward small changes in care for owners in key communities. Or this amount would fund eight buckets enabling several ponies to have access to water.


  • 100 USD would buy many of these small items to be given as rewards to a few key communities. The more funding we have, the more communities we can reach and ponies we can help.  


  • 150 USD would fund awards and organisation costs for a regional event showcasing best practice and care. This event would provide an opportunity for owners to share their ideas and tips for improving the lives of their ponies with each other, encouraging them to take pride in healthy, happier animals.


  • 5,000 USD would enable us to roll out the scheme to reach all our key communities in Cambodia and hold events in each region.

​UK Registered charity number 1148478


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