Three-year-old Welsh skewbald Stanley was found tethered to a tree in October 2012 covered in cuts and parasites. He was extremely malnourished and, with no sign of an owner, was rescued by The Mare and Foal Sanctuary. After life-saving rehabilitation at the Sanctuary’s headquarters in Newton Abbot, he was transferred to its Visitor Centre, Coombe Park near Totnes.
And now the fairy tale is complete, as he has been rehomed by the groom who has cared for him since his early days, Martha Morgan. Martha said: “I’ve worked for The Mare and Foal Sanctuary for four years, and of course I get attached to all of the horses I care for, all of us here accept that that’s part of the job.
“But I just adore Stanley and to think that I’ve given him a good home and can continue his training one-to-one is brilliant. We’re both so happy.”
Martha was assigned Stanley in mid-2013. After he settled in at Coombe Park and was comfortable enough around people – something he achieved with Martha’s support – he was put onto the charity’s adoption scheme while he continued his training and growth. Martha fell in love with Stanley (or ‘Stan the man’ as he she often calls him) straight away and the pair developed a close relationship – even winning reserve champion in the coloured class at Totnes Show last year.
And when Stanley was well enough to find a new home, the dedicated stable hand couldn’t bear to see him go anywhere else. She said: “When Stanley arrived at the Visitor Centre and was assigned to me I was surprised but thought it would be great to have such a young pony to teach and educate.
“He was so adorable and I was looking forward to caring for him and helping him reach his potential. “When he was put on the Sanctuary’s adoption scheme, he was very popular – everyone who met him, loved him. “But when someone told me it was time for Stan the man to be taken off the adoption scheme to be readied for rehoming, I was gutted. To think I couldn’t work with him every day would have been really upsetting.”
However, Martha and her partner Dave look after horses of their own, and needed a companion for their shire horse, Bill. Martha continued: “And that’s when Dave said the magic words, ‘would you like to bring Stan home to live with you?’. “I was absolutely elated and couldn’t wait to get the wheels in motion. Of course I had to make sure everything would be right for Stanley too.”
The Sanctuary has a thorough rehoming process, whereby a co-ordinator checks that the horse and applicant are well suited, and that the proposed grazing and stables are appropriate for the needs of the horse. Martha said: “I first checked with the rehoming team that it would be OK to apply to take him home, then I had a home check from the loan home co-ordinator and Stan had to have a medical from the vet too.
“Then finally I was allowed to bring him home earlier this month and he has settled in so well, it’s been absolutely amazing. “There are so many wonderful horses and ponies here at the Sanctuary, and I would recommend anyone to rehome from us. “I’m just beyond delighted that I’ve played a part in giving this particular horse his fairy tale ending.”
Martha and Dave live in Yealmpton and The Mare and Foal Sanctuary rehomes its available horses and ponies within a 3.5-hour driving radius.
For more information visit www.mareandfoal.org/rehoming or call 01626 355969.