Meet our herd
Brannan is the alpha male of the herd. He is a leader with plenty of personal power, but is also keen to please and has a soft, playful side.
Bran enjoys his morning naps in his stable and he loves to spend time together with his favourite mare, Running Deer. The two of them have been the heads of the herd for several years now. They know what’s what and are incredibly good at their jobs as leaders and therapy horses alike.
Brannan teaches us about positive leadership and the correct use of power. Sometimes he can put you to the test to make sure you’re paying attention, which reminds us to stay present and confident with our intentions, but in a respectful way.
Brannan has been at Red Horse from virtually the beginning. When he first came he was a young, playful cheeky chap with a lot to learn. Over the years he has grown into his role as the wise leader of the herd and his experience is invaluable to all of us horses and humans, as he offers that reliable, steadfast presence that we can always depend on.
Chipmunk - or Chippy as we all call him, is a Shetland pony and only 8 hands high, yet has a real presence. He is an invaluable member of our herd and teaches us about respect, boundaries, and learning not to underestimate others based on appearance!
Chippy's best friend is Sugar, and you will often find him warning the other boys away from her! He's full of energy and does a good job of keeping Samsun- our youngest and biggest horse- in line and teaching him how to properly behave in the herd.
His favourite part of the day is going for lane walks and getting out on the grass with his friends. He hates baths, but loves to roll around in the mud (especially after baths!)
Our Yard Team also like to joke that he's a bit of a Houdini, as he often likes to escape and run to different areas of The Red Horse site!
Running Deer is Brannan’s mate and the look-out for the herd, she is always on guard for any changes in the environment, big or small.
She very much enjoys her down-time with Brannan, they are never far from each other and are happiest relaxing in the sun together nose-to-tail.
Deer is very assertive and responds well to those who mean what they say. Her style is ‘no nonsense‘, but she is very kind to those in need. She is not afraid to tell the other members of the herd off if they are not respecting her or Brannan’s personal space, she does not allow her boundaries to be crossed, which is a great example to us all!
Deer teaches us about assertiveness, self-reliance and clear communication.
Like Brannan, Deer has been with us from near enough the beginning of Red Horse. She has earned her place as a wise elder of the herd and prefers a slower pace of life now, although she still enjoys her rides out on the lanes; especially in the Spring and Autumn, her favourite seasons.
Sugar has been with us since the very beginning of Red Horse.
Sugar is very bright and quick to learn. She is very alert to our emotions and intentions, and if you take your eye off her for one second she will use the opportunity to dart off to find a tasty bit of grass! She loves food and is very independent. Sugar shows us that not everyone shows their emotions in the same way, she has a lot of love to give when she is treated with respect and understanding. She has very clear boundaries and, like Running Deer, will definitely let others know about it if they are crossing them.
Sugar holds her own amongst the bigger horses and Brannan lets her share his hay. She likes to flirt with Dizzy from time to time and Chippy loves being near her. She may be little, but she is bold and will step forward to lead the herd when the others are uncertain.
Joli didn't have the best start in life. He was rescued from a very neglectful home before he came to Red Horse. Despite his history, he loves people and always has time to give cuddles, or pull a cheeky trick to make you laugh. He loves his new job as a therapy horse, but is also equally happy snoozing in his stable or in the sunshine with his pals.
Joli caused quite the drama in the herd when he first arrived, after taking a very keen liking to Running Deer. She enjoys the extra attention, but her heart still lies firmly with Brannan.
Joli gets on well with everyone, but he is often seen play-fighting with Dizzy or snoozing with Sally.
A true playful yet soft soul with lots of love to give - he’s like a giant labrador. We're so happy and lucky to have him!
Dizzy can come across as shy and timid to start with, but we know he is just a sensitive soul and needs some encouragement and reassurance when he is anxious. He teaches us about patience and boundaries.
Dizzy has been growing in confidence since joining the Red Horse herd and has shown us his goofy, cuddly side. He thrives in the herd environment; he especially likes to boss Sugar and Chippy around and give Sugar affectionate nibbles! He has become a bit of a 'go-between' in the herd. All of the horses let him share their hay, and our lead mare Running Deer likes to flirt with him from time to time.
He also loves to play-fight with Joli, they have a real brotherly bond.
Outside of herd life, Dizzy loves deep sleeps in his stable, his salt lick and going for rides/walks with his horsy pals.
Horses now in Spirit
Jaffa died in the autumn of 2021 at the grand old age of 33.
He was the original Red Horse.
A stunning bright chestnut ex-race horse with a heart of pure gold.
He brought Lisanne into the magical work of equine therapy back in 2002, and he remained the heart of the herd for many years.
Jaffa was fatherly, affectionate and kind.
There was also a secret stallion inside him who would get a bit crazy when his favourite mare Running Deer flirted with him in spring, or when he was ready to protect or defend when a new horse arrived in the herd. He wasn’t slow to hold back if someone wasn’t getting the message they needed either!
Mainly though he was a constant steady friend for many clients in the most turbulent times of their lives. He gave freely his message of love and reassurance with a good head rub to your shoulder, or gently sharing his soft breath like a warm caress; ‘ Everything will just be alright if you just stay right in the Now, in the present moment that all horses live in and hold anchor to the ground.'
Loved and cherished by so many people young and old. Jaffas loving legacy lives on through the rest of herd and all who pass through Red Horse now.
Rest in peace and green grass beautiful boy. Thank you.
Jaffa (Stollmerey Castle)
Bella died in the autumn of 2021, she was a good age and had lived in the Red Horse herd from the very beginning. She was a feminine mare with beautiful large soulful eyes. She had troubles with humans in her past like many of our clients, we often wondered if she had had trouble foaling too young. She had learnt to be defensive. She was quick to tell us when she didn’t want human company.
Bella was known as the 'yard trainer’. Any new groom or therapist would learn her head tosses and ears back signals as they passed by would mean ‘ not now thank you, I think you might be going to hurt me’.
Over time they would learn how to gain her trust with time and patience.
For those lucky enough to see through her defences Bella would drop her head and melt into you like purring cat and it was the best reward ever!
She became a great riding horse and enjoyed her hacks out, and latterly began to chose clients for herself offering herself to the therapy work as well. She really understood the clients who brought similar stories to hers. She seemed proud be on the job.
She was happiest grazing on lush green grass with her friend Jaffa.
We were lucky to have her with us, and Lisanne was grateful we could give her an understanding, kind home to live out her years.
Thank you beautiful Bella for all that you taught us. Fly free girl.
Bella (Sparkle by Night)
Mojo died in autumn 2021 rather suddenly following an episode of colic.
She was only with us for 3 years, but it felt like she had always been with us. She was a superstar character during her years, but mostly in her double act with Jaffa.
Mojo was a large dark sports horse who we discovered had a back injury that was making her quite uncomfortable. During her time with us we brought her back to health, and before she died she was doing some fancy dressage moves, taking clients on her back, and once again was enjoying life to the full.
Mojo was a sweet and kind four legged therapist, sensitive and responsive to what her clients were feeling. She could pick out an old injury or physical ailment in her clients, and would rest her head at the part of the body where her clients were suffering.
Mojo's best work was together with her soul mate Jaffa. Jaffa and Mo were inseparable from the moment she arrived at Red Horse. Jaffa was waiting at the gate 5 mins before she arrived on site for the first time. Jaffa was already in his twilight years when Mo arrived, but Mo brought him new life, and they went everywhere together, and mirrored each other in all ways, acting out together in uncanny ways whatever clients needed in their sessions together.
Thank you Mo for all that you taught us. Run free with Jaffa in those lush green pastures now.
Mojo Doria Hopity
Billy, or Billy Rainbow, as he was known to have many hidden colours, left us in winter 21 just before Christmas.
He was an independant fellow right from the start. He had been found abandoned tied up in a bus stop, before his time at Red Horse.He sometimes looked like the loner in the herd, but we knew that he was quite happy and came for neck rubs with his herd mates if he wanted to on his own terms.
Billy was timid and frightened of quite a few things in his early years. We helped him over come these fears of having his legs touched, or asking him to trot with clients on his back, and over time he became a very popular friend for many many clients and gained in confidence along the way. His best friend was Sugar, our characterful welsh mountain pony and in his latter years he surprised us all by being a sought after male when the mares went into season ! We feel he was rather proud of that.
He was a gorgeous black and white Gypsy cob and went at a different speed from the rest of the herd. His speciality was befriending clients who also had stories of abandonment, mistreatment or neglect, and those lacking in self belief and confidence. Some days seemed like Billy had his own clinic as so many chose him as their 4 legged therapist. He was a rock and a guide who seemed to understand the need for complete acceptance what ever his clients were bringing.
Thank you Billy for the gifts that your early suffering brought. Enjoy your new life running free in the green fields beyond.