Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses

Frances has always had a passion for horses and started riding at the age of 6. She purchased her own horse at the age of 12 called Touchdown and it was this horse who Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses was named after. Frances, along with her husband Brian, set up Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses (a registered charity) while living in England. However, due to their desire to expand they relocated to Mulben 12 years ago with their horses, one of whom is still with them at the grand old age of 32. Frances and Brian have spent the last 12 years making Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses the place it is now and have 40 acres where they can home up to 12 horses and ponies at any one time. In addition to the 40 acres they also have an extremely well maintained stable block which includes a disabled toilet, kitchen, tack room, feed room and overhang for grooming etc, outdoor arena, round pen and great off road hacking.

They provide a home for ponies and horses who are no longer able to stay with their owner, whether it be through emotional issues, age or infirmity of the equine or if the owner can no longer manage, for example due to illness. As they can only accept a maximum of 12 equines at any one time they have an intake policy which must be met before your equine will either be taken in or added to the short waiting list. They then, along with their 2 members of staff and team of 9 volunteers rehabilitate the ponies and horses using holistic methods such as Intelligent Horsemanship. This includes the Monty Roberts Join-Up training method which imitates equine herd behaviour and body language, and promotes mutual respect and concern. They also provide any veterinary care via a qualified veterinary surgeon, farrier, McTimoney Chiropracter – a technique which aligns and balances an equines musculoskeletal system, and anyone else deemed necessary for the ponies and horses to be returned to, and kept, in good health.

Once the horses and ponies are back to full health, mentally, emotionally and physically, Frances looks to find a suitable loan home for them. All loan homes are fully assessed and you will be invited to come and spend time with the equine you would like to loan so that you can get to know them better before taking them home. There is a £250 rehoming fee and transport must be arranged by the person wishing to take the loan horse or pony. Once an equine is successfully loaned Frances and her team will continue to monitor the horse or pony and look to resolve any issues should they arise. As long as both equine and person are happy and healthy the loan can last for as long as required, however, should this no longer be appropriate for either party then 30 days notice, unless in an emergency, should be given for the equine to return to Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses. The ownership of the equine will remain with Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses at all times. If you are interested in loaning one of the equines please visit http://www.spanglefish.com/TouchdownMemorialHomeforHorses/index.asp?pageid=672849 for more information and to see the full loan process.

Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses also run a training night for children once a week. This group is called the Blue Unicorns and focuses on stable management training. In addition Frances is looking to expand the Blue Unicorns and is set to work with the NHS, the military, social work and people with special needs in order to assist and help people in building new skills, aid relaxation and help with anxiety among other things. Although no set fee is asked for to attend the Blue Unicorns a minimum donation of £4 is required to cover the cost of materials and refreshments.

Frances and Brian are also looking to the future and are hoping to build a cafe along with a new indoor arena so that there is somewhere to have a cuppa and cake. In addition to this they are setting up a nature trail which will be installed in the ‘corridors’ between the seven paddocks so that people not involved with the horses can also enjoy the outdoors and beautiful scenery. They hope that both of these additions will increase the social side of the business as well as being able to provide more employment for the local area. They are also planning on converting a steading into accommodation and sensory room so that they can accept people from all over the country who are looking to take part in the Blue Unicorns.

Frances and Brian fund the running of Touchdown Memorial Home for Horses themselves but are always on the lookout for much needed funding. They were recently in Tesco Keith Bags of Help, which they came second in, and they are currently in Asda Elgin Green Token Giving scheme so should you wish to support them please place a token in their box. They have also applied for funding from Baxters and Leader funding from DEFRA.

If you would like further information about anything in this article please visit http://www.spanglefish.com/TouchdownMemorialHomeforHorses/index.asp or https://www.facebook.com/Touchdown-Memorial-Home-for-Horses-121261414648465/ or email on fran.a.p.davies@hotmail.co.uk.