Rescuing and re-homing equines since 1974

Who and Why?

On this page you can discover WHO we are and WHY support the horses.

Who we are

Hope Pastures is a small charity, with a highly committed team of passionate supporters, volunteers, staff and trustees; all of whom dedicate many hours to help the horses, ponies and donkeys. This means we have very low ‘overheads’ and admin costs, so 95p in every £1 you donate spent on the animals.

You might wonder if being bigger would mean we could negotiate better prices for the goods we use (buy in bulk) and save money this way. Surprisingly, this isn’t the case for horse care. The vast majority of the items and services we need (eg: hay, straw, vets, farriers) can only be obtained from very local, and usually also small, suppliers (there are no national straw farmers!) This means being bigger wouldn’t really help; so you really can be sure we make every pound you donate work harder to save more animals and improve more lives.

For more information about the team who strives to achieve this see Our Team.

Do we do a good job?

The following are a selection fantastic comments made by our supporters, donors and volunteers:

Hope Pastures do an amazing job they are inundated with horses, ponies and donkeys that need their help, our community would be lost without them. They are vital to help to educate our children with their amazing pony days.
Joanne McLoughlin

Hope Pastures do amazing work. What they encounter on a regular basis is heartbreaking, and they work so hard to rehabilitate these wonderful gentle animals.
Rachael Greenland

A fantastic charity
Karen Bradshaw

A hard working charity
Ann-marie Brown

Fabulous organisation doing much needed work. Xx
Alison Hinchliffe

Hope Pastures is an amazing charity that helps horses and donkeys, without them I don’t know what would happen to all the lost souls
Louise Raynor

Hope Pastures do brilliant things for the horses and ponies and donkeys x
Emma Stone

Hope Pastures is an amazing charity, working so hard on very limited resources.
Jennifer Dickinson

A fantastic team of caring people making a real difference. Xxx
Hannah Blackett

A small charity that does brilliant work.
Caroline Littlewood

Amazing people looking after horses abused by the not so amazing.
Tracey Brewer

Made us ‘well up’ to be honest – thank you to everyone for all your kind words.

A bit more about what we do

Originally registered in 1974 to rescue horses, ponies & donkeys which were being abused, in April 2004 the Trust adapted this aim to Rescue, Rehabilitate and Re-home wherever possible, with some ponies remaining as residents at the sanctuary if they have been so badly treated it’s difficult for them to be re-homed. All animals have a safe life away from the often harsh and brutal treatment of their former years.

As well as rescuing horses, Hope Pastures provides an environment where young people can learn directly about caring for horses and we dedicate time to educating them about animal welfare and social responsibility. We hope that, in doing this, we will nurture a generation which values the natural world around us and seeks to protect the environment and the animals with which we share this planet. Our city-base enables us to give people who wouldn’t normally be able to meet horses and ponies the chance to do so and we run therapeutic visits for a range of groups.
We receive no grant or state aid and rely solely on your donations and support to continue our work. If you would like to give more of these beautiful animals a second chance in life, there are lots of different ways you can donate. Please see Donate.

To those of you who have been so generous so far we would like to say a big THANK YOU on behalf of all of our re-homed ponies, our residents and visitors. Your support continues to help us put the ‘hope’ back in Hope Pastures.

Why should we support the horse?

Good question – we believe the answer is more like why not! Anybody who has spent any time with horses knows the answer to this. The animals that come to us are not here because of anything they or their kind have done, it is because of what humans have done to them.

The poem below by Ronald Duncan says it all….

“Where in this wide world can man find nobility without pride, friendship without envy or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is laced with muscle, and strength by gentleness confined.
He serves without servility; he has fought without enmity.

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent, there is nothing so quick, nothing more patient.

England’s past has been borne on his back.

All our history is his industry; we are his heirs, he our inheritance.
The Horse!”

By Ronald Duncan
written in 1954

The horse has been an integral part of human history and supported our development throughout the centuries:

“With the decline of feudal conflict and with better farming techniques came the need for increased transportation throughout Europe. Stable central governments established a measure of law and order and organized the resources to build and maintain roads. And when the Great Horse was no longer needed to carry the knight in shining armour, demand for his strength came from the farmer and the merchant. The horse then truly filled every niche of the economy: pulling ploughs, stagecoaches, mail coaches, wagons, heavy carts and light carts and trotting horizontal treadmills that turned the grindstones that made flour from grain. Even the first trains were horse-drawn on their steel tracks. For 2,500 years until the invention of the internal combustion engine, horses and horse-drawn vehicles were the only effective means to cover large distances, plough the soil, transport merchandise and wage war. The result, from conquest to exploration to moving goods and people, is self-evident. Perhaps humans would have explored and colonized the entire planet without horses to carry them or their provisions, but that seems doubtful. For just one species, the influence of the horse has been immeasurably profound.”

(Thanks to Melinda Maidens for the use of the “text”)

The horse has got us where we are today. This is our chance to repay this humble animal. Help us to help them.

Who is Phyllis Harvey?

Phyllis M. Harvey (nee Bishop) was born in Birmingham and went to Oxford to become an English teacher and became headmistress of a girls school in Birmingham. Phyllis met John W. Harvey in 1923 who became professor of philosophy at Leeds University 1932- 1954 and so they moved to Leeds.

Phyllis devoted herself to cats, dogs, horses and donkeys, rescuing strays and ill treated animals and finding homes for them all over Yorkshire. She set up a trust which received the residue of her estate after her death in the 1970’s and it is this same Trust that you see today.