We asked one of our team of special volunteers to explain how they became a foster carer for our ponies.

I have spent my career working in children’s adoption services and have owned a small livery yard for years but it came to a point where I wanted to have less horses and even less people, on my yard.

My own horse still needed field companions that didn’t keep coming and going and I had a friend who knew Wendy really well – she suggested I think about fostering a couple of rescue youngsters until the time they were ready to be started under saddle.

I went to meet Wendy, her lovely family and wonderful staff team. All are kind, and passionate about animal welfare.

The set up at the farm is geared around equine rehabilitation with post-op care and recovery from illness, as well as dealing with abused, abandoned and neglected horses, getting them physically well and mentally prepared to find a future home.

I told Wendy all about my set up and why I wanted two ponies. I was a bit worried that although I was experienced around horses, I had never spent time with youngsters. She reassured me that the team were always at the end of the phone for backup so with home check complete, I headed North.

Wendy had chosen a pair of yearlings for me. They loaded easily onto my box and off we went.

Seamus, Finn and Lenny

I remember stopping at a motorway services and looking in the back at these two little pairs of furry ears sticking up and thinking, well that’s it now they are coming home!

Well, they were a joy from the start; one being more confident than the other, and both happy to be companion to a bossy gelding who loved them to bits.

The shy one Lenny, came out of his shell and the bold chap Seamus, needed a firm hand but nothing a sensible horse person can’t deal with. I loved every minute of having them with me. I felt I was doing something really positive for horses that had had a rough start and was learning a lot on the way.

I had them for two years and cried a lot when they went off to HAPPA (the Horse and Pony Protection Association), who collaborate with Here4Horses and other charities with cross-agency agreements, in order to find their forever home.

My next two were completely different boys – but equally enjoyable. Pugsley was a particular favourite of mine and has now found a fabulous forever home – and yes, I cried when they went too!

Last year I had the wonderful experience of seeing Pugsley at a show in the North East. It was so good to see him happy, adored and living a great life.

Pugsly with Sian

Guess what? Yes – I have two more right now! Quite different to each other but so lovely to have around the place and definitely the most handsome so far (although I might be biased).

I have always felt confident to deal will the ponies Wendy has sent me. I have never been kicked, bitten or squashed, in fact many of the liveries I have had in the past have been far more difficult to handle!

Every now and then I have a query about a health issue or am uncertain about something – Wendy is always there to offer advice and I feel thoroughly supported.

If you can provide a good life for a youngster to mature and learn what being cared for is all about – then do it! The trust and acceptance you get from them is priceless and I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

Noggin with Pam

“This pony is simply delightful”

– Pam Crossley 2019

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