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

A wide-eyed and scared pony is led, trembling, off a lorry. Having just arrived at World Horse Welfare’s Recue and Rehoming Centre, near Ilchester, the pony, Faith, looks around the farm for the first time. She has endured horrific pain recently and is full of fear, although luckily for Faith the abuse is over and she is safe for the rest of her life.

Many will believe that little Faith’s rescue marks the end of her heart-breaking story. Whilst this is true in some ways and Faith’s future is bright, her arrival at the centre marks just one step on a long journey to her recovery. It will take many months of careful nursing and rehabilitation before the physical and mental scars begin to heal. Some may never go, and it will take the incredible team at the centre to help Faith every step of that journey.

The stable yard at the Somerset centre is at the heart of the rehabilitation process for horses that come into World Horse Welfare’s care. Faith is not alone, the charity’s centre can care for up to 70 horses and ponies at a time and the dedicated team of grooms tailor each horse’s rehabilitation programme to meet their needs.

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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. For many, like Faith, the rehabilitation journey begins by teaching them to put their trust in humans once more.

On average, it will take around 10 months before horses are ready to start a new life in a loving home. In Faith’s case, it has taken a bit longer and she is still at the centre, two years after arrival. She was horrifically abused as a foal and was caught being beaten by her owner’s brother whilst trapped in a stable and unable to escape. Understandably, Faith was terrified of people going anywhere near her, kicking out at any approach.

“We are fairly used to seeing them coming in unhandled and a lot are generally scared of people.” Amy, Faith’s groom said. “But Faith had a real expectation of what she thought we were going to do to her and her reaction - rather than just being scared - was defensive. My first memory is of her cowering at the back of the trailer when we went to unload her.”

Slowly the team started to show Faith that people can be kind. She soon discovered she loved scratches and food, and slowly learnt to trust humans again. The stable yard at the Somerset centre has provided a safe haven on her journey towards a better horse-human relationship, and little Faith is almost ready for rehoming.

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 care once their life has been transformed.

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All of this is only possible thanks to amazing people who choose to Sponsor A Stable yard. Could you help transform the life of a pony like Faith by supporting World Horse Welfare’s stable yard in Somerset today?

Influencer and social media star This Esme is a rehomer.

‘World Horse Welfare is very close to my heart, it’s where my lovely little Duke came from before I rehomed him. Thanks to World Horse Welfare’s stable yard he got a new start in life, and I couldn’t be more thankful. They were there for Duke when he needed it the most, like they are for so many other horses that come into their care.’ – Esme Higgs