Friday Standing Ovation, Presented by Ovation Riding: Bransby Horses

Each week we honor an organization that is doing good work in the horse world. Today we salute Bransby Horses of Lincolnshire and Herefordshire, UK.

Presented by:

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This week’s Standing Ovation honoree:


Bransby Horses is one of the UK’s largest horse and pony rescues, including two farm homes in Lincolnshire and Herefordshire, which currently house a combined four hundred sixty six horses, ponies, mules and donkeys. These animals are primarily rescued as “welfare cases,” meaning that they were suffering from neglect or cruelty at the time of rescue. An increasing number of cases find horses or ponies abandoned in public places or wandering loose on public roadways, which presents even more danger both to the animal and to the public. With hundreds of acres of land and multiple stables at its disposal, Bransby is well-equipped to rehabilitate even the worst welfare cases, and when possible, further the training on animals in riding or driving to help them find homes. Bransby Horses was recently in the news for its assistance in taking in a pony abandoned at a playground (read our editorial on this incident as well as the larger problem of abandoned ponies here.)

Bransby’s rehabilitation program is tailored to each individual horse, and the rescue understands well that rehab can take anywhere from days to years. Horses who are unsuitable for new homes will remain at Bransby for life. Some of the transformations are quite dramatic, such as Cadi:

cadi rescue

Cadi at time of rescue in 2012

Cadi, back to weight and health today.

Cadi, back to weight and health today.

Bransby’s re-homing process does not sell or traditionally adopt out horses to new owners, but instead selectively finds what the rescue calls Friends For Life–the new caretakers will assume all responsibility for the animal’s housing and care and can essentially use the animal as though they own it (horses have gone on to competitive careers as well as pasture homes) but Bransby retains legal ownership. The process for becoming a Friend For Life is stringent as the rescue wishes to be absolutely certain that the horse is going to a good home.

Foals "Sapphire" and "Ruabon" enjoy Bransby's pastures

Foals “Sapphire” and “Ruabon” enjoy Bransby’s pastures

In addition to their good work in rescuing horses and ponies in trouble, Bransby Horses is a pioneer in educating the public about neglect and abuse. The rescue’s brand-new visitor’s center at the Lincolnshire location welcomes the public 362 days a year, filled with educational displays as well as a cafe and gift shop (the proceeds of which benefit the rescue.) The farm itself is open to tour groups and Bransby has welcomed local schools, clubs and homes for the elderly with guided tours available. Bransby teaches short courses at the rescue itself about a variety of equine welfare-related topics, and also will give talks off-property as a leading educator regarding horse health. Recently, the rescue hosted the local fire and rescue team for an educational session about equine anatomy, which will help keep both the rescue services and animals in distress safe in times of crisis. Bransby Horses is a firm believer that education can prevent neglect and abuse and improve the lives of horses and ponies all across the UK.

Visit Bransby Horses at their website or follow them on social media via Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

Go Bransby Horses, and go riding!
Thanks to Bransby Horses for use of photographs.

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.

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