A HUSBAND and wife from the Murray Shire were found guilty of animal cruelty offences in Mandurah Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
The charges from September 2015 related to their failure to provide proper care for chronic laminitis in their 12-year-old gelded pony Rio.
Laminitis is a debilitating and extremely painful condition that can render the animal unable to stand or move.
They were each fined $4000 with $7000 in legal and care costs awarded against them.
The couple has been banned from being in charge of any horse for one year.
An RSPCA spokesman who attended the property in September 2015 after a report of a lame pony, seized the pony and moved it to a foster care property for veterinary treatment and long rehabilitation.
Rio was found in a lush green pasture and looked well fed despite the painful condition.
But RSPCA Chief Inspector Amanda Swift said laminitis was one of the biggest killers of domestic horses in the world and readily preventable.
“While leaving a pony is a lush green pasture seems like an easy and effective way to provide food, in Rio’s case it was the very cause of his excruciatingly painful condition,’’ she said.