Updated: Apr 28
Over the years horses and ponies have come to Crosskennan Lane with a common desire; the desire to be cared for and loved.
Tormented by their past, the majority of the equines have been abandoned or neglected; others simply cannot be cared for any longer. Crosskennan Lane expresses that, “every one of our permanent residents has some reason that makes them permanent” with “many having lasting issues relating to their previous lives”.
The striking stories of these equines serve as a reminder of the scars they bear. For example, Sorley Boy a welsh stallion who was rescued on Cavehill after being left there as a yearling for 9 years is in good health despite being 30 years old. However, due to a lack of social interaction, the sanctuary states “he's terrified of people, but he likes his people and he trusts them”.
Lucas is another example, as a retired racehorse he suffers from digestive issues after being left to starve in a slaughter yard.
Next is Stan, a 14-year-old pony with a quirky attitude who unfortunately suffers from a fractured hip, lameness, joint, and back problems, leaving him unable to be ridden. Regardless of his “cheeky” personality, he is described as a “nightmare of a companion” who tends to tease other horses, starting fights.
Unlike Stan, Hercules is a 16-year-old horse who despite his troubled mind he loves to play ‘boo’ and hang out with his friends Lucas and Solomon.
Beyond providing for these equines’ basic needs, the team at Crosskennan Lane says “each animal be they rehomed or still at the sanctuary belongs just as much to the team as they do to the sanctuary. When one is sick, we feel it like we would if our own pets at home were ill”.
Many of these gentle giants are returned to Crosskennan Lane’s care due to a change in circumstances or a loss of interest; with often a decline in the horses’ health being a reason. Therefore, Crosskennan Lane has established a loan-only policy.
Although this policy may appear inconvenient to some, the sanctuary voices that “the loan ensures every horse we rehome will never end up passed on, forgotten or mistreated”.
Hercules, pictured here, has acquired the nickname ‘the black and white goofball’.
Crosskennan Lane urges the public to take expenses, experience, and commitment into consideration before deciding to loan a horse or pony. The sanctuary adds “having a field is not all that is required, and in fact, for some ponies, a field of grass could actually kill them”.
Horses and ponies can be adopted by completing the application form that is available on https://www.crosskennanlane.co.uk/adopt
For equine inquiries contact firstname.lastname@example.org
If adoption is not an option the sponsorship programme allows the public to sponsor one of the three permanent equine residents. You can keep up to date with appeals for specific equine items by following https://www.instagram.com/crosskennanlane/?hl=en
By Holly Fleck (Journalist).