Horse World is an Equine Rescue Charity which is situated on almost 200 acres of idyllic grazing land, which is tucked away on the outskirts of Whitchurch, Bristol.
Horse World rescue, rehabilitate and re-home horses, ponies and donkeys and yesterday I was privileged to go to one of their open days.
I found out about the work of Horse World towards the end of 2014. In January 2015 when I read that they had been called out to a strip of wasteland near Bristol where they found one colt foal dead in a ditch of freezing water and another colt foal emaciated, almost to the point of death.
Animal cruelty is something that normal human beings find abhorrent and I cannot begin to imagine what sort of fiend could leave two young foals to starve. What is even worse is that the person responsible for causing this suffering will never be identified and bought to trial as neither of the foals were micro-chipped. So often the case.
Horse World was started in 1952 by Mabel Cocksedge who established The Friends of Bristol Horses Society. Motorised transport was becoming more available and affordable, which resulted in more and more young horses being sent to the knackers yard. The following year Margery Pelling and Madge Checkley joined the Mabel Cocksedge crusade, actively campaigning for the “Retirement Not Slaughter” of working horses.
62 years later Horse World thrives and provides animal welfare work for 365-days-a-year which is funded purely by voluntary donations.
At yesterday’s Open Day, there were two things for me that came over very strongly and that was the enthusiasm of the staff as they presented their work to us and seeing how happy and relaxed all the horses and donkey’s were, especially when you consider what awful lives they led before coming to Horse World. So the two key ingredients here would appear to be excellent equine husbandry and love of horses.
Communing with horses can help fill any emptiness we may feel from our stressful lives. Horses cannot change the rules and expectations of modern society, but they can help us thrive by offering new perspectives by which to live. Workshops using horses for human experiential self-growth or psychotherapy are becoming more abundant because horses are masters of intuitive communication. Anne Shrago, Equine Essence Inc – 2005
Also based at Horse World is Discovery, which offers courses for young people aged 6-19 who are experiencing learning or behavioural difficulties. To quote from Horse World’s website ‘Bringing horses together with young people can have staggering results.’ I met one young lad who was involved with a demonstration at Horse World yesterday who told me that he had gone on from doing a Discovery course to doing work experience at Horse World.
The work they do is second to none. Thanks to Horse World the foal that was found emaciated and close to death was christened Felix (meaning the lucky one). When Felix arrived at Horse World, he was not strong enough to get up on his own, so members of staff came in during the night to turn him. He was given special food and having got rid of an alarming amount of worms, Felix made a full recovery to become the little superstar he is today. Very loved and very happy, like every other one of the 140 horses that are currently with Horse World.