The Spirit Equus Trust in Liss, Hants, was set up at the end of last year by three people with three objectives in mind – to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome Thoroughbred horses.
One of the partners, Kim Stevens, competed in polocrosse, and, through the sport, she met fellow competitor Matt Still. Yvonne Wright, the other partner is a practitioner in bio-energy therapy.
The aim of the trust is to relieve the suffering of Thoroughbred horses, which are at risk of slaughter or ill-treatment. The trust does this through:
- Working with other agencies (RSPCA etc) and others (stables, owners, trainers) to identify at-risk horses
- Acquiring the horses by gift or purchase.
The trust also works on bringing horses back into a condition where they can be rehabilitated. This is done by:
- Providing adequate standards of care, feed, medication and attention
- Using generic and holistic methods of healing
- Using the “Alpha Horse System” to retrain the horse
The third aim of the trust is to find new homes for the horses. The new guardians of a rehomed horse will be responsible for it – possibly until the day it dies – but it will normally remain the property of the trust. The trust does this by:
- Identifying potential suitable owners
- Vetting potential owners
- Supervising the placement of horses with visits and reports
- Ensuring the provision of care is the highest standard.
Understanding the Trust’s Alpha System
The fundamental principle behind the trust’s work is recognising the horse as a herd animal in its wild state and trying to adapt this to its domesticated life. The trust believes there are many activities, which can be incorporated into the running of a yard to try to mimic some of the natural herd instincts.
- The person who runs the yard is, as far as the horse is concerned, the Alpha mare.
- He or she will dictate to all the horses in the yard their position in the herd and what behaviour he or she will not tolerated.
- This means that person must assert his or her authority over the yard on a daily basis by using the same set of activities and actions, as the higher numbered horses are continually trying to climb the ladder.
- The trust believes that through by being consistent with this system the horses knowtheir place and so become more secure and relaxed and their stable manners improve.
The trust is currently looking for charitable status so that it can carry out its work.
For further information or if you want to make a donation contact the Spirit of Equus Trust (tel: 01730 890115 or 07796 023652).