World Horse Welfare’s dedicated team give horses in need the care and compassion they deserve.

A wide-eyed and scared foal is led, trembling, off a lorry. Having just arrived at World Horse Welfare’s Rescue and Rehoming Centre, near Attleborough, the tiny foal, Lucy, looks around the farm for the first time.

Unfortunately, Lucy’s mother rejected her leaving Lucy with no chance of survival without swift intervention. Her precarious situation was further complicated by having been born into a semi-feral herd that grazes land in a conservation area meaning she was unused to human contact. Having been brought to the centre, Lucy is now safe and her future assured.

Many would believe that little Lucy’s rescue marks the end of her heart-breaking story and, although Lucy’s future is bright, her arrival at the centre marks just one step on a long journey to her recovery. As a rejected foal, it will take many months of careful nursing and rehabilitation by the incredible team at the Norfolk centre to help Lucy on every step of that journey.

Great British Life:

After receiving immediate veterinarian care, Lucy was introduced carefully to a potential foster mare, who had given birth the day before. Sadly, despite every measure being put in place to make it work this wasn’t successful, so the centre’s grooms had to step in and begin hand-rearing her with feeds every two hours through the day and night, this takes real dedication.

Thankfully, after a few days of intensive feeding little Lucy was introduced to another mare who had her own young foal. Unusually, the mare sweetly allowed Lucy to suckle alongside her own foal. The new family all got on very well together, with both foals playing happily together and being gently but firmly put into their places by their devoted mum/step mum.

The team at the centre kept a close watch on the family in case anything changed and were always on hand to give extra food to the mare who was producing milk for two foals.

It has taken the incredible team at the Norfolk centre many months of careful rehabilitation while Lucy has blossomed into a fit and well young horse. The stable yard is at the heart of the rehabilitation process for all horses that come into the charity’s care. Lucy is not alone, the charity’s centre can care for around 115 horses and ponies at a time and the dedicated team of grooms tailor each horse’s rehabilitation programme to meet their needs.

On arrival, every horse is assessed by a specialist team, including the vet, farrier, equine dental technician and physiotherapist. Many of the arrivals need emergency veterinary treatment, and all will need specialist care by the devoted grooms during their time at the centre. On average, it will take around 10 months before horses are ready to start a new life in a loving home. In Lucy’s case, it will take a little longer as she now has to take the time to grow before a loving new home can be found for her to continue learning about life.

The stable yards at the charity’s four Rescue and Rehoming Centres around Britain are a real lifeline for horses in need. World Horse Welfare aims to give every one of the 300 or more horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that come into their centres a promising future with a rehomer who can continue with their once their life has been transformed.

Great British Life:

All of this is only possible thanks to amazing people who choose to Sponsor A Stable yard. Could you help transform a horse’s life, like Lucy’s, by supporting World Horse Welfare’s stable yard in Norfolk?

Three-day eventing Olympian, Pippa Funnell says:

'World Horse Welfare has been incredibly close to me throughout my riding career, the work that they do to rehabilitate and rehome horses in need is amazing. I am always astounded by the dedication of the stable yard teams at their Rescue and Rehoming Centres, in providing care, compassion and understanding to horses when they need it most.’