We provide sanctuary to horses of all different ages and sizes.
Mane Chance operates a system of care unique in the world of equine welfare. We have set up a track system across the fields at the sanctuary. By placing feed all along the tracks and water at one end, our horses are encouraged to exercise and forage. This system is proven to enrich the horse lives more so than if they were housed in a square or oblong field where they would just stand in one spot and eat and graze.
Our unique approach extends to the emotional care of the horses too and our special care regime works at the pace of each horse in their rehabilitation catering for the individual needs of each horse. We give those that need it, a balance of extra supplements and reiki as well as conventional veterinary, podiatric and chiropractic care.
We also believe passionately that horses and humans can benefit in equal measure emotionally. We have built a very special relationship with the Shooting Star Chase charity for example. Children with life limiting illnesses visit us weekly in the summer months from their hospice in Guildford. We also welcome youngsters from local special needs schools and students on the Duke of Edinburgh Awards programme are regular weekend visitors.
To provide sanctuary and relief from suffering for horses, while promoting humane behavior to all animals and mutually-beneficial relationships with people who need them.
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
i) To relieve the suffering of animals, in particular equines, who are in need of care and attention, by providing permanent or temporary sanctuary, care and treatment.
ii) To advise and educate the public on matters concerning the welfare of horses and ponies and to set the standard in natural horsemanship.
iii) To provide relief for children, young people and vulnerable people, suffering from physical and/or mental disability, through the provision of managed therapeutic work with equines to help meet their needs and to enable them to participate more fully in society; also to increase the confidence and capacity of children, young people and vulnerable people in need of support through interaction with the horses.
Our vision is to inspire on two levels. We believe there is no place for dominance in horse care and equally that horses have great value as healers. Through working with and helping people in the way we do, we aim to lead by example and change the wider public’s perception of the value of the horse. We actively encourage the sharing of knowledge and experiences in achieving our aims.
You can find out more about how we started Mane Chance Sanctuary by watching this video
We have created this video to help you understand more about the work we do at Mane Chance Sanctuary. Our new charity single forms the soundtrack to this short piece.
How we started
Find out more about how Mane Chance Sanctuary began
In August 2011, Jenny Seagrove, our founding trustee, received a call from a friend she had been supporting for many years. She had gone broke and all her sources of funding had dried up and the animals hadn’t eaten properly for 4 days. Jenny sprang into action, and just over a month later Mane Chance Sanctuary was a registered charity, with 41 horses, two sheep, a goat, hens, and a cow, in its care.
The next challenge was to find somewhere that our new menagerie could live as they were being thrown off of the farm that they were on.
A phone call or two later, and Monkshatch Garden farm, in Compton, Surrey, was made available. The owner was selling, but told us we could have the farm rent free until he sold it. We had a home, albeit a temporary one.
A muddy, chaotic winter went by, with friends, family, etc etc being tapped for donations, as. being a completely new charity, we had no income stream. We also had no stables or infrastructure as the farm was not set up for horses, so our herd were rugged up and fed copiously to keep them warm.
Spring came and so did our first fundraiser- Rockin’ Horses at the Playhouse theatre in London’s West End. This was a great success and brought us in some much needed funds.
In May, 2012, the farm became available to us to buy. Obviously the Charity was in no position to do this, but Jenny and two trustees formed a partnership and began the process of purchasing our new home. The purchase was completed in September and MCS was safe! At the same time it became very clear that the land could not sustain so many animals properly, and nor could the charity, so 20 of the horses and all of the other animals and birds were re homed to The Retreat Sanctuary.
We now have 30 horses in our care and a small team of staff and some wonderful volunteers who help in many areas of the charity. Some of the original herd have been successfully rehabilitated and re-homed which has made space for new arrivals to join.
Meet the Team
We are blessed to have a wonderful team running Mane Chance. Meet them here!
Abi Smart – general manager
Nicky Brooks – community co-ordinator
Michelle Shoulder – Head groom
Laura Baines – groom
Ashlie Stevens – part time groom
Fiona Clements – company secretary
Maria Choules – ‘Sponsor a horse’ co-ordinator
Dawn Hutchings-Decker – planning and construction advisor
Di Smart – merchandise/local community co-ordinator
Jane Stevenson – recycling/’Friends of MCS’ co-ordinator
Jackie Watt – ‘Sponsor a horse’ co-ordinator
Amina West – volunteer co-ordinator
Magi Davies (Young Ambassador)
MCS Board of Trustees
Jenny Seagrove FRSA – Founding Trustee
Ronnie Wilkie LVO. SB St J, MBA, FBIFM – Chair of Trustees
Sir Timothy Ackroyd Bt
Nigel Jackson BSc MBA
Anne Kavanagh BA CIPD
James McCarthy BSc MSc MRAeS
Jeremy Sleap FCA
Dr Sue Tresman PhD, BSc, PGCE
Sarah Webb Solicitor
Simrin Choudhrie – Founding Patron
Sophie Christiansen CBE
Margrit Coates ITEC MNFSH SBRCP
Beau Dermott (Junior Patron)
This is Grimbo
Grimbo was rescued from the meat market. There is a trade in sending shetlands to the continent for horse meat consumption.
Grimbo has a natural gift for connecting with our young visitors. he knows to stand still and help them. To see Grimbo and his friend Mr Smith in action, please watch our video.
Grimbo sharing his magic
Click here to read a Poem inspired by Liam, written by Ronnie Wilkie
“The special bond between horses and humans is something to behold.
I support Mane Chance because they care for horses whose bond has been mistreated.
The regained trust then can be used to connect with young people who have been through the same challenges in life, teaching them about communication, empathy and respect.”
Sophie Christiansen CBE – patron of MCS
To truly Respect and care for our animals on every level – physically and emotionally and to apply the same respect and care to our colleagues, volunteers and supporters, putting ourselves in their shoes wherever we can.
With True Empathy comes real partnership.
Our work is based on Trust; we continuously develop the animals trust and that of our colleagues, volunteers, supporters and of the public generally.
To Include people of all abilities and backgrounds in the work we do as a charity.
To create an atmosphere where co-operation, learning and sharing are encouraged, nurtured and supported.
To conduct our affairs with honesty, integrity and transparency.
To appropriately acknowledge the contribution of others.
To accept responsibility for one’s own actions.
See what we get up to at Mane Chance Sanctuary
Images courtesy of Andy Newbold & Michelle Wildman
Work in progress
It is important to keep our horses healthy and happy but we also take the safety of our volunteers and visitors very seriously.
Our horses are all out in the tracks, and with 18 horses in the main track it’s really important to be horse aware! All our staff and volunteers undergo health and safety training following an in-house programme which takes into account the way in which the sanctuary operates. There are several different levels of training and the level of access to the herd is determined by which level of training a particular individual has completed. Part of the health and safety training involves getting to know the horses’ stories, to gain a thorough knowledge and understanding of what the horses have been through, as this is helpful in observing and understanding the herd dynamics. Our health and safety training is pretty unique and very effective – and also rather enjoyable as it offers a real insight into the rehabilitative work our horses undergo.