Don't Give Up On Them
I saw on Twitter that Harry Hall were hosting an Access all Areas event at World Horse Welfare Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset, and were giving away a limited number of tickets. Not usually someone that wins anything, I got a pair of tickets, so on a very warm day back in July, we headed off to Somerton for a day out that would, unbeknown to me then, change my life completely.
We are regular visitors to Glenda Spooner Farm but it was lovely to see some areas we had never seen before, and have a very informative talk by Claire, the Centre Manager, on the journey from arrival to rehoming, and lots of other information on the fantastic work that they do.
And there was Rosie. She was in the barn and the first thing that I noticed about her was her beautiful, kind, eye. The prettiest little pony who was loving a cuddle from my daughter over the stable door!
Later during the visit, Rosie was one of the ponies they brought out for us to fuss over. She stood perfectly still with her groom, Billie, whilst being patted and stroked, her gentle face completely relaxed. We then watched her do some in hand work in the indoor arena, where she remained totally chilled, taking it all in her stride.
Rosie was on their rehoming list as a companion pony, though only six years old, she had been abandoned in a field in Somerset and although they had successfully rehabilitated her to be ridden, every time she was, she became lame. Claire explained that young companion horses could be the hardest to rehome, as most people are looking for older horses as companions, otherwise you end up having a companion to keep a companion company. She then said that Rosie would make a great therapy pony, and it was at that point that I knew I had to apply for her.
I have ridden in the past, though not the most confident rider, and after two not great experiences with ponies we bought (bombproof, they said!!), I thought owning another pony was out of the question for me. But, I very much missed the therapeutic benefits that being around horses gave me as a sufferer of anxiety and PTSD. This was a perfect solution.
As soon as we got home, I filled out the application online. Very shortly after, I received a telephone call from Sara Jerman at the centre and we had a 30 minute chat about Rosie, and about me, what she needed, and what I could give her.
We arranged for me to go and have an assessment with her later that week. I was so nervous, as I had not been around horses for around 18 months due to being pregnant and then having a baby last October. I am also what most would consider a novice in the equestrian world, and have a general lack of confidence in my ability to do anything! The first assessment was OK, I caught her, led her in from the field, groomed her, picked her feet… It was a very windy day and when I was leading her back I panicked a little and just felt my lack of confidence had completely ruined my chances, but Emily and Billie were so kind to me and reassured me that it was OK and a few techniques to help my confidence with her.
I chose to go back a week later for a second assessment, and took my daughter. I felt much more confident this time and really had the belief that I could do this. I was very honest with the staff and said it had to be right for Rosie and if they didn’t think I was the right person for her, then that was OK… but they did.
The following week, the Field Officer came to pick up my daughter and I from our home and took us to the livery yard I had chosen for Rosie, based on all her needs. As soon as we drove in he said he knew it was just right for her – it was him and his wife who had first spotted Rosie and after some time, manage to get her into the care of Glenda Spooner Farm, where she spent around two years.
Rosie arrived with me on 6th September 2018, she pulled up in a horsebox and walked out into her stable like it was something she did every day. I can honestly say she hasn’t put a foot wrong since. She has settled extremely well, and loves being groomed. We take her for walks and are working towards doing some gentle in hand work with her.
She has brought so much joy to me already in this short time. I have been so unwell in recent years mentally, and I always felt like people were giving up on me. I feel the same about Rosie, just because she is a little bit broken, just because any companion horse is a little bit broken, don’t give up on them. Aren’t we all a little bit broken in some way? But we still have lots of love to give.
I would advise anyone to look at rehoming through World Horse Welfare. The whole process was very simple and straightforward, and the staff could not have been kinder. The horses are rehabilitated, vetted and you always have the security and knowledge of someone at the end of the phone to ask questions.
Thank you Harry Hall for that day, and thank you to Glenda Spooner Farm for believing in me.