According to Sharon, founder of Hoofbeats, “Winter has always been a difficult season for horsey folk and charities alike – with wet and cold weather meaning our horses require extra
feeding and waterproof rugs to protect them against the elements.”
With the snow causing havoc across the city just last month, the Hoofbeats’ founder tells us that despite the weather she was overwhelmed with support from local people. Receiving countless messages offering to help with accessing the horses and to carry out daily checks and de-ice the water troughs, Sharon jokes she could “only fit 7 (people) in my truck…but thanks to the
volunteers I managed to get to to pick up, it made the jobs a lot easier”.
It’s the help of volunteers like these, as well as charitable donations, that keep the Sanctuary running; allowing them to rescue and rehabilitate horses of all shapes and sizes”.
Sharon explains that long-term supporter ‘The Farmyard Cafe’ has been invaluable when it comes to these vital volunteers. “Being in close proximity to the Hoofbeats site, the cafe has enabled us to provide a warm and welcoming space for volunteers to use as a base. This also allows us to have rehoming meetings with people who are looking at giving one of our horses or ponies a forever loving home – all this by a warm fire and with a hot drink, which is great for wintery days!”
The Farmyard has also been raising awareness for the Sanctuary and running countless fundraisers, with their latest annual Christmas raffle raising a fantastic £226 for Hoofbeats.
“Our most exciting development is our charity tack shop”, Sharon is excited to tell us. The Farmyard Cafe have recently kindly donated a space for Hoofbeats to use free of charge; allowing the charity to sell any surplus horse equipment donated to raise vital funds.
Stepping into Spring: The winter may have seen some challenging weather and at times seemed never ending, but the sanctuary are very glad to now be welcoming in spring.
Having as natural a set up as possible, the horses and ponies at Hoofbeats are allowed to run as a herd, enabling them to interact, socialise and groom each other just as they would in the wild. “This is a lovely sight to see in the Spring; all the horses enjoy playing and running through the fields now winter is behind us.”
With a new found spring in their step, Hoofbeats have even more to celebrate, as Publicity Manager Becca tells us. Having recently entered a competition run by a local social media and branding company, the Sanctuary have been lucky enough to win a powerful promotional video, courtesy of Plymouth business Âme.
“We were so excited to win this opportunity. Hoofbeats is somewhat of an unknown charity right on Plymouth’s doorstep; we may be a small team, but we love what we do and we can’t wait to share with everyone what we’re all about!”