Seeing the difference that can be made to a horses life when it is treated with love and patience is what makes all of our hard work worth it. Over the years we have helped many horses in need. Here is a selection of our recent success stories.
We first became aware of Jenny when she was advertised for sale as a fully shod ride and drive pony, at only two years old. At that age, they shouldn’t be ridden, pulling a cart, or have shoes on. It was obvious from the photograph of her in the advert that she was living in squalid conditions and was suffering from neglect.
The advert then disappeared and we had the challenge of trying to track her down, to see if she had gone into bad hands. A lady called Jenny (who we named her after) got in touch and told us that she had managed to buy her but that she was in a very bad way. When we saw her, Jenny had cuts and scrapes all over her, and deep whip marks along her back. She was also struggling with her balance and her neck was bent to one side. She flinched if anybody went near her, but was too weak to react.
We took her in and called the vet. It seemed likely that she had been forced to pull a cart by being whipped. Consequently, she had suffered various injuries to her neck and legs, probably as a result of falls. She even had injuries to her ears, and the vet told us this was probably as a result of being tied down by her ears to force shoes on her.
She was put on box rest for two months because her balance was so poor. The process of getting Jenny to trust us was very slow, and she still can be nervous around people she doesn’t know. As soon as the vet told us she was healthy enough to go out into the field, Jenny started running around and bucking, she was so happy to be free!
Jenny can never be ridden and we still have a lot of work to do with her, but she has grown into a very cheeky horse with a big personality.
Toby was tied up and abandoned in a lady’s garden by strangers. She had contacted various other organisations, who were unable to help. After three days of him being tied up in the rain, she contacted us and we agreed to step in. Toby was in poor condition and was very thin.
We took him back to the sanctuary to be bathed, fed, and loved. He experienced complications from his castration due to him being in poor health, but he recovered well in the end.
Now Toby is a stunning and cheeky youngster. He even became a local celebrity and was featured in a local newspaper article.
We were contacted by somebody who told us that a young boy kept bringing his horse to her house to graze on her lawn. The boy was riding JB around, despite him only being a year old. He has been told by a friend to just get on him and break him in. He admitted his that he didn’t know how to look after JB properly, so we agreed straight away to take him in so that he wouldn’t end up in the wrong hands.
JB was quite thin, but didn’t have any other major problems. He experienced some complications after his castration because of him being in poor general health, but he recovered and managed to put some weight on.
JB has now been rehomed and he is doing great there. If the sanctuary hadn’t been called at just the right time, JB’s life might now be very different. Luckily, we were able to turn his life around.
Silverado came to the sanctuary after being rescued off the streets, where he had been tied up and subject to abuse from children who threw stones at him. He was nervous and untrusting of us, and because he was still a stallion at eighteen, he was very frustrated and aggressive towards the other horses.
We soon realised that he had few teeth left so we had to put him on a special diet so that he would gain some weight. He was very food-aggressive, probably because he had been underfed for his whole life. There was a risk associated with getting him castrated because of his age, but in order for him to live a normal and happy life with the other horses, it was decided that the benefits outweighed the risks.
At first, the castration made no different to his personality. But soon he started to settle down and became tolerant of other horses. Now he has formed a special friendship with Phillip, a little Shetland who had never really got on well with other horses either. Now they play and chase each other in the fields, Phillip’s little legs doing their best to keep up!
Silverado is happy and healthy now, but he struggles to keep weight on so we have to keep a close eye on him and feed him an expensive special diet with supplements.