Finding a companion horse is not always straightforward, as Chloe Durrant discovered...
Although Chloe's horse Bodie was kept at a DIY yard, he was often left alone or bullied by other geldings, so Chloe went in search of a companion for him.
She found herself on the Blue Cross website reading about Boo, a 13-year-old mare. Despite the description stating that Boo could not be stabled, Chloe called us to find out more.
Never judge a book by its cover
“I was given Boo's full history, from her kissing spine, tendency to rear, and stress at life in the rehoming centre,” says Chloe.
Chloe and her partner made the journey to Oxfordshire to meet Boo. Having been in the care of our Burford rehoming centre for four years, the Blue Cross team agreed to try the mare in a stable.
Chloe says: “The Blue Cross team was totally open about everything - there was no hard sell, all they were concerned about was Boo's future health and happiness.”
Boo was rehomed under a supported loan scheme for companions, which means that a number of her care costs are paid for by Blue Cross.
Chloe, who fell in love with Boo at first sight, was taken through the rehoming process and booked a home check. A few weeks later, the gorgeous Boo arrived at her new home.
“By that evening she and Bodie were as content as could be, and when the time came to stable her she walked straight in,” remembers Chloe.
“There were still hurdles to overcome, but with a combination of love, time, clicker training and our mantra 'let Boo be Boo', she became the dream she is today.
“Boo has been a constant companion to Bodie, often protecting him from other horses. I can't believe how much she's changed our lives for the better. She's with us for life.”
A life-changing experience
It's not just Boo's life that took a very different turn, Chloe's has too.
She says: “Since Boo arrived, we've moved yards three times. Each time, Blue Cross wanted to check Boo's new home. I discovered that there were only three paid horse welfare coordinators, covering a third of the country each, backed up by a few trained volunteers.
“Having been so impressed with the work of the charity I became a volunteer myself.”
After undergoing training and shadowing a Blue Cross representative in her area for three days, Chloe now travels up to two-and-a-half hours to carry out home checks for the charity, as well as working at the centre with the horses there.
“I now have my second 'foster' horse for Blue Cross, the first having been rehomed,” says Chloe.
“She's an incredibly nervous character who found the environment of the centre too stressful so has come to live with me, and will probably be rehomed from my yard.
“Blue Cross offers ongoing training and is a fantastic organisation to be involved with. Ruth Court, the Horse Welfare Manager for Blue Cross, started as a volunteer so who knows where this will take me.”