Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary

We are honoured to be working with Shires Holt Horse Sanctuary (Registered Charity number 1169277) located on Bodmin Moor, Cornwall.  

The vast majority of the horses and ponies they rescue are suffering from severe malnutrition, often with body condition scores of 0.5 - 1 these animals would suffer enormously until their death should Shires Holt not step in.

About the Sanctuary and it's work by Pip and Kerrie Lovelock:

We are a family run Cornish Sanctuary for rescued Bodmin Moor Ponies. But more than this we provide a home for life to horses and ponies with a need in Cornwall and Devon. We are working closely with APHA, Bodmin Moor Commoners Council, Redwings, World Horse Welfare, and the RSPCA.

We currently provide permanent sanctuary care to more than 60 horses and ponies.  Through the years of our work we have homed more than 200 horses.  None will ever leave our ownership as they have a home for life with us.  For some due to the suffering they have endured, should they require more specialist veterinary care or careful handling will happily remain with our immediate grazing herds living out naturally for most of the year in our home locations.

To meet the needs of such a large population of horses requires a dedicated care team. It also requires a very high level of veterinary care. We are delighted to draw on the considerable experience of our vet David Ellis, who has consulted us on our veterinary needs over the last 30 years.

We are a family that really cares about welfare and the whole family gets involved!

A typical rescue case: Scappy Doo... 

Scrappy Doo is a miracle. When we brought him home and opened the trailer he was so weak that he couldn't stand up. He was one of the worst cases of the Bodmin Moor starvation crisis that we rescued last year. Unfortunately Scrappy had deformed legs also so the odds were stacked against him. With gentle care, supplementary feed and handling he is now living with Redford our Clydesdale and even permits us to rug him.

How Devon Haylage fits in

Most of their welfare cases are due to severe malnutrition and so plenty of supplementary feeding is required to improve condition scores.  We first met Pip at an equine event where Pip was promoting the charity and we where promoting our haylage.  We decided to donate a few bales of haylage; Pip was blown away by the quality and could see the benefit haylage could bring when feeding severly malnurished equines.  Previously, the charity relied on donations of hay and although this was and still will be gratefully received, hay can be of varying quality and some goes to waste.  Haylage on the other hand has a higher nutritional value with no waste, providing the perfect forage source for the most severly malnourished animals.  Pip and Kerrie have found the ponies eat it with relish and rapidly start to improve their health.  Understanding that feeding small bale haylage is not cost efficient in a herd environment, Pip and Kerrie can wholehearteldy recognise the valuable place Devon Haylage can have on an acute individual basis.

We are delighted to be such an important part of improving the lives of neglected, abandoned and malnourished Moorland ponies and wish Shires Holt all the best as they continue relentlessly to care for and rehabilitate unfortunate horses and ponies.

To donate visit their BT Mydonate page