Companion horses and ponies can bring just as much reward as their ridden counterparts believe the charity experts. Many ponies and cobs currently in the charity’s care have been so badly neglected and abused in the past, they will never be able to be ridden yet still have plenty of affection and pleasure to give.

Tommy is one such horse. In his early years he suffered horrific physical and psychological abuse. Confined to a small, squalid barn, he and four other stallions fought over a solitary mare, kept with them. Last year Tommy was seized by the RSPCA and taken in to the Blue Cross horse welfare centre at Burford in Oxfordshire. Tommy showed an inherently trusting nature. “He was very worried and anxious but underneath there was a real spark,” said Vicki Alford, Horse Unit Manager at the Blue Cross Rehoming Centre in Burford. “You could see he wanted to trust us but just had no idea that humans were nice.” It was a long slow process but now, seven months later, Tommy has an admirable bond with his groom Serena Jenkins, who painstakingly has earned his trust. He leads well to and from the field, can be groomed all over and have his feet picked up and is now ready to find a home for life. “He gives so much love and affection that someone out there will fall for him in a big way and give him the home he deserves,” said Vicki.

Tommy is one of over 30 troubled horses and ponies now looking for exceptional companion homes. If you are interested in rehoming Tommy or another like him please ring 0300 777 1570 or email equinerehoming@bluecross.org.uk