Basildon-based horse sanctuary, the Essex Horse and Pony Protection Society (EHPPS), has been rehabilitating horses and ponies taken into its care since 1983 on their 55 acre site. The charity has rescued over 1,000 equines, with 14 currently looking for temporary winter or permanent foster homes.

“We don’t sell horses that come into our care” says Sue Allery from EHPPS. “Instead we focus on their rehabilitation here at the sanctuary, and apart from our permanent residents who, for example, need constant medical support, we look for long-term, experienced and loving foster homes.”

Many horses and ponies that are rehabilitated by the sanctuary’s staff and volunteers will be rideable, while some will be suitable as companions. Equestrians looking to foster a rescue horse will go through an extensive process to assess the suitability and match between the fosterer and horse.

Fosterers will be responsible for the everyday care and exercise of the horse as part of the sanctuary’s Fostering Agreement, although EHPPS will retain ownership of the horse at all times and a team of Foster Officers will regularly check on the horse and fosterer to ensure that all is going well.

“Lulu, for example, is a beautiful five year old Thoroughbred cross mare who came into our care in 2013. We were notified that she was one of three horses found in a field up to her chest in mud in freezing conditions” says Sue. “She has flourished since being with us, and we will be looking to back and school her before looking for a suitable foster home.”

Find out more about fostering a horse or pony or how you can help the sanctuary through donating, visiting or supporting events at