New Life Horse Care Sanctuary

"Where broken dreams are mended"

                                            Registered Charity: 1165384


It was with immense sadness that the decision was made to put Luke to sleep on the 16th August.  Lukey lost his battle with laminitis and EMS (Equine metabolic Syndrome), and for the last year had suffered a number of bouts of laminitis, resulting in extensive periods of box rest.  He was in pain, and although the last bout wasn’t too severe, it did not seem fair or kind to once again limit his life with the herd and be denied outings around the village.

The children who come here, in particular my granddaughter Chloe are all devastated.  This incredible pony, who came to us 8 years ago as an unbroken 2 year old, was every mother’s dream pony.  He was so kind, so gentle, so accommodating, so patient, and apart from the laminitis, he was easy to look after and easy to handle. 

However it is worth mentioning here that for a number of years he would not pick up his feet, and when they were due for a trim, he had to be sedated. One day I met an animal behaviourist who lived in the village and I told her about Luke and his refusal to pick up his feet.  She calmly asked me whether he had fallen into a hole, when he was a baby, or whether he’d had a foot trapped at any time.  I said I didn’t know.  However, after this random meeting, I went to have a talk with Luke, I asked him if he had fallen into a hole, when he was a baby.  I told him I was so sorry if that had happened, and that I didn’t know.  From that day on, he picked his feet up easily.

I feel sad that I didn’t spend more time with Luke.  He was always overshadowed by the other horses.  The weekend before he died, he came completely sound.  We went into the school together and we did some liberty.  He was a natural, he followed me round the school, he circled round me at walk and trot, did back up.  It was his last gift to me, telling me that he trusted me as his leader, that in his way he loved me, that he understood that the others came first.

I miss him terribly. A truly wonderful pony.


For those who do not know Pilgrim's story, he was rescued by Jackie Tye in 2003.  Having done his duty as a race horse, he was no longer wanted or cared for.  When Jackie found him, he was so pathetic he did not even know what a carrot was.

Pilgrim left a legacy insofar that over the last few years of his life, following intensive rehabilitation for a fracture in his hoof and colic surgery, he became an outstanding equine assisted learning horse and was the lead horse in a number of EAQ projects.  He enabled countless people become aware of and to learn how to control body language.  He was Jackie's demonstration horse, and frequently demonstrated Monty Robert's 'Join Up', which formed the basis of her teaching with young people suffering from autism and other mental health difficulties.

Jackie and Pilgrim shared a very strong bond built on love and respect.  He was diagnosed with Cushing?s Disease in 2012 and died on 27th September 2013.  He is buried at NLHC.  Jackie says "He was my true soul mate.  I miss him every day".

Thor and Pickle

We won't ever forget these two Dartmoor Hill ponies.  They came to us having been rescued by the RSPCA.  Pickle went to Treloan Coastal heritage Farm for a number of years where he roamed free with a herd, getting into all sorts of scrapes and living up to his name.  He returned to us and spent a year here helping young learners develop their skills.  He was a firm favourite and everyone loved his cheeky personality.  Sadly Pickle was sent to Rainbow Bridge due to an uncontrollable bout of laminitis, which always reminds us that these Hill ponies do not do well on domestic pasture.
Thor had a big place in our hearts, especially Phoebe Vallance's heart, and Phoebe became Thor's sharer, spending hours with him helping him overcome his fear of saddles and long lines.  Thor went on to become our leading EAL pony, and Pilgrim's best friend.  Thor developed breathing problems early on in his life, which was diagnosed as RAO (COPD), which was difficult to control.  When Pilgrim died, Thor went on a serious decline, with a attack of COPD which could not be stabilised.  With heavy hearts the decision was made for him to join Pilgrim.
Many thanks to these two ponies who enhanced the lives of so many young people.