My Delilah

Hey there Delilah!

Each and every rescue horse has it’s own story to tell. Delilah’s story was one of the most heart breaking , angering and distressful we have ever experienced. To understand, you have to feel the scene. In winter 2016, we got a call about a field of horses, no food, no water, no care. With every passing day another passed away, another statistic. Upon arriving at the field we could see the urgency and action needed to be taken now. Bones scattered the area, walking further and further in we were met with decomposing carcasses, young horses, old horses all shapes and sizes, all succumbed to the same fate.
As we looked around we set about rescuing the living ones, no easy task in such a sparce area but we perservered and managed to get the remaining 9, weak, weary, shaking with cold and hunger we loaded them one by one, mammys and babies, youngsters and older ladies all made as cosy as possible on the lorry. We were afraid of the journey so a snail’s pace back to longford, there was no choice, we couldn’t leave them in what could only be described as a graveyard.
The next week is one that will haunt us all at hungry horse, an endless round of lifting weak horses, 5 in total, helping them get their footing, willing them to fight. Fight back and to see the future but sadly for these 5, that future wasn’t to be. More tears were cried during their time at HHO than we ever thought possible. We’re not easily shocked, or startled, we’ve seen things that we never believed we would but one by One, we lost them, we were too late.
And then there were 4, scrawny, hungry, saddened horses reaching to us to help them. So we swallowed out tears and put the horrors behind us and kept it together for their sake. Delilah being one of them, we distinctly remember watching Delilah and saying ‘at least she ia not in as bad a state as the others, she will make it’ and as those words lingered in the air a sudden realisation dawned on us- why were we accepting this? We shouldn’t be drawing comparisons to her comrades, here In front of us stood a mare, who you could count every Rib, her back bone protruding, covered in rain rash, yet we had said ‘at least she’s not as bad as the others’- despite everything that had happened a new anger boiled inside us, for Delilah and her remaining companions, these horses should have had the world at their feet but they were left to rot and die.
Luckily Delilah and her remaining friends began to thrive, with good care and some compassion. Soon we hardly recognised them, their lifelessness only a distant memory, day in day out they were stronger until the day each one of them went home.
Home to their families, the hell they went through just a distant memory. As we loaded Delilah on to a lorry Germany bound, we couldn’t help but be proud of her, after everything, she oozed with confidence, her trusting nature a testament to the mare she always was, even when she was suffering so badly. Delilah left us over a year ago now, she settled in to her home and gives great joy to her family, we can’t help but smile when we get sent photos of our girls new life- being the princess we always knew she was.

What is it they say? One man’s rubbish.

Delilah. From Sad to Happy

Mystery’s story. From unwanted to wow! Look how fantastic she looks now?

To tell HHO Mystery’s story, we need to step back to the summer of 2014. The summer started the same as every other, watching for the grass to start growing, almost measuring it to see when there was a sufficient amount of fresh grass to allow our ever growing herd out, and the day came! There is nothing quite like the joy when we begin the annual great escape, the fun and frollocks of the ponies when they hit that fresh grass after being confined all winter long, the wet, windy, cold days just a memory.
So each year we come up with a plan, we divide our herd in to groups, our boys in one place, our girls in another, our mares in foal, our yearlings and so on. Day by day we start letting them out to their designated spot.

Whilst checking our cob group one morning, something just doesn’t look right, walking through them, looking at all their little faces, something is puzzling us. We were sure we only had 8 in this field, counting again and again there was 9. This surely warrants a closer examination, standing in the middle of these cobs, a little face lifts from the grass, one we hadn’t seen before. A frail and wobbly little girl, a sad little face, a face that told the tale of a whole winters suffering. Still puzzled by how she got there, who she was, this is the moment when you ask “are we actually losing the plot?, How could we not know this pony?”. Then as the cogs inside our heads start turning we realise she had been put there purposely, for us to find. Thus gave rise to a very fitting name HHO Mystery.

From that day to this, no one ever called us enquiring about her, no one ever reported her missing, no one ever even cared if she lived or died. But she did live- and she blossomed and grew and fitted in to life at HHO with her new found herd. Her character developed, her passion for life shone through and suddenly she wasn’t the mystery cob anymore she was just Mystery.

Mystery stayed with HHO a little over a year, where she was overlooked time and time again, no one seemed to want this beautiful little girl, but lone behold- Mystery’s Miracle happened. A family from Germany fell in love with our girl and asked to bring her home and just like that she left us for her new life.

From unwanted to wow! Look how fantastic she looks now? Loved, this is what dreams are made of, 3 years at home, full of love and security.


Mystery.  From unwanted to wow!


From little acorns

It doesn’t seem so long ago we were reporting about a little 6 week old foal being thrown over our wall. So fragile and small, needing round the clock care and his little body battered and bruised from the impact.

It’s hard to believe that over a year has passed and our little Maple has blossomed in to a stunning young man, full of happiness and confidence. Loving each day of his life. Maple immediately captured all our hearts at HHO, he was the little one who no matter how your day was brought a smile to our faces.When Maple recovered and was strong enough he was offered for adoption and his perfect family found him.
Maple left us just over 3 weeks ago and we think you’ll agree he seems to have found his hooves with Isabel and her family in Germany. 

We’re so proud of how far he has come and we look forward to watching him develop over the coming years. Every late night and bottle feed was worth it.


Not every Bambi story is a sad one


Baby Bambi came to us this time 2 years ago, one would be forgiven for thinking her chances were minimal. Only two months old and no sign of her mother, we can only surmise as to what happened her, a big pot belly, unsteady on her little hooves, crawling with lice, absolutely covered in rain rash. We set to work but the expectations were low.

Volunteers at HHO became her mammy, they took turns staying with her night after night, the endless rounds of milk, functioning on only a few hours of sleep a night and starting it again the next day, knowing 150 other horses were relying on us. 

Bambi for some reason muddled through, that is literally the only way to describe it, she neither made progress or went backwards, so we persevered and persevered and persevered some more, although her appearance didn’t make any drastic improvements she was a happy little soul, always meeting us with a cheerful neigh, we often wondered how she even had the energy to be so sweet. At this point she loved her foal feed, she loved to have her sneaky foal milk, she just loved to eat! Yet still no drastic difference.

 Summer came and Bambi began to grow. she was independent enough to go out with all the other foals at this point, suddenly, she started to blossom albeit only a small bit but we could see a change, and with change came a chance, a chance to really hope, that summer passed and it was time for the foals to come back inside, one night Bambi had no neigh for us, she didn’t want her beloved food, she lay on the straw not moving and for the life of us we couldn’t figure out what was wrong, thus began the Bambi vigil again, we were sure this was the end of the line for Bambi and we were devastated, a vet even confirmed the same when suddenly she got up went over to her hay and started eating.

 Well from that night on, she never looked back, within 6 months she was strong enough to be put up for adoption, Bambi was so lucky to be adopted by a wonderful lady from Luxembourg with her two best friends, Bambi’s friends, the two who were with her all along, who stayed with her on the days she did not feel so well, who kept us company when we sat with her on all those long nights.
Wasn’t every second of worry worth it, when you see her today? Happy, healthy and absolutely beautiful! It’s what it is all about!

Where one thing falls another grows. maybe not what was there before, but something new and wonderful all the same. – Bambi

Saidies Sinister story

Some weren’t as lucky as Saidie
Saidie arriving at the HHO yard


It is only really when you look back on their rescues, you appreciate how far they have come.

When HHO was called to a horrendous scene last year, we were met with carcass upon carcass. A field of horses absolutely famished with hunger, but we were to unearth something even more sinister upon inspection. A shed full of ponies starving to death, no sign of food or water, no light just days spent locked inside a dark shed with no contact of any kind. Of course each one of them were loaded up and brought home, 18 horses in total. 

One of whom was a little chestnut mare we named Saidie. Not only was Saidie starved with in a fraction of her life, we soon discovered she had other problems, an old neck injury which caused her whole head to tilt to one side. Upon examination it was deemed it would never be fixed but caused her no distress and she would lead a normal life, although she would look unusual, we quietly accepted it and set about her rehabilitation. 

Saidie and her comrades received all the treatment they needed but she herself never seemed to gain ground. Even after months of good food, good worming and good care she looked almost the same as she did on the day she came in. We persevered, as did Saidie. What seemed like a life time later Saidie suddenly started to look and feel better, a feeling she may not have ever felt in her lifetime. 

Seeing Saidie galloping, her head tilted to one side yet still bucking and playing, so happy to be alive. It was heart warming, something we never thought we’d see. Saidie settled in to life at HHO, we even moved her for the summer to our permanent residents never thinking she would be re homed, an air of acceptance that she was part of the long term herd, with that she suddenly began thriving. 

Then completely out of the blue one of our previous adopters got in touch , inquiring about our saidie, we explained her problems both past and present but there was no deterring this wonderful family. She was to be their special girl. As we loaded Saidie last Thursday a mix of joy and overwhelming emotion rushed over us. She walked to the lorry like a pro (head still twisted to one side) and up she jumped, one last look at us and she was gone. Off to her new life. 

We waited anxiously for news, then early Saturday morning we received it. Saidie was home, she had finally arrived at her forever home and her family are thrilled with this special girl. Saidie’s story gives us hope for everyone. Saidie will now have the life we could never give her, a life we could only dream of. Good luck Saidie, as always it has been a pleasure, we wish you all the best in life.

much love, all at the HHO.


This is Saidie enjoying life to the full in Germany with her wonderful new owner & best friend Elvira 

Cherry’s story

Cherry was a very sad case when she arrived at the HHO yard

Hi Everyone, My name is HHO Cherry.

I was found on a very cold and wet day in January,  they came for me and my friends. As i stood shaking with fear in a field, nothing to eat and no access to fresh drinking water all i had was some mucky puddles, that day was the first day I saw the  kindness in humanity.

They told me they were bringing me and my friends home, I didn’t really know what home meant but I took my chances. That night for the first time in a what felt like forever i lay down on a big bed of straw, I was so Hungry I couldn’t stop myself nibbling on it. They gave me some lovely fresh hay and fresh water to drink and even a few handfuls of delicious nuts. At that time I didn’t know what they were but I quickly learned and they were so yummy.

The next day, a nice man came to see me, he said he was going to fix my feet, They were very sore. I didn’t like this but I was too tired to resist, after I’d been fighting for my life all winter long. When I was finally fully dry they put a really warm rug on me, It was super snug. They also told me I was full of worms, I was a bit annoyed with them when they gave me this disgusting paste. A gentle hand told me I was going to be okay. I was so itchy too, they say that was lice. Again, they treated me for these itchy monsters. In a few days I started to feel much better.

Each day they came to me, some days a look of horror on their faces, other days sadness. After a little while I was strong enough to have a little walk around the yard and meet all the lovely animals they have rescued over the years, I often fought with the other horses around the feeder, each morsel seemed like it could be my last so i was trying to make the most of it. I couldn’t quite believe that every day someone fed us, someone comes to see us and the biggest thing someone cared.

So here I am in June, a whole 6 months since I arrived at HHO, every week, my appearance has changed for the better. I walk now with pride, they keep telling me that they always knew I would be stunning and if I do say so myself, I look and feel fantastic, 6 months ago I didn’t know if I could continue fighting for my life. Now I look forward to each day, finally I am happy and free of pain and misery.
I suppose the reason I am telling you all this, is often Team HHO don’t have time to get our stories out there. They continue to fight and rehabilitate us, giving us the best chance at life.
A head count today says there is over 183 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in their care. Sometimes they have over 200 at one time.

Just today 5 more ponies and 1 donkey arrived, each one of them will need
Microchipping and Passporting (they tell me this is the law).

  • Microchipping & Passports, @€50 each = €250
  • Worming, Delousing, @€20 each = €120
  • Farrier care, @€25 each = €150
  • Dental (when needed), – @ €60
  • Before they go home they’ll need vaccinations – @€30 each = €180
  • The stallions will need to be castrated, – @ €100 each

And they need feeding for every week they spend in our care. A huge bill as you can see, this is all before they can even prepare to re home them.

In my ideal world, all their followers would donate €1, €2, €3, €4 or €5 euro, one coffee less a week and it would help HHO continue to help horses like me and the other 188.

Thank you for reading my story and I hope you’ll support the rehabilitation of other horses like me


This is cherry all ready for her trip to Sweden and her forever home


Before and After Horse
When we met Hope in the depths of last Winter, we despaired, we cried, we prayed, we wrapped her in cotton wool, it seemed her journey was endless. Our little darling had no hope, on those desperately cold winter mornings and evenings when we were lifting a feeble and skeletal body to help her stand we wondered if we were even doing the right thing.
Would she ever turn a corner, were we prolonging the inevitable, but Hope told us to persist. Each day we lifted her, she’d waddle along the driveway wrapped in her little rug for a pick of grass, often times we’d stay with her, look at our little girl and beg her to keep fighting. At only three months old she was all alone in this world. No mother, no one to teach her how to be a pony, no one to teach her how to eat, nothing.
A little girl all alone in this world with nothing, her body covered in rain rash, every bone protruding, weak and almost dead like, But two little blue eyes asked us to extend the hand of help even further, to keep lifting her, to keep willing her to live and to keep telling her about the beautiful future she would have. So we did, and it paid off.. Standing before us today, We looked at her with pride.
Full of life and fun just like a baby should be. We are so proud of her and how far she has come and we look forward to the day we can tell her she’s going home, the magical home we told her about in her darkest hours.