“I love and miss them, but only want the best for them” – Tomahawk and George’s story

New Outdoor Learning Project
May 24, 2021
May 24, 2021

We introduced our new arrivals Tomahawk and George earlier this year. The Mare and Foal Sanctuary recently caught up with Tomahawk and George’s former owner so she could share more details about the pair’s life before they came to us.

You may remember that their former owner had experienced a personal crisis which meant she could no longer easily get to the yard on a daily basis to care for her much-loved ponies and was relying on other family members and good friends. She realised the crisis wasn’t going to be resolved quickly and, concerned for her equines’ welfare, contacted the Mare and Foal Sanctuary for advice and support.

Tomahawk was his owner’s first pony. The skewbald Shetland’s playful character and cheeky habits means he is a real force of nature. He loves to play with space hoppers and other enrichment toys and has been known to tip a wheelbarrow or two.

Tomahawk and his owner were later joined by George, a bay cob. George has a very sensitive nature and always knows when his human companions need some moral support.


Tomahawk and George were very much part of the family, but things became difficult during lockdown. Their owner separated from her husband and as a result she lost access to a car. Public transport wasn’t an option due to the risk of catching Covid and passing it on to her parents. She was unable to visit Tomahawk and George for several weeks. Friends and the farmer who provided stabling were asked to keep an eye on them. Unfortunately, their welfare started to become a concern.

Syra Bowden, Director of Equine at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary, explains: “We know how hard it can be for owners when they realise they are struggling. Many owners care deeply for their horses or ponies but are not able to properly meet their needs when personal circumstances change. We are here to help in these situations.”

Tomahawk and George’s owner realised she needed support to give her equines the loving care they deserved. She contacted the Mare and Foal Sanctuary where places were found for Tomahawk and George. This was a very tough decision and one faced by many of the people who contact the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. Our no-shame advice policy means we will support people to find the right care for their equines whatever their circumstances.

Tomahawk and George’s owner shared how much the pair mean to her: “I love and miss them both. They are amazing and helped us through some difficult times. I only want the best for them.”

Tomahawk and George arrived at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary in late spring 2021. Here they were given the care and treatment they needed to deal with the health problems they had developed. They are now starting to thrive again and will have the safety of sanctuary for life.

This year has seen us rescue 21 horses so far from a variety of situations. We rely on donations to support our daily work to provide lifelong care to horses and ponies like Tomahawk and George.