With your help we’ve rescued over 1,000 horses and ponies and given them lifelong, loving care and support
Care for life is provided through our network of knowledgeable carers and also in our peaceful sanctuaries for the horses and ponies whose needs mean that they cannot easily be cared for elsewhere.
We rely entirely on donations and legacy gifts to carry out our work. A donation today can help to sustain our ability to offer sanctuary for horses and ponies.
Our Rescue Work
We rescue horses and ponies that have been abandoned, neglected or abused.
Our rescue work is focused in the South West but as part of the National Equine Welfare Council we collaborate locally and nationally with the RSPCA and other equine welfare charities.
The number of horses and ponies requiring crisis intervention continues to grow. We are now taking in more groups of horses and ponies from difficult and complex rescue situations. These groups are coming in with higher levels of need for specialist care and longer recovery times.
We do welfare outreach, give non-judgemental advice and no-shame support to any horse or pony carer, but we are also able to step in and give formal advice. We know that there is not one right way of caring for equines, but we do have expert understanding of and can educate people in the physical, psychological and social needs of horses and ponies.
How We Help
Reports from the public
Owners who can’t cope
We need to continue to educate the public to prevent future welfare issues. We also need to reach out to people who have horses and ponies, including smaller sanctuaries, who may get into difficulty in future so that they know they can come to us for help before a problem becomes a crisis.
Your support means that we can continue to support horses and ponies in need.
Our specialist care
We’re dedicated to developing deeper knowledge and better practice on how to give every horse and pony their best life.
We provide specialist care for all horses and ponies, but we have particular experience in:
- managing and training feral, semi-feral or unhandled horses and ponies
- coping with horses and ponies that others cannot deal with in terms of behaviour. We give them specialist recovery care and train them so that they’re suitable for loan homes in the future
- care of mares in foal and orphaned or abandoned foals or youngstock
- creating a value for smaller, weaker, previously injured or older equines through appropriate recovery and training as companions or suitable for active life in agility, lead rein and ridden activities
- picking up the pieces when inexperienced people have inadvertently got into problems having bought ponies thinking that they are easy to care for because they are small. This can be the case when ponies are kept by inexperienced owners privately at home as opposed to at a managed livery yard, where excellent help and advice is usually available
For many equines we are the end of the line. We are the last option.
Our peaceful sanctuaries
Our peaceful sanctuaries enable us to care for horses and ponies whose needs mean that they cannot easily be cared for elsewhere. We currently have five sanctuaries and it is here that our dedicated staff provide expert and specialist care for life to around 200 horses and ponies. The remainder of our horses and ponies are given care for life through our Sanctuary at Home scheme. Our sanctuaries are not usually open to the public. However, we do hold open days throughout the year as part of our programme of events and we have shared many of our rescue stories on this site for you to be able to see the impact of our work.
Our veterinary and welfare centre is a fantastic facility and is the first port of call for all new arrivals into our sanctuary. It is a fully equipped veterinary hospital with its own operating theatre. This facility means we can give all of our horses and ponies the best care possible.
Coombe Park is our equestrian and education centre. The centre is a place where people can come and see some of our horses and ponies available for rehoming. The centre is also home to our Education and Equine Assisted Services team.
Our purpose-built moorland rescue facility in Yelverton opened in November 2019. It has land, stabling and offices, right on the edge of Dartmoor, allowing our Yelverton team to specialise in the care and rehabilitation of semi-feral ponies.
It has revolutionised the way we care for unhandled ponies, providing them with a safe environment to express natural herd behaviour – including special crew barns so they can lie down together.
Lots of our younger horses and ponies head to Upcott Park in North Devon to grow up naturally in herds and work on their training.
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