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In August we gave a forever home to 'Snoopy', an abandoned little three month old Cob type foal, found in Cardiff City.  Poor little chap, no one can imagine the terror and stress he went through..  When he arrived the transport driver said to Sian, "Good Luck with this one, you are going to need it" and implied that she would wish we hadn't bothered with him.

But as you can see from the latest picture, he has settled in well, grown a lot (he couldn't see over the stable door when he arrived) and trusts little Lola and she trusts him.  Its lovely to see.


  We are very fortunate to have such good, kind and helpful people at the Sanctuary.  Without their help and support we couldn't continue.  In August we asked for help in a large fencing project, which would eventually get rid of the all the barbed wired fencing that had been around the paddocks for many, many years.  The work is still continuing and thanks to Sian, Julie, Bryan, Ann, Karen and friends, we now have post and rail fencing along most of the boundaries and separating the paddocks. 

  Since writing about Humphrey, it has been an on going saga..  Unfortunately, it wasn't to be, poor Humphrey had been so badly mistreated in his very short life that despite everything that our wonderful vet Kevin could do, we had to say goodbye and let him go to a better place before he suffered anymore.  His end was quick and painless and he was surrounded by love and people who cared for him. Not even a year old, some anonymous person dumped Humphrey at the side of a busy road where he was found ill, starving and barely alive. In the last few weeks he had the best of care and we can't commend Sian, Ann, Karen, Julie and Brian enough for all of their efforts. Before coming to DHAPS Humphrey must of had a life of neglect and misery, so for a short while he knew what it was like to have enough food, warmth, shelter, care and love. Despite all of the nasty things that he had to endure in his short life he was affectionate and trusting with the humans around him..We would like to thank everyone who has sent Humphrey their best wishes and kept him in their thoughts. He won't be forgotten

It should be a lesson learnt by everyone who looks after animals whether they be horses/ponies to dogs and cats, worming is vitally important.  The damage as we have witnessed with Humphrey will kill.  Humphrey like thousands of others were bred by irresponsible owners who then flygraze on other peoples land, never looking after these animals and selling them on for as little as £5.  In Wales as in other parts of the UK this is a major problem and something has to be done.  If you have the time please take a look at the equine crisis report which was devised by the NEWC and other bigger charities.  We are such a small charity with very limited funds that we would like to help but can only take one or two and there are literally thousands and thousands that need help.




Sian's daughter Lola who is just three years old, taking Humphrey for a walk in a quiet lane outside the sanctuary

 As one door closes another opens as they say.  Captain who had such a vast presence about him, leaves a big hole in the sanctuary life and of course a space for another horse.

We were not looking so soon to replace him, and we get inundated with calls and emails requesting our help to home an unwanted horse or pony for many reasons.  But this was one that we felt we couldn't say no to.

 On Thursday, the NEWC (National Equine Welfare Council) put out a plea from the Cardiff city Horse Warden.  These are her words..

"On Tuesday evening I received a phone call from the Police about a dead
horse on the side of a road, as I approached I realised that the horse was
not dead but very weak.
I called a vet and we managed to get this little chap up, he gave him the
once over and said his vitals were ok but he was very underweight but we
would be able to travel him, he is now in a secure location and seems to be
picking up everyday.

He is a little bay colt, probably last years foal, very friendly, halter
broken and leads very well. He picks up all his feet and you can touch him
all over, He has a lovely nature and because of his fighting spirit I would
really like to give him a chance.

I understand everywhere is very full but I do appreciate you taking the time
to read this."

On reading this we felt that we could offer him a loving home for life and try to make up for the dreadful things that we humans have already inflicted upon him in his very short life.

We cannot hope to save the thousands of equines that are in desperate need but we just try to do our bit.

We have no idea what his name is or where he came from or who reduced him to this poor state, so we have the pleasure in deciding his name and one of our wonderful supporters thought he looked like a Humphrey, so Humphrey it is.  It is too early to say what long term damage  may have been done to Humphrey by starving him at such an early stage in his life, but we will ensure that he gets the best veterinary care and everything will be done to repair any damage that may have been inflicted upon him.  More photos to follow on his arrival.

Click here to read the equine crisis report by leading welfare organisations.


This week we lost a truly wonderful and kind horse, Captain unfortunately suffered a terrible bout of colic and after lots of care from Sian and our vet Kevin, the decision was made that the kindest thing we could do was to put him to sleep. We hope Captain has gone on to a better place and he will be missed by everyone that knew him. Thank you Sian for taking such good care of him.  Herbie our miniature spotted Shetland was his constant companion in later years, has now moved fields to join new friends.

Captain in his hey day (picture, kindly donated by his old owner) and then as he was with us at the Sanctuary in retirement.  Bottom picture to the right is Herbie his constant companion in later years.

 Rainbow Bridge - Edited for Horses

Author Unknown

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When a horse dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run with the wind and enjoy the companionship of their own kind.

There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable; fear and worry free. All the horses who had been ill and old are restored to health and the vigor of youth. Those who were abused, hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we would want to remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.

The horses are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind, so long ago. In each mind there is a "someone" who was kind, gentle and loving. One someone who took the extra step, stayed the extra minute, reached out and touched with love, even once.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, galloping over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy nickering rings in your ears and a velvet muzzle nuzzles your face; your hands again caress the beloved head and you look once more into the big, trusting eyes of your special love and partner, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

This winter has proved to be one of the most difficult in DHAPS 's history.  The weather has been the worst that the UK has seen in 250 years.  Dartmoor is used to long hard winters, so snow is often on the agenda, but this year it has been rain, rain, rain the appearance of snow only once briefly.  The paddocks are water logged and turned into mini lakes with the springs having nowhere for the water to go except upwards.  Unfortunately all of this has a detrimental effect on the boundaries and fencing.  The banks have been weakened and the fencing compromised.  It is impossible to get a contractor in and across the fields in their vehicles so poor Sian, Ann and Karen have had to become adept with nails and hammers to mend the ever increasing fencing problems.  Roland and Alison have tried many times to repair the worst but every time the heavens open.  Hopefully Spring is around the corner and warm sunny days will be on the agenda.  We all feel at this time, we need to see some sun.

RIGHT Picture of Karen gamely carrying on though all the mud. We are sure she didn't sign up to all of this!!!!!

We are sorry if we haven't returned any phone calls recently.  We had a huge thunderstorm and the telegraph pole was hit by lightening which literally blew the information box off the pole and burnt all the wires.   We waited for along time for BT to turn up and mend it along with other people in the hamlet.  Even then after they had finished the telephone wouldn't work, so all the wires into the tack room are having to be changed also. 


 HEATHCLIFF 1992 - 2014

We are very saddened to report that our beloved Heathcliff passed away on New Years Day.  He had a heart murmur and subsequently died of a heart attack.

He was a very loveable but very mischievous little Shetland who came to the Sanctuary in 1992 along with two others, Boris his faithful companion who has now thankfully teamed up with Pippin and Freddie who is residing with the Police horses in France.

At four months old Heathcliff and his two friends were taken off Dartmoor and put into one of the Drift Sales at Ashburton which are held every year in October. The only people wanting to purchase these ponies were the meat trade for just a few guineas.  Sylvia who had gone especially to try to buy Freddie couldn't resist Heathcliff and Boris, so all three made their home at the Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary.  Heathcliff went out on loan to a family but in later life returned and spent the rest of his days with his chums at Southcott.    RIP Heathcliff you will be missed by all of us, although probably not by the farrier who would have to chase him around and rugby tackle him to the ground - very funny to watch.  He seemed to have a sixth sense and knew when it was farrier day, so no one could catch him not even with his favourite polo's.  If you would like to read more about how these lucky little ponies came to be with us at the Devon Horse & Pony Sanctuary please click on the picture below.