What’s it like to rehome a horse from us? Have a read through some testimonials from some of our carers.



Phil and Paula with Sapphire 

“Dear all at M&F,

It is just five months since Sapphire came to live with us and I can honsetly say we’ve never been so happy. She is everything the Sanctuary told us about her. Her manners are perfect, she’s very happy to work and is good with our other horses.

Sapphire has been to several shows doing Novice Working Hunter and Showjumping. She has many rosettes already including one 1st place. We’ve been on two fun rides when she acts like a child in a sweet shop. It seems to be very new to her. We adore her, we feel like we’ve won the lottery. P.S. We’ve recommended you to several people already.”


Sarah with Violet and Vitani violet

“I approached the Mare and Foal sanctuary last year to see if I could help by providing a home for a horse, as I had space in the yard which was not being used.

I currently have two ponies on the playschool scheme with the aim of continuing their education until they are ready to return to the centre to be backed and, hopefully, rehomed as riding ponies.

I was very impressed by the level of handling the ponies had had before they arrived, and the scheme is incredibly rewarding as you see the ponies develop their characters and confidence, while continuing their  training in the knowledge that you are giving them the best possible preparation for whatever they will go on to do in the future.”



Sharon with Porscha

“I have had Porscha for about 10 years now. We met when she was a yearling. She had big ears and big knees but luckily she has eventually grown into them. She loves to be groomed and fussed with. Porscha loves to go out exploring although not the boldest of horses which keeps me on my toes. She likes cross country (when she decides the logs aren’t monsters) but does find flat work hard & boring.

Porscha is my Equine soulmate and I feel extremely lucky to have developed a partnership with her. She is certainly part of the family and is quite famous amongst friends.”




Karen with Erinerin

“After losing my beautiful mare last year I never thought I would find happiness with another equine partner. How wrong I was!
I contacted The Mare and Foal Sanctuary and before long met the gorgeous Erin. I fell for her straight away and knew she was the one for me. The staff at Upcott Park are all amazing and do a fantastic job. Nothing was too much trouble for them. Erin came home at the beginning of February and our bond has grown even stronger, she loves being fussed and cuddled!
I can highly recommend The Mare and Foal Sanctuary for anyone looking to give a horse a forever home. There is always someone on the end of the phone for aftercare advice and most importantly regular visits give both parties peace of mind. Thank you so much to all of the wonderful staff for pairing me up with my ‘other half’!”

Karen and Erin xxx




babouschka_pic_68Ann with Babouschka 

Hello, My name is Babs.  I’m a 16.2 bay mare and I am 11 this year.  This is my little story.

My mum came to the Sanctuary when she was in foal with me, she is a pony, so imagine the surprise when a lump like me popped out!  They named me Babouschka, very grand.

As I matured, it became apparent that I had hind leg problems.  There was no expense spared on vets, I even had an operation.  I was given so much care and tending.  I think I was lucky to be at the Sanctuary as not many private homes would have gone to such extremes to try and get me fit and well.  Unfortunately, every time I made progress after a while things went backwards again.  It was eventually decided that I’d never make a riding horse.  I also suffered from bad sweet itch, which didn’t help matters.  After many years at the Sanctuary I became sound enough in the field to be considered for re-homing as a companion horse.

Last July I went to my first permanent loan home.  I was 10 by then.

My carers had had their horse May since she was a yearling, she was elderly and had bad melanomas, as is common with grey horses.  Their vet advised them that time was running out for her and suggested they tried the Mare and Foal Sanctuary to find a companion horse for their other elderly mare Winnie.  They contacted the Sanctuary and explained the situation. They were very understanding and helpful.  They saw my profile on line (a bit like a dating agency) and liked the look of me and they weren’t put off by my problems.  The wheels were set in motion and they came to visit me.  They were silly and came a day early, however, this did not phase the staff.  I was turned out in a big field with lots of other horses.  I showed them how easy I was to catch and leave the other horses.  Years of good handling had taught me good manners.

They saw how easy I was about my sweet itch rugs.  They thought I had a lovely kind eye.  A home visit was arranged, to make sure that the new premises were suitable and the necessary references were obtained from their vet, who had dealt with them for many years.  The Sanctuary like potential carers to see the horse at least twice to make sure they are well matched.  They came back again and gave me a groom and lots of treats.

On the 10th July, May was sadly put to sleep.  Winnie was extremely upset.  Later that day I was collected and taken to my new home.  It was all very strange for me. We never know where we are going, how we will be treated and how the new routine will suit us.  Winnie was pleased when I arrived and we instantly became friends. There was no kicking or silliness, although Winnie remained quite sad for several weeks.

When I get anxious I have a few silly habits, like all horses. My neck grows by feet and I’m probably a bit intimidating, I weave slightly and can’t help tossing my big head around.  Obviously, this was a huge change for me, and it took a while for me to settle.  Also, my new carers hadn’t had any previous experience of dealing with sweet itch.  However, none of this proved a problem as the Sanctuary were always on the end of the phone for any questions and advice.  Every three months I have a home visit from the Sanctuary to make sure I am being kept in good condition and everything is ticking along nicely.

I am now really part of the family.  Winnie and I are great friends, although she can be a bit of a bossy old boot at times.  Winnie is quite old and has cushings, but my carers tell me not to worry, should anything happen to her they will find me a new friend from the Sanctuary.

Please hear my story and encourage other people to become carers.  We all want a nice home and to be part of a family.  The Sanctuary always provide loads of support, and nothing is too much trouble.  The staff have worked so hard to get me well, people just don’t realise.  So please help if you can.

Sarah and Chai

“I’ve had Chai for a year now, and what a year. From gentle little hacks, getting to know each other to galloping across open fields and fun rides. I would highly recommend being a carer for the Mare and Foal Sanctuary. From the first phone call to Chai arriving, all the members of staff were lovely, caring and helpful. Even now I can still pick up the phone and have a chat about anything.
I wish I had done this years ago.”