For the second week of our Melton Times Christmas Appeal for Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary reporter NATALIE WEBB focuses on the rescued horses and ponies whose harrowing stories make this appeal so worthwhile. We’re calling on our readers to dig deep to support this vital charity which casts a lifeline to unwanted or mistreated horses and ponies and provides them with a safe haven and a loving environment in which to grow old.
“THERE is a story behind why each horse or pony ends up at the Sanctuary, some more sad than others,” says Carole Fielding who runs Pablo’s.
It is a grey November morning in Long Clawson and I am ankle deep in horse muck and mud, dashing after Carole as she tends to the horses and ponies.
ABOVE: Jack lost his tale in a freak accident
LEFT: Mole was saved from the abattoir
Carole has a way of making you feel comfortable around the animals so I find myself next to four horses who are roaming freely across their paddock, There are a number of goats nibbling stray grass at my feet while three dogs amble loyally behind us.
I am a million miles away from the comforts of the warm newsroom and yet I feel quite comfortable. The horses are gentle and seem relaxed around us and we tend to them methodically, with Carole stopping every now and again to give an affectionate pat or cuddle to as many as she can.
“This is Jack,” says Carole stroking a large brown horse covered with a winter throw. “He lost his tail in a freak accident, he caught it in a fence and when he pulled away he tore it off. The damage was so bad that he also managed to tear away all the muscles surrounding the tail. The wound became seriously infected and he almost died. That’s when Pablo’s stepped in. His owner was struggling to cope with the extent of his injuries so we took him on and he now lives with his friends.” She gestures to the other three horses around us, Arthur, Kizzy and Sparky. Jack nuzzles into Carole’s shoulder, partly out of affection and partly because she is carrying a bunch of hay.
Next we enter a stable with two small ponies inside, Carole hands me a pitchfork and we begin to shovel muck.
“This is Mole,” she smiles, patting a small brown haired pony with a long mane. “Mole was saved from the meat market by a lovely lady. She waded into the horse box where Mole was waiting to be taken off to an abattoir and bought her from the meat man. “However, Mole suffers health problems, so the lady struggled to keep her but luckily Pablo’s were able to give her the support and care she needs.”
One of the last horses we muck out is Cherry. A dappled brown and white pony, she is completely blind. Cherry was originally owned by a group of travellers who kept her tied up to the side of a busy road. One day she managed to get free and in a panic ran out into the middle of the road where she was unfortunately involved in a head-on collision and lost her sight. It is testament to Carole’s kindness and patience that the pony has been able to move on from her ordeal. Cherry came to Pablo’s after numerous other horse rescue centres refused to take her in and several vets had recommended that she be put down. The sanctuary is giving her a second chance at life. Carole said: “When she first arrived Cherry would walk around in circles with her head on the floor, clearly distressed, but after months of hard work from all the volunteers she has found a new lease of life. She is the gentlest of ponies and we treat her just the same as all our other horses. She is very much loved and she responds very well to people.”
Pablo’s will be running a charity stall in High Street at Melton’s Victorian Christmas Fayre on Sunday so please pop by and show your support.
INSPIRATIONAL: Carole Fielding of Pablo’s with rescue horse Cherry
who is blind. PHOTO: Tim Williams
To order call (01664) 410041 or visit www.photostoday.co.uk
THERE ARE SO MANY WAYS IN WHICH YOU CAN HELP
DONATE: Hand in your donation or make a cheque payable to Pablo’s Horse Sanctuary and drop it off at the Melton Times office in Nottingham Street. Alternatively you could set up a standing order with your bank
ADOPT: Adopt a horse for a year as an unusual Christmas present for just £20. You will receive a photo, certificate and quarterly updates
HAY: Donations of hay are desperately required
VOLUNTEER: Get stuck in and volunteer your time. Weekend volunteers are particularly needed but all who can spare time are incredibly welcome
FUNDRAISE: Hold an event such as a cake sale or become part of Pablo’s fundraising team
For more information call 0774 562 8684,
email email@example.com or visit www. pabloshorsesanctuary.com