We heard of HAPPA through our local riding club. I had mentioned having some space and considering an adoption and I researched on line and then we visited.
The visit to the Centre and speaking to the staff made our decision easy and we were confident we wanted to press ahead and support this local charity straight away.
We met HAPPA Doris on our first visit and we considered the life changes of the fostering scheme. We had both been around horses for years, but never considered fostering a foal. It came with huge commitments such as looking at ALL of our fencing, assisting in the development and dedication of their training and behaviours, and the impact of this new arrival on our other horses.
Were we too old??
When we met Doris though, we absolutely forgot all of that, and she totally melted our hearts. Her nature is that of a horse that has had nothing but love and kindness from humans and this has made our job
incredibly easy. She a beautiful equine soul, and from her sorry beginnings will definitely become a lovely ridden horse in the future.
When she came to us, she couldn’t see over the stable door. She had a little nose that “snuffled” for affection and cuddles and as the winter months turned to spring, she could just about get her head above the door. Throughout this time, she made friends with our other horses and she began her lifelong love of carrots too (her teeth were now ready to give them a go!)
In her winter paddock we noticed she longed to be out with the bigger horses, and she whinnied at them for affection – they totally ignore her!
We tried to introduce Doris to the bigger horses and she was unsettled as there were some very big characters and she was clearly scared.
We rang the Centre and took advice. Within a few days we had HAPPA Destiny!
Destiny took the lead in the paddock and Doris immediately slotted into their routine. We are sure that without Destiny she would have been OK, but we wanted better than OK for our Doris and having Destiny around has made them both very happy.
In springtime, Doris finally stood higher than Destiny, and throughout that time, Doris has tried to take 1st place in the paddock – failing every time. Destiny for all her shortness, is the boss.
Both HAPPA girls have enjoyed the summer. Their routine was based upon basking in the sunshine and chasing chickens from their paddock. Doris spent some of the summer with Ruby (a larger horse) and this helped her with some manners (biting). She tried it a few times and was quickly shown the error of her ways and now doesn’t even try!
Destiny took part in our Annual Farm Obstacle Course (family gathering) – her role was to pick her feet up and have them checked – she loved the attention! In fact Destiny is the equine equivalent of a celebrity – she is very dominant to be in the limelight and is working on her Facebook pout pretty much all of the time.
She is conscious of her weight and we keep an eye on that for her – so far so good – and no grazing muzzle in sight!
As autumn approached, we bathed them both, the dentist came and they were both superstars.
Next week is fashion week here at the farm, we are trying on rugs to see which still fit, which need upcycling and which need to be recycled to your tack shop……
We are always grateful we came along to the Centre. I know it won’t be the last HAPPA pony we have.
If you are interested in giving a Forever Home to a HAPPA horse or pony visit http://www.happa.org.uk/re-homing/ and fill out an online application form.