Fresh Fields Horse Retirement Testimonials

Benji is owned by Sophie Chillingworth.

This is Benji and he has been living out his retirement at Freshfields for the past few years. Benji settled very well and we have been impressed with the professional caring way he is looked after, especially as he previously suffered with COPD, which has improved enormously.

It is reassuring to know that he is happy and enjoying his retirement. I would therefore not hesitate to recommend Freshfields to any fellow horse owners considering a retirement home for their four legged friend.

fionnFionn is owned by Jill Beckett.

After my lovely Toddy spent the last 10 years of his 35 years in happy retirement at Fresh Fields where else could I choose for my youngster of 18 years Fionn. He is in semi retirement through intermittent lameness and incurable laziness, so he thinks his life is great now, hanging out with his friends and just seeing seeing his mum for apples and polos. Well, he has got me wrapped round his hoof but what can you do.? I also know that he is very happy there and that also gives me great  piece of mind.  Thank you to everyone at Fresh Fields.

SheilaAbout Sheila By Alison

Taking the decision to retire Sheila was never going to be easy but I moved her to Freshfields just over a year ago and she has really thrived in her new surroundings, enjoying the plentiful grass and the company of new found friends. She has become one very chilled horse again as are all the horses there. It is so good to see how she settled with the other horses and how Sally’ s initial assessment of where she would fit in with them has worked out really well.  Within a couple of hours of arriving I received numerous photos of Sheila making friends and from then on it has become obvious that I had made a good choice. Sheila came out of her first winter really well, despite being one of the wettest, and is still looking good at the age of 27. The setting is stunning and visiting is in itself very enjoyable and I am always made to feel most welcome. I can’t thank Sally and her staff enough for all that they do for Sheila and it gives me really piece of mind that I have found such a place for her retirement. I think Sheila feels she has landed in heaven!

About Paddy & Saphy by Karen Smith

paddy“When we moved from our farm last year, we moved to a home without land and were at a quandary as to what to do with our horses who had always lived in the field next to us.  Due to their ages I decided the best thing for them would be to retire them – I wanted them to mix with other horses and not be on their own.   After a lot of research, I found Fresh Fields which had the same ethos that I was looking for, which was for the horses to live in a stres free relaxed environment to enjoy their retirement in the company of other horses.

My horses are Paddy, a part-thoroughbred ex eventer who is 24 years old and a firework, and Saphy, a part arab ex Polocross & Pony Club who is 35 years old but is remarkably fit.  Moving my horses was a wrench after having them at home for so long and looking after them, along with my daughter who has now gone to University.

They have settled in well at Fresh Fields, especially Paddy who was very excitable.  We cannot visit them as often as I would like due to distance and being out of the country, which is regrettable, but I know that if there was any problem that Sally would let me know straight away, and will also offer advise from afar.

About Floyd by Madeleine

When I needed to find a place for Floyd to spend his retirement, which included moving 200 miles to a part of the country I knew almost nothing about, I felt the challenge was quite a large one.  I had always looked after him myself, but circumstances had changed and this was no longer possible in order to give Floyd the quality of life he needed.

I travelled many miles, but fortune smiled and I came across Freshfields.  What I was looking for was the right feeling for a place; its easy when you visit a new space to see whether the stables are nice and the beds are tidy, the fencing is good and the grazing well kept, but by far the most important of all is to find out what the animals living there think.  They were (and are) relaxed and happy, not stressed because of ‘over-management’ or the constant disruption of moving paddocks and changing friends.  They live in small herds and find their own special friends among them. Different species wander together in harmony and I thought to myself “Floyd will be a happy boy here”.

Floyd and I were both relocating to Shropshire, so I decided to send him on ahead of me so that he would be settled, while I could get on with the stresses of moving myself.  Sally recommended a transporter and they came to collect him and take him on his journey.  I was asked whether I would be accompanying him, which I would normally have done, but my answer was “no” and I wondered why.  It was because I could imagine him on the lorry (he travels well), being driven by experienced people and monitored on CCTV; I could also imagine his exact reaction on arriving the other end, which I said to Sally before he started his journey “He’ll have a look, get out of the lorry, have another look around and then his head will go straight down to get acquainted with the grass and all the new things he can see”.  When she called me to let me know he’d arrived safely, that was exactly what he did, to the letter.  Animals are quick to pick up when things are right and when they’re not and Floyd would be the best judge.  He continues to tell me he is having a great retirement; he’s with his friends, has nice things to eat and space to roam freely (plus a bit of home comfort indoors occasionally in the winter).  I don’t see him as often as I would like because of my own commitments, but Sally keeps me in touch and I can visit any time I like.

I’m not sure my retirement will be quite like this, but knowing my animals are happy and well cared for takes a huge weight from my mind since I am unable to provide for them the daily care and time I was able to when they were younger.  Giving up Floyd’s daily care was actually a hard thing to do as I had always taken care of every aspect myself.  I had to think long and hard about what would be best for him now that my lifestyle was different; I could have carried on but he would have seen far less of me and I would have had to attend to his needs at strange times of the day depending on my schedule.  I concluded that I would be doing this for me not for him, so the decision was made.  From being very uncertain whether I was doing the right thing when I first considered it, I am so very glad that I did.

About Kye From Melanie & Esther Clemmeykye 001

Our lovely Connemara pony Kye has settled very happily at Fresh Fields and has returned to being a relaxed and contented pony after a stressful time undergoing tests for intermittent lameness.  His main hobby in life is eating, so we love to see him enjoying the plentiful grazing as well as the company of other horses and ponies.  He is too far away for us to visit often, which seems very strange after always caring for our ponies ourselves, but Sally and her staff keep a careful eye on him.  Nothing seems to be too much trouble for them and they take seriously all the concerns that are so important to horse owners.  Emails and texts are always answered, and we feel very welcome whenever we come to see our pony.

About Donut and Bailey from Tina Fox

DonutWe have had Donut for 8 years Welsh A cross, we brought her from the riding school my eldest daughter learnt to ride at. We became very close to her there ,so when it closed we new we had to have her. She worked so hard there for many years, and has continued to do what she does best teaching my other daughter and friends children to ride as well.  She is a lovely pony who is always willing to please when ridden, but very cheeky and has bitten, kicked and stood on most who knew her. Although in her early twenties fit and healthy, when we had to retire Bailey we knew it was time for her to have a well earned rest she deserved.

Bailey has been with us for 7 years Irish sport horse(looks like Connemara), a beautiful boy with a great moustache. Three years ago he went blind in both eyes over night.  Although his eyes looked normal, the optical nerves behind the eyes had been damaged.  He spent a week in Liphook hospital, and with steroids his left eye returned to normal. But his right eye only has light and dark response to this day.  Liphook were stumped as to the reason for this and every test inc Cushing’s came back normal.  Six months later he started having fits, the vet came and advised possible onset of epilepsy after an anxious night and heavy sedation they stopped .  The vet returned the next day and although not fitting he still showed neurological signs.  We were told that with the previous blindness problems and now fits he had either had a cerebral bleed in the brain or a possible tumour.  A tumour could only be confirmed by MRI scan, and as he was not getting any worse would be dangerous to do as under general anaesthetic.

BaileyTo this day he is on no medication, and is healthy and happy in himself.  He has good and bad days, intermittent sight problems swelling above the eyes and quiet spells.  You give him a treat ball and one day he will know exactly what to do ,another just stare at it legs trembling unable to figure it out breaks your heart to watch.  He is no longer ridden due to various behaviour and co-ordination problems.  The stables we had been at since we have owned them , had limited or no winter turnout.   Although just 13 we decided to retire him, so he can enjoy his years in a stress free environment and not that of a working yard.  We needed a very special home that would take on the unknown, and keep a close eye on him.   I am glad to say we have found it in Freshfields ,although 137 miles from us it is worth the drive.  It has a very calming peaceful atmosphere, away from the noisy Heathrow flight path they were used to.  Although a retirement home the ages range young and old which is great for Bailey.  Sally is a very lovely lady, who you instantly know will care for your ponies as her own.  Donut and Bailey settled in very quickly, and continue to love it at Freshfields.

From Michelle Smith Who Owns Giles

I moved to Freshfields a while ago. I instantly fell in love with the place all these new horses to talk to and play with and lots n lots of grass …. yummy …. my mum Michelle was going through some hard times and trying to work and look after me etc was proving too much for her. My nan found Freshfields on the internet so my mum come over to meet Sally and all the other animals who are now my friends and decided that this was the place for me.

GilesI’m getting on a bit now in my younger days I was a cart horse on Blackpool front, then when my legs wouldn’t work as they should anymore was sold on … This is when my mum (Michelle) found me … in a tiny little shed like stable all skinny and suffering from mites rain scald and after further X-rays ringbone and sidebone in both legs … all that trotting up and down the pier in Blackpool from all those years … anyway my new mum didn’t want to leave me at my second home so came back to for me 2 days later … I love my new home here at Freshfields. Sally loves us all the same, she is out looking after us whatever the weather … it’s funny sometimes as when it’s wet they rush out and put rugs onto us I think there’s 26 of us now … then when the sun comes out … you guessed it they come out again to take rugs off get the fly masks and that not so nice sunscream out … did I mention the food here ??? Sally makes her own something which is very tasty … can’t quite put my hoof on what it is … anyway I’m going now the sun is out the meerkats are on the island … there is a small pool in front of my paddock … they are funny little things .. where was I ??? Oh yes the sun is out I’m going to sunbathe … and may munch a few stalks of grass.
Love Giles

About Boycie From Lisa Hudson

Boycie(1)Dear Sally and Brian

Words cannot express how grateful I am to you for the love and care that you provide continually to my old boy, Boycie.  Leaving him was the hardest decision I ever had to make when I emigrated to Australia in 2008.  I had researched and visited numerous retirement homes but none of them came up to scratch and I was at the point that i was going to refrain from emigrating as i could not bare leaving my boy without the love and care that I had nurtured on him.  Then, thankfully, I found you.  I visited your retirement home and saw how genuine and loving you were to all the horses there.  You are such kind and generous people that i knew my boy would be loved as I had loved him.  I am so grateful for the regular updates and pictures which continue to show just how well he is doing despite his age and problems.

I have no hesitation in recommending you to anyone who requires a home for their retiree.  Please feel free to give my contact details to anyone who would like to discuss anything with me.

Kindest regards

Lisa Hudson
Western Australia

About Drummer from Jan Kwiatkowski

DrummerI bought Drummer as a 5-year-old in 1996. Since then he has been the boldest and most brilliant hunter I have ever known; he has also been placed in pOint-to-points, won several hunt scurries and been in the winning teams at several team chases (he was in the team that came second in the 2006 national championships). As well as being brave and willing, he has the kindest nature of any creature I have ever known. I am sure that he never has an unkind thought. No wonder, then, that I wanted to find the best possible retirement home for him, where he would have a nice out-door life with companionship, and be lovingly cared-for. When Sally showed me round Freshfields I knew that I had found the ideal place.

About Lottie from Beth Stanmore

LottieI have owned Lottie for the past 16 years -from age 4 1/2 to a very spritely 21 years. She was my life for well over 10 years until I started a family, at which point it became difficult to juggle riding with a baby and a full time job. Over the recent years I have been lucky enough to find two perfect people to take her on loan, the most recent berng Rachel who Could not have looked after her better.

The time has now come to find a place for her to wind down and enjoy a more relaxing life. Moving Lottie was a massive decision as In her 16 years with me she has been on the same yard looked after by a wonderful livery yard owner. Her new home had to be somewhere special and with someone I could trust. I trawled the Internet and Lottie almost ended up moving some 80 miles away but something just didn’t feel right. I contacted Sally and she was incredibly patient with me, even putting up with a visit from the whole family (my son would gladly move to Freshfields too!). When we visited we fell in love with the place and I an so glad that Lottie can come to live here. I have certainly slept a lot easier since making he decision !

I am looking forward to many Visits with Lottie at Freshfields.

Louise & Phil Stevenson Who Own Little Horse & Donald

Little-HorseSally has looked after our two horses as well, if not better than we did.

When we moved abroad it was a wonderful relief to be able to leave them confident that both the ‘boys’ are safe, happy and well looked after