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Lilac’s Rehabilitation journey

Supporters are being given an exclusive glimpse of Lilac’s special journey with her handler

Lilac, like so many of the horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that arrive at Bransby Horses did not have the easiest start to her life.

Last year, our charity had 142 intakes, the majority of which were welfare cases showing a significant increase from 2018. Many of these intakes are a result of a combined effort from multiple charities and agencies working to rescue equines in difficult circumstances.

Lilac arrived as part of one of these efforts, through the well documented rescue in 2017 of 10 mares on Bodmin Moor. Lilac’s complete lack of trust towards humans due to her feral state was very clear from the outset.

The initial stage for Lilac, like all horses, ponies, donkeys and mules that come to Bransby Horses began at the Animal Reception Centre (ARC). Here she stayed for many weeks to allow her to receive much needed veterinary care. It was also here when the team discovered that Lilac was in foal and she later gave birth to Snapdragon while at the ARC.

Following on from her much needed care and assessments, Lilac was then moved to the Peter Hunt yard. Here the focus is on developing, rehabilitating and educating equines to prepare them for their Perfect Partner homes. Lilac was teamed up with Welfare Assistant Jem Waller and here they began their journey to give Lilac an opportunity to trust humans.

This process is certainly not a quick one and Jem has spent many hours sat in Lilac’s field with a feed bucket to try and gain that trust. Each and every step is a slow and careful one. Once Lilac began to take feed from the bucket, it was then onto trying to get her to move into a stable so the handling process could begin. This involves a huge amount of patience, a pen around the entrance of the stable door and lots of coaxing over numerous sessions.

Lilac is now at the stage of beginning her journey to be touched. This will be documented through Bransby Horses’ social media platforms and here within our Keep On Keeping On Campaign pages. We are offering loyal supporters an opportunity to watch and follow the complex and gentle development that takes place between Lilac and her handler. The bond that is developed between the pair is clear to see on this lovely journey and one that takes place with all of the equines that come to the Peter Hunt Yard.

During such unprecedented and uncertain times, Bransby Horses are keen to give something back to their supporters. Allowing supporters to follow the usually unseen efforts and complexity of the trust gaining journey gives a small insight to the level of work the teams give to all of the equines at our Lincolnshire base.

We hope you enjoy the incredible journey Lilac and Jem are going on.

Part one

Part two

Jem gains Lilac’s trust in the field using clicker training. The end of this stage peaks with Lilac agreeing to walk into a stable; something a feral wouldn’t have experienced or wanted to do without trusting humans.

Part three

Touching a feral is a big step in the trust journey. Here we see Jem getting closer and closer to Lilac; a very special moment in their relationship.

Part four

Watch as Jem strokes Lilac for the very first time!