Like most young girls I’d always wanted a pony. My mother bought me San when I was 15. He was a yearling New Forest pony and so thin he could hardly stand. He was full of worms, lice and anything else you can imagine. Between then and the age of 22 I acquired another 6, all in poor condition, ill treated usually from the meat man. Ten years later I opened a small trekking centre with what was then a herd of 13 – a very motley bunch! I naively thought the younger healthier ones could help support the older and sicker animals. I reckoned without red tape and laws governing the licensing of riding establishments. I closed the business after just 3 years – fed up with fighting the bureaucracy. Now I had around 17 dependents! I kept the herd together by running loan schemes on those who were ridable and by working every hour I could, firstly in a local factory and later by opening another non-horse associated business. My work day starts at 5 am and I finish at 7.30 – 8.00 pm. Juggling customers, clients and animal care. Recently I was diagnosed with a bone disease which, along with age, is beginning to take its toll. I’d thought for several years that maybe becoming a Charitable Trust would be the way to go in order to fund the herd’s welfare and needs, continually trying to improve their lot. I have an amazing group of people around me now who all believe these animals deserve care and love in their old age and not to be thrown in a dog-meat tin because they can no longer earn their keep. They’ve done their bit for us humans!
Sprite & Big Poppy
Sprite and Big Poppy mutually grooming each other. Such a sweet thing to see.
Walking the horses out
One of the many things we do with our horses is walking them out through the woods. This is a brilliant activity to do with the horses that can no longer be ridden and is great for building trust and bonding with the horse.
Pictured here is Richard
Trust Love & Respect
The trust, love and respect we give and receive from our horses is the most important thing. Tibbet loved kisses with volunteer Alison