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Daisy’s Herd

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.


Pearl came to us after becoming very aggressive to her human that had her. When our founder Susie visited her and the family it was discovered that she had lived on her own for many years without any horse company and then she was sent to a horse “Boot camp” to remedy her behavioural issues but returned more aggressive than before. On that day Pearl charged at Susie to tell her to keep away but instantly this was met with an understanding of her being frightened and alone.  The day Pearl arrived at the Sanctuary against her horse trainers wishes we popped her in the field next door to Daisy’s herd.  Then later we opened the gate and magically observed Pearl standing there in amazement as eight horses cantered gently around the field forming a circle of love around her.  It was Billy who then walked up to her, looked her in the eye and communicated. They both nodded their heads and whinnied, and Pearl walked into the circle and they all ran around the field together playing and celebrating a new member of the herd arriving.  Over the years the horses and humans at the Sanctuary have helped Pearl with her fear and anxiety and we are happy to say she is now a much happier and fulfilled pony who is no longer alone. She has her family.


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’s Herd

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.


Sunny is a small but mighty pony. We rescued him from a lady with ill health who explained to us that he had been born with insufficient bones in his legs which is why he is so tiny. Sunny is not aware of this and is full of life, cheekiness, stubborn, persuasive, comical and gorgeous. His favourite things are carrots, food, playing, his best mate Muffin, having his photo taken and more carrots! We have to keep him out of the mud because of his little legs but he lives a happy, fulfilled life with us and we think he is a superhero and a legend.


Sapphire is just gorgeous! She is bossy and bold and hilarious.  She used to be used for breeding so came to us with a lot of anxiety.  However, her personality has now blossomed into a gorgeous happy girl who knows what she wants and likes to express herself by usually telling the boys off and asking us for more carrots.  She has naturally helped some humans who have visited us, and she is a natural healing pony.  She is remarkable.


This beautiful little boy came to us aged eleven as his human mom could no longer cope with him as she was nursing her terminally ill husband. She had had him for 10 years and loved him dearly. When he first came to us, he was quite poorly especially with his feet and we did a gentle detox and cleanse of his gut to help him detox, be pain free and his little body returned to balance. As he was
so small, we had to keep him on his own while he was recovering. Once he was well, he kept trying to break into the other field with the large horses. However, as he had lived on his own all of his life he didn’t appear to be “Field-Wise” (streetwise) so we didn’t think it was wise to merge him with our giant horses. We asked the Universe for help and magically a week later we were offered little pony Sunny. We introduced them and they became bestest buddies instantly and they have many cheeky adventures together. Since then we have also rescued two girl ponies, Sophie and Sapphire and we can see Muffin thriving now that he has his own little pony family. He is a cheeky, happy boy.

Ruby’s Herd

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.


Dune is a pretty, shy, sensitive and also stubborn little girl.  She knows what she likes and what she doesn’t like, and she will tell us. Dodger watches over her and they are exceptionally close.  When she had poorly feet a few years our previous vet wanted to take her out of the herd and put her in a stable. We refused, explaining that her emotional and mental health were a key factor in the healing and recovery so instead we built a small fenced paddock within her herd’s field together with building her a field shelter too.  We popped her and Dodger in the small paddock enabling us to be able to monitor her condition, give her medicines and supplements and also healing, she was still with her beloved Dodger and could still chat to the rest of her herd over the fence. Against all odds she made a full recovery and is now back with the main herd.


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.


We rescued Faith from a lady who had bought her cheaply from the internet only to discover that she was terrified of humans and could not be handled.  This was due to her being taken from Dartmoor as a wild pony and being sold to a university who performed experiments on her. During an experiment she was mated with a much larger horse to see if her body would handle it (lots of other ponies endured the same). Faith was fortunate in that she was able to give birth to her baby; the experiment was complete, and she was then sold to a horse dealer.  After agreeing to take Faith to the Sanctuary we were then told that her baby was alive and that the only way the dealer had been able to get on to a lorry was to walk her baby on first, she dutifully followed, then she was barricaded in and both mummy and baby screamed as they were separated and the baby collapsed in the road.  We were so distressed to hear this we tracked down her baby who at 3 months old had already been sold for £350 to a family who were not aware of the circumstances.  Our founder Susie sent text messages to everyone asking for financial help to raise £350 to buy him back so that he could be reunited with his mummy.  After various attempts to get Faith on a lorry back to the Sanctuary we finally manged it and unknown to her, her baby son was waiting for her in the safety of one of our paddocks. We will never forget the moment the lorry ramp came down and they saw each other. Her baby son dashed up the ramp screaming, and she stood there is disbelief and joy.  They both shrieked and whinnied and trotted off the lorry together and ran around in such joy everyone observing cried.  They have been inseparable ever since and we gave them their new names of Michael and Faith named after the mighty archangels of protection trusting that energy would give them healing and help them feel safe.  


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.