Daisy was the first horse ever rescued by our founder Susie in 2005. She was an ex showjumper and found herself unwanted through no fault of her own.
She is a wise, caring and fair leader to her herd and regularly supports all the horses and humans that she comes in to contact with. She is a beautiful healer and teacher to us all.
In 2018 Daisy had a horrific accident and the injury went through her back leg right through to the bone. After our vet assisted with the emergency we then followed up with herbal medicine, biochemistry, homeopathy, zoopharmacognosy and daily Reiki healing.
We converted one of our field shelters into a private hospital room so that daisy could stay with her herd and receive love and support as well as keeping the wound clean and allowing her to be in a safe space.
With the combination of all these things she has miraculously made a beautiful recovery and is now back leading her herd and being the magnificent soul she is.
Bailey came to us in 2008, initially bred for greatness within the horseriding world but by the age of 3 it was evident his bone structure wouldn’t allow him ever to be ridden. We stepped to secure is fate of a loving long term home where Bailey’s healing would be an ongoing priority. Bailey has enjoyed massages, chiropractor visits, cranial sacral therapy, bowen, reiki healing, biochemistry and daily supplementation to keep him as comfortable as possible and help him heal. Interestingly Bailey seems to be a natural healer and is always drawn to people who need help and comfort with any issue, either breathing into their physical pain or resting his head on their shoulder and lovingly reassuring that life will get better. We always assumed we were healing him but it turns out he was healing us all along.
Bobby is possibly the most extreme case of mental health issues we have ever come across in a horse. He was incredibly unhappy being used as a riding school horse for several days a week or being kept tethered on a chain when not working. He would regularly escape and seek solace in a local livery yard where our founder Susie was working at the time. It was obvious from his behaviour and body language that he was in despair and mentally unwell. After a series of escaping episodes, rearing and kicking out at humans and generally being classed as dangerous Susie agreed to take him to the Sanctuary to help him heal. It has been an incredibly emotional journey helping Bobby heal. He is a big boy who has had to learn that he will always be surrounded with kindness, love and understanding and has to also respect us humans and the importance of boundaries. This is where the mixture of kindness, love, reiki healing and natural horsemanship has been a life changing combination. He now is a very happy pony who loves the freedom to play with his friends and loves his human friends too. Food is a joy to Bobby and we continually remind him to not tread on our feet in the rush for carrots!!
Oscar came to us after becoming homeless. His lovely human mum did Natural Horsemanship and loved him dearly but after financial difficulties she could no longer afford to keep him. Oscar is a very sensitive boy who could react to anything including loud noises to raised voices. She was therefore concerned that he would not be able to cope being in the traditional horse world and wanted a long-term home for him where Natural Horsemanship, kindness and love were a priority. After taking Oscar on and showering him with love and respect his character started to evolve and we refer to him as being “posh” and a Gentle – man”. We loved it when he became best friends with Bobby the Cob from Dudley as these two opposites developed an incredible loving friendship and bond that will never to broken.
Our handsome boy Chester came to us through our old farrier who had to retire due to serious health conditions. His beloved horse had been out on loan and after having accidents and illnesses he needed a forever home to retire to. When we first met Chester, we could see the various physical scars on his body and knew he would need a lot of love and healing to help him which we were more than happy to give. Chester is one of the kindest horses we have at the sanctuary. He is respectful, loving, funny, kind, supportive and we believe he is a great healing horse. He has helped many humans whilst being at the Sanctuary with his healing ways including our Trustee Kate who experienced profound healing from Chester as they shared an intimate interaction with both witnessing and acknowledging each other’s scars and how far they had both come on their journeys.
Sophie is the herd leader of the four little ponies.
She came to us as an extreme rescue with extreme abuse that we never discuss. She has terrified of humans when she first arrived, and we spent hours, days and weeks taking it in turns to just sit in the field so she could see us and know we caused no threat or harm.
The day she finally made her own decision to walk close and take a carrot from one of us was a dream come true.
She is a brave, courageous, beautiful girl who can still be a little nervous, but she nurtures and leads her little herd wonderfully and she is loved and respected by all humans and ponies.
Ruby is a beautiful lady who we refer to as “posh”, she now knows who she is, what she likes and what she doesn’t. Sadly, this was not the case when we first rescued her. Ruby came from a competition yard where her life consisted of either being in a stable, being exercised on a horse-walker, travelling on a lorry to competitions or competing. When she arrived at the sanctuary and we popped her in a field she was frightened of the horses in the field next door. She didn’t want to explore the field, run or play and she didn’t realise that she could eat the grass. We had not observed this behaviour in any of our rescued horses before. We knew we had to treat her very gently and teach her how to be a horse. Who better for the job than our elderly 30-year-old gentle pony called Cottie? We introduced Cottie to Ruby and magically Cottie took on the role of Ruby’s grandmother and started teaching her that the grass was for eating, the field was a safe place, the horses next door could be approached without fear and that us humans were kind. Years later even though Cottie has now transitioned over Rainbow Bridge her teachings live on as Ruby is a very happy, confident lady who now manages Illyanne’s herd with her and they are the best of friends.
Dodger was the only boy of the group from France and we believe that he is delighted that in his new herd he has several other horse friends that he plays, confides and eats with. These include Louie, Michael and Max. Dodger is a soft, gentle, sensitive boy and he can also be very kind and protective to those he loves, humans or horses. A few years ago, Dodger had a nasty accident, cutting his face open and blood pouring everywhere. We supported him, spoke to him gently and gave him reiki healing until the vet arrived. Dodger was so brave during this experience and allowed us to care for him. His face healed perfectly, and he is still a very handsome boy. That experience has made him even more loving towards us humans as he knows he can trust us to always take care of him. He really is an exceptional boy.
We received a request to help a lady who sadly had terminal cancer. She had two beloved horses Max and Ringo who she loved dearly. It was her wish that they both could go to a loving sanctuary together where they could live their lives in peace and love. At the time this request came, financially it didn’t make sense to agree to take on two more horses, but our hearts knew we had to help this lovely lady and her family.
Max is a very large boy. However, he is such a sensitive soul and fits the description of gentle giant perfectly. He loves his horse brother Ringo and has grown in confidence since he had become part of Illyanne’s. He regularly plays and has fun with Louie, Michael and Dodger. We are so happy to have helped as we have now developed a great friendship with the lady’s husband who visits Max and Ringo regularly and kindly supports us with what we do.
We received a request to help a lady who sadly had terminal cancer. She had two beloved horses Max and Ringo who she loved dearly. It was her wish that they both could go to a loving sanctuary together where they could live their lives in peace and love. At the time this request came in financially it didn’t make sense to agree to take on two more horses, but our hearts knew we had to help this lovely lady and her family.
Ringo is a beautiful spotty pony with distinctive markings. He is gentle and stubborn at the same time. He has a strong will and likes to keep himself to himself a lot of the time and will choose when he interacts with the herd. He has recently had some health issues including challenges with his feet. We have popped him into a separate paddock next to his herd so his feet can be bandaged regularly and be kept of the mud and have his regular medicines, supplements and reiki healing. However hilariously he decided to break into our next-door neighbours’ field and strike up a friendship with her elderly horse. We are so happy to have helped as we have now developed a great friendship with the lady’s husband who visits Max and Ringo regularly and kindly supports us with what we do.
Michael is one the two horses we ever paid for to be part of the Sanctuary. We had been asked to take on Faith who we discovered had been taken from Dartmoor and sold to a university and experimented on. She was fortunate enough to survive giving birth to Michael even though he was a very big baby. Sadly, we learned that Michael had been taken onto a lorry and his mum followed. She was then barricaded in to be sold and he was separated from her. They both screamed when this happened, and we were told he collapsed in the road due to the stress. We wanted to heal this situation and to apologise to Michael and his for what humans had done to them, so we miraculously tracked down who he had been sold too. Our founder Susie text everybody she knew to raise the £350 needed to buy him and reunite him with his mum. When we collected him, he was only 3 months old, frightened and alone. We knew it would be too scary for him to make the 3-hour journey on his own, so Susie sat in the trailer with him chatting to hi, stroking him and offering him healing, love and support. When we reunited him with his mum as soon as he saw her, he squealed so loudly we all started to cry. He ran up the ramp of the horse lorry that had arrived at the horse Sanctuary with his mum on it and the disbelief and joy was overwhelming. Ever since they have been inseparable, and Faith has been a great Mum. He has grown into a magnificent boy and even though he loves having adventures with his pony friends he is never far away and always on the alert to protect his mum. We renamed him Michael after the Archangel hoping that that energy would help him heal and always feel safe.
Louie was an emergency rescue. A baby horse of just 12 months old who sadly had not been fed for months during one of the coldest winters. When we walked him off the lorry, he was a walking skeleton. We placed him a small private paddock next door to Illyanne’s heard and he collapsed. The vet was called, and diagnosis was not good, and he gave Louie 24 hours to live. This sad little boy didn’t have a name, had never known love and was in a very sad state. Our founder Susie decided to text everyone she knew asking for help, love, prayers, distance healing and to hold the vision that Louie would stand up and get well. Within 24 hours 52 people from all around the world had responded in various ways including 11 people who arrived at the Sanctuary the following morning to help. Susie had lay with Louie on the grass under a duvet all night holding him telling him he was safe so when friends arrived it was a glorious moment. A winch was made from scaffolding pipes and a harness to go gently under Louie’s tummy. All the friends helped him to stand up and rather than eat his horse food he wanted Susie’s rich tea biscuits. Over the following days Louie would collapse and we would gently winch him back up with his harness. We noticed that “baby Michael” would watch Louie continually in our herd next door. So, we bought Michael in with him to encourage him to heal and get well. This worked perfectly alongside his veterinary medicines, natural supplements, Bach Flower remedies, homeopathy, biochemistry and daily Reiki healing. Louie has grown into a magnificent young man, confident, cheeky, happy. He is friends with everyone within Illyanne’s herd and he and Michael have a particularly long and everlasting bond. We feel Louie teaches us what love can do.