With the equine crisis at an all-time high, and rehoming centres full, rehoming equines who have suffered an unhappy past can be a challenge. But a new BHS project is giving some of these horses a brighter future.
The Second Chance rehoming project, delivered in partnership with the RSPCA, places rescued horses into BHS Approved Centres for rehabilitation. Once in their new home, the rescued horses help deliver the BHS’ Changing Lives through Horses programme.
Changing Lives through Horses (CLtH) is delivered by specially trained Accredited Professional Coaches at BHS Approved Centres, and aims to support young people who are NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) to develop vital life skills and positively re-engage with society. The difficult backgrounds experienced by many of the CLtH participants makes them particularly able to relate to these neglected horses.
In January 2020, The BHS Vice-Patron, The Princess Royal, witnessed the positive impact that rescued horses and young people are having on each other at Parbold Equestrian Centre. Her visit also provided the inspiration for our ‘Three Wise Horses’ Christmas Card. BHS fundraising enabled Parbold Equestrian Centre in Wigan to re-home three rescued horses: Slinky, Trooper and Bungle, - the stars of the 2020 BHS Christmas Card.
In the September 2019 edition of British Horse, we featured traumatised bay stallion Slinky who had been stuck in his stable for many years. Manure had built up to the point where it was above his stable door, and his head was among the rafters. When he was discovered, along with many other horses in the same dreadful conditions, he had to be dug out of his stable over many hours by the RSPCA and the Fire Brigade.
When Slinky arrived at Parbold he was initially very timid and too nervous to even leave his new stable, but after months of rehabilitation by the team, he had progressed to being led with a rider on.
We are delighted to report that since September’s 2019 feature, Slinky has progressed to being ridden around the arena and has started to learn to jump – but importantly, his favourite activity is still to be pampered by CLtH participants.
| Slinky before
|| Slinky after
Cob-cross Trooper was also introduced in September’s 2019 British Horse issue after he was rehomed at Parbold alongside his best friend Slinky. When he first arrived in the RSPCA’s care, he was riddled with lice and worms, and very close to starvation, but Trooper’s recent progress means he has a very exciting future.
Chestnut thoroughbred gelding Bungle is the most recent arrival at Parbold, having found it difficult to settle in his first rescue home. When the RSPCA found Bungle, he had been neglected and was extremely thin.
He is now enjoying life at Parbold and is starting to look like quite a smart horse - he’s definitely one to watch in the future. We caught up with him at one of his first dressage tests