Oldest Horse Charity In The World

Home of Rest For Horses
Britain ~ 1886 ~ Today

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In the 19th century, life for the majority of working horses on the streets of London was appalling.

On 10 May 1886 Miss Ann Lindo, inspired by the book ‘Black Beauty’ and determined to do something about it, set up a home of rest for horses, mules and donkeys at a farm at Sudbury, near Harrow, North-West London.

Fittingly its first resident was an overworked London cab horse.

Among the supporters of the new Society was HRH Prince Albert and before long the Duke of Portland, Master of the Royal Household, agreed to become president.

The role of horse as a working animal has changed radically over the past 120 years. No longer do we see cab horses, delivery drays, working pit ponies or the great Shire horses bending to the plough.

Pit Pony

The Home of Rest for Horses’ residents are today drawn from the ranks of those serving their masters in different ways – the mounted police force, the mounted Army regiments, the Royal Mews, Riding for the Disabled, the Horse Rangers Association – and very occasionally a retired race horse, a polo pony or just a much loved family pet.

Set amongst the rolling Chiltern Hills, The Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses caters for the retirement needs of over 100 horses, donkeys and ponies.

Their smaller relatives are also represented – Shetland ponies, donkeys and hinnies – and, of course, the occasional sad case of a neglected pony which requires urgent rehoming and very special care to restore it to health.

It is home to over 100 animals from all over the country, ranging from rescued ponies to retired drum horses from the Household Cavalry.

The residents at the stables share 200 acres of pristine paddocks and loose boxes in the Chiltern Hills, receiving the loving attention they deserve throughout their final years.

Once accepted into the sanctuary of the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses, they will remain at the sanctuary for the rest of their days.

Three large Shire horses have just arrived to enjoy their well-earned retirement with The Horse Trust.

Jim, at 19hh, is the biggest horse ever to come to The Trust’s Home of Rest for Horses. He arrived along with Tom and Tryfan.

Jim and Tom worked for many years for the Whitbread brewery as dray horses delivering the beer to local hostelries.

Only a month ago, two Shires, “Rosie” and “Duchess”,  joined their former stablemates, “Jim”, “Tom” and “Tryfan” at the Horse Trust’s Home of Rest in Buckinghamshire.

Owner Kay Parry said: “The horses have been part of our lives for more than 10 years. They are precious to us and have been a delight to hundreds of people.

“We are so grateful to The Horse Trust for continuing to keep them where they can continue to enjoy visitors and for providing the care and kindness for the horses in their later years.”

Among The Residents

Leonidus

This magnificent 17 hand, piebald, shire gelding was owned by the army for 18 years. A former military drum horse Leo was used for ceremonial occasions and regularly paraded at Trooping the Colour at Horse Guards Parade. Leo, born in 1982, joined fellow ex-drum horse, Janus at The Trust’s rest home in 2004.

Janus

Janus arrived at Speen in July 2001 from The Household Cavalry based at Hyde Park Barracks in Knightsbridge. Born in 1984 this 17.2 hand, skewbald gelding joined the army in 1989 and spent many years in service as a drum horse for the Blues and Royals. Janus and Leonidas enjoy grazing together in the tranquility and sanctuary of the Chiltern Hills.

Constantine

The Horse Trust is delighted to welcome its third drum horse to the sanctuary in Speen. Constantine, a 17.1 hh Clydesdale, served the Household Cavalry for 20 years and during that time paraded ten times at Trooping of the Colour.

This 23 year old gelding joins ex drum horses Janus and Leonidas who both retired to the Home a number of years ago.

Stevie

Stevie, an 11.3 hand white donkey, has recently joined our family of donkeys at the Home. This 30 year old cuddly newcomer is already attracting a lot of attention from visitors to the yard. He is very friendly and enjoys tons of love and affection.

Just Otto

Simply known as Otto this 17 hand black gelding arrived from The Royal Mews at Windsor Castle in 2004. Born in 1984 Otto won the Queen’s Cup twice and enjoyed eventing at Blenheim. Now teamed up with old stable mate Lancelot Otto has settled well into his new life in the Chiltern Hills.

Fagin

Fagin, a stunning 18.1 hand grey gelding has been reunited with old friends Dawkins and Cratchit from the Greater Manchester Mounted Police. Fagin was beginning to suffer a significant loss of sight in both of his eyes and has retired early from his duties with the police. He is an exceptional character and an adored addition to the herd.

Thomas

Thomas is a little black bundle of fun who is approximately 36 inches high.  This adorable Shetland pony, with a slightly greying muzzle, struts around his field with his head held high and has made many best friends in the short time he has been here – both human and horse!

Sefton

Sefton who retired from the Household Cavalry in Knightsbridge in 2005 is the nominal successor of a famous predecessor. The Home gave sanctuary over twenty years ago to Sefton, the horse that suffered multiple injuries at the hands of the IRA after the Hyde Park bombing on 20th July 1982. The ‘new’ Sefton is a striking 16.2 hand black gelding who was born in 1987.

 

A Safe Haven …

The Horse Trust manages the Home of Rest for Horses.  This sanctuary is funded solely by donations and legacies and provides lifetime care for more than 100 retired working horses, ponies and donkeys.

The Home of Rest for Horses ‘focus of charitable duty now extends far beyond providing a safe haven for elderly horses, ponies and donkeys.

Never losing touch with that core objective, it now embraces a wider agenda which priorities welfare, science and education and has therefore  re-named the charity “The Horse Trust”.

Website:   “The Horse Trust ~ Home of Rest for Horses”

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What If Your Horse Is Stolen?

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Debi Metcalfe reunited with
her stolen horse “Idaho”.

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If your horse is stolen go directly to:
Stolen Horse International at
NetPosse.com

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A Shelby, North Carolina  woman
has made it her mission to find stolen horses.

Debi Metcalfe and her husband, Harold, lost a family member. Their horse, Idaho, was horse-napped, in broad day light from their pasture.

A year later, they found Idaho in Tennessee.

This is how Stolen Horse International and NetPosse.com was born and has now celebrated over 10 years of success.

The website has Idaho Alerts which are similar to AMBER Alerts for missing children where members are alerted when a horse, tack or even trailers are stolen.

An estimated 40,000 horses are stolen each year in the United States.

During the Metcalfes’ search, someone set up a Web space for the couple and after finding their horse, they decided to help out other people on the Web. That’s how her site NetPosse.com was started.

“We got so much help, I thought I owed it back,” she said.

Since founding her organization, Debi has written a book and been part of television news stories, newspaper and magazine articles and her expertise was used on Fox’s “America’s Most Wanted” in August.

She appeared as the cover story on The Gaited Horse magazine in an edition that sold out and was most recently featured on “Weekend America,” a Public Broadcasting radio show.

We do a lot more than stolen horses,” Debi said. “That’s how we were started, but we do so much more now.”

Her priority is working with people whose horses are missing first. That comes ahead of fundraising and other functions.

“We try to stress that even if the horse is not found alive and well, it’s better to know than have questions,” she said.

Inspiration … Debi has empathy for the people she helps.

On the NetPosse site is a list of stolen or missing horses across the United States. Also included are photos, dates and current status.

Below are just two of the many horses that have been stolen. 
For complete listings:  Click here:

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Stolen:  LPS Mr. Jalapeno
Bay Morgan Gelding Missing in California suspected to be in Arizona – Feb. 6, 2007

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Stolen:
Valentino
Fleabitten Grey Arabian Gelding Stolen after dark from Therapy Progam in Newton County, Georgia – Feb. 3, 2008

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If you have a horse that has been stolen or strangely disappeared, do not hesitate.  Contact NetPosse.com immediately.

If you recognize the horses pictured above, click on the name of the horse for more information.

It takes everyone working together to keep our horses safe and in their own homes.

 

Spare The Horses

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Christine Hajek, founder of Gentle Giants
Draft Horse Rescue, gets a nuzzle from Jonas.

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Christine Hajek fell in love with her first draft horse when she met Elijah, a Belgian gelding, at an auction in August 2001 and brought him home.

But Hajek, who grew up on a horse-breeding farm, had been mesmerized by the huge horses raised for plowing and farm labor ever since she rode one years earlier.

“I loved the gait, I loved the size and I loved the feel,” said Hajek, 34, who is an Anne Arundel County firefighter. “They’re so broad across the back that they give you a real sense of security. They move slowly. Anything they do is kind of in slow motion.”

It was Elijah that gave her the idea to form Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue, a nonprofit operation specifically tailored to draft horses — and turn a hobby into an obsession.

“He ended up being a perfect horse — totally flawless in every way,” she said.

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That one horse has turned into 21 at the 42-acre Woodbine farm in Mount Airy, Maryland where she lives with her husband, Jamie McIntosh.

Hajek estimates that she and her husband have rescued more than 60 draft horses since then — most of them within the past two years.

“They work hard, they’ve seen everything, so they’re not afraid of anything,” she said.

Once she brings horses home, she spends an average of two months with them before they are adopted.

“I might be sad for a couple days, and I might cry really hard when I drop them off,” she said. “But mostly, I’m happy for them.”

The horses she’s rescued are now scattered around the United States, with adoptees in California, New York, Ohio, Florida, Virginia, Pennsylvania and elsewhere, she said.

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Recently, Dick Dodson, 72, from Boyds, who recently took up riding again after a 20-year hiatus, visited Hajek’s farm to meet a horse named Texas that he’d seen on the Gentle Giants Web site.

“The attraction for the drafts is that they’re very calm, they’re sure-footed, and they don’t spook easily,” he said. “I want something that’s bomb-proof. I don’t want to get hurt on a horse.”

He was drawn to Texas because of the chocolate-colored Belgian’s background as a carriage horse that had done some plowing for an Amish farmer.

“I might ride that horse bareback,” Dodson said. “This horse has a very gentle disposition.”

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The Gentle Giants dog, Bug, hangs out at Tristan’s feet.

Not only can people adopt horses from Hajek; they can also ride. She caters mostly to adults and a few children of adults who ride there.

Saving draft horses is a passion that costs her money, she acknowledges. She only wishes she could save more.

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“I’m passionate about draft horses,” Hajek said. “The bigger the better.

I just want everyone to know how incredible they are.”

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Link: Gentle Giants Rescue