Horses Left for Three Months with No Food or Water Rescued by Horse Charity

The charity Remus Horse Sanctuary is urgently trying to raise funds for two horses that were found lame and emaciated after being left in a field to fend for themselves for more than three months.

The two horses were severely malnourished, having been left in a field for 14 weeks with no food or water. While Lady was emaciated, Blax also has severe joint problems. They had become feral having been left with no care, attention or love.

Despite all of the staff and volunteers’ hard work and efforts, Lady had to be put to sleep on 13 April.

Sue Burton, Founder, said: “She was in such an emaciated condition that as often happens in these cases, they come in having lived on their adrenalin for so long and when eventually they feel safe they let go and relax and, as in her case, she was too weak to take her own weight. We could hold her up but she was unable to stand herself and would just slowly slump to the floor when we let go of her.”

Essex-based Remus rescued Blax and Lady from a field in Kent after the charity was contacted by a concerned member of the public.

The horses had been left alone in the field for three months, despite the relevant authorities being alerted and a vet being called out to see them. Local people stepped in to ensure the pair had food and water.

It is thought the two had been used as brood mares in the past. It is not yet known whether the owner will be prosecuted for their actions.

The charity is continuing to try and raise funds to help give Blax a life free from pain, desperation and hunger.

Blax has had a large wedge and clog fitted to the foot on her bad leg which is making her more comfortable.

Sue went on to say, “There is comfort in knowing that Lady knew love and care and security in her last weeks but I find it so hard to keep clearing up the mess that other people make of these dear innocent creatures. It annoys me more to know that a vet and the RSPCA had let this go on for over 14 weeks before we got them.”

Anyone who wants to help to save Blax can donate online at:

Rescued Riding School Horses Safe at Last

Only a few months after being rescued and rehomed by Remus Horse Sanctuary, the previously evicted ponies from Brook Farm Riding School have settled in and “act like they have always been with us,” says Charity Founder Sue Burton.

This came at a time when Remus themselves were financially crippled, the situation only to be made worse by the oncoming of winter. Remus will be providing lifetime care for Candy, Coco, Scotty and Minty and are asking for donations and sponsorship towards the upkeep of the four animals.

All four are now in their later years and each arrived back in September with their own problems and health issues; Coco and Candy are both in their late 30’s, and Coco has severe liver issues and awaiting a liver biopsy. Minty has COPD (breathing problems) and Scotty has PPID (endocrine disorder) and is now on medication to help him. Pat Steinbacka, the owner of the Riding School is now volunteering at Remus.

Many local youngsters learnt to ride on these ponies and there was very much a community spirit at the Riding School. Following the financial collapse of Brook Farm Riding School, all 12 elderly horses were re-homed and are now safe. Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary successfully managed the entire rehoming and relocation process and Remus paid all associated costs as well as providing homes for four of the ponies.

The Riding School owner contacted Sue Burton last year for help. Due to financial reasons, the bailiffs had moved in and evicted the owner and the horses. The horses were living in fields behind the riding school and needed homes urgently. Four of the animals had already been found homes and Remus arranged to take four and moved the remaining eight to another sanctuary in Norfolk.

Sue Burton says, “They are great ponies and really settled. The two boys go out together and the two girls together. The girls are quite old and delicate and we don’t want them getting hurt. The boys are full of themselves and full of mischief. The girls more sedate but devoted to each other.”

For further information and to make a donation via PayPal or JustGiving or to sponsor one of the four ponies, please visit or contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.

If you would like to sponsor Coco, Candy, Minty or Scotty to help with their ongoing care and wellbeing, then you can do so via our sponsorship programme. Remember that we also offer a standing order option of just £2 a month!

Shop online this Christmas and raise FREE funds for us!

Christmas is fast approaching, and if your thoughts are starting to turn to your Christmas shopping; whether it’s presents, food or a new outfit for the Christmas party; we wanted to let you know about a great opportunity to raise FREE donations for REMUS MEMORIAL HORSE SANCTUARY – just by shopping online.

Simply do your Christmas shopping online via Give as you Live, at a choice of over 4,000 top retailers, including Amazon, John Lewis, ASOS, Marks & Spencer, Debenhams and notonthehighstreet, and Give as you Live will turn a percentage of your spend into a donation for us.

Furthermore, there is still time to enter the 12 days of Christmas competition – we’re giving away a prize worth £150 everyday with a £25 donation to the winners favourite charity and one lucky winner will win all 12 prizes and a £250 donation to their favourite charity!

All you need to do is sign-up for FREE to Give as you Live and start doing your shopping via the Give as you Live website, their downloadable toolbar or mobile app.


Using EFT to Help Animals

EFT or Emotional Freedom Technique is a simple yet effective way to help release emotional stress in people and animals. Our final workshop of 2015 is entitled ‘An Introduction to EFT for Animals and Owners’ and will take place on Saturday 28 November at the Sanctuary from 11am to 3pm.

EFT (sometimes referred to as Tapping) was founded by an American engineer called Gary Craig who wanted to explore the link between emotional and physical health. It is a self-help tool that can be done at home, in the workplace, with children or with animals. It is based on the idea of the Chinese meridian system which believes that the human or animal body is made up of energy. This system is also used in other complementary therapies such as reflexology and acupuncture. In EFT we use meridian points around the head and chest areas and tap on these whilst using verbal language to acknowledge what the problem is.

During an EFT session we identify with a particular emotional issue we want to deal with and by ‘tapping’ on these energy points it helps to release any energy blockages which relate to those emotions.

Animals experience a wide range of emotions which they often do not get a chance to release. These can range from trauma, fear over change such as a new pet in the household, through to fear of fireworks, or even grief. We can help them by acting as a surrogate and tapping on ourselves to help release those emotions. It can even be from a distance using a photograph. Its a quick but effective way of helping the animals we love.

On the workshop you will learn the history of EFT, what the basics are, as well as getting a chance to work on any emotions you want to release along with any emotional issues your pets may have. No experience is necessary!

To find out more and to book your tickets click here.

Aloe Vera and your Pets

Have you heard of Aloe Vera, but are not really sure what it does or how it works? If you would like to learn more, so that you feel confident to use it for your animals, then don’t miss this great new workshop – Aloe Vera for Animals.

On Saturday 21st November, Sandy Cowley will be sharing how you can use Aloe Vera to help with your animals’ health and well-being.

In this workshop you will be learning all about the amazing Aloe Vera plant.

  • We will start by looking at the history of Aloe Vera and how it came to England. We will then examine an Aloe leaf and learn about its structure and all the many beneficial ingredients that it contains.
  • Do you know what plant family Aloe Vera belongs to? Come and find out, you might be surprised!
  • You will then learn about the products that can be used to help your animals and Sandy will share how she uses them with her pets.
  • After a short lunch break, Sandy will share some testimonials with you and you will then get a chance to try the products for yourself as they work for humans too!

This interactive workshop will help you to have fun as you learn, so that you will feel confident to use Aloe Vera with your animals.

Look forward to seeing you there! Book your tickets online today. Places are limited. If you have any queries, please call the office on tel: 01277 356191 or drop us an email to

You can book your tickets here.

Animal Communication

Animals are masters at communication. They use sound, body language, scent and telepathy to communicate to other animals but also to us too. They also experience a wide range of emotions from fear through to love and excitement.

When we have animals in our life, we spend so much time wanting the best for them and wondering what they are thinking and feeling. But,  we are all capable of listening AND understanding what our animal friends are saying – you just have to want to try.   As people, we are often lazy about communicating and rely on people telling us when they are fed up or unhappy. With animals we have to work harder to understand how they feel.

On this introductory workshop we will be focusing on animal emotions and how to pick up on them and interpret them. We will look at the differences between picking up emotions and messages from animals just by looking at a photograph, as well as an opportunity to work with some of the amazing animals at Remus. You will also get the opportunity to bring photos of your pets and get to understand more about them during group work. We will also talk about how animals deal with their emotions and how we can help them to release and move on from any experiences that are troubling them.

You dont need any experience to attend the workshop – if you love animals, you CAN communicate with them!

Book your place for our introductory workshop on Animal Communication with Reiki Master Clair Missen here. The workshop takes place on Saturday 14 November and places are limited. If you have any queries, do give us a call on tel: 01277 356191 or drop us an email to

Charity Founder Honoured with IFAW Award

Sue Burton, Founder of Remus Horse Sanctuary, received an award from the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) at the House of Lords, on Tuesday 20 October, honouring her dedication to rescuing and improving the welfare of thousands of horses. TV wildlife presenter Bill Oddie presented the award.

The IFAW awards programme runs in countries all around the world and looks to reward special people who have done something outstanding for animals. Philip Mansbridge, UK Director of IFAW, said: “Sue’s dedication to horse rescue and protection is a great example of animal welfare in action. Her efforts have saved thousands of horses and other animals and she is a true inspiration to others. She is a very deserving winner of IFAW’s Equine Welfare Award.”

Animal lover Sue Burton, from Billericay in Essex, set up Remus Memorial Horse Sanctuary in 1983, where it now provides rehabilitation and long-term care for over 200 animals at the 40-acre site near Ingatestone. Sue’s action followed two horrific activities; firstly, the plight of horses on Rainham Marshes, where more than 100 horses were left on the bleak marshland and 13 died in horrific conditions after being cut off by floodwaters. Secondly, the case of Remus, a horse that was stolen and starved for three months in a feud over a £50 debt. Remus was left tied to a lamppost and despite Sue’s valiant efforts to save him; he eventually had to be put down.

Sue says, “There is a huge horse welfare problem in this country and its just getting worse all the time. Back in 1983, I was determined to help other animals in Remus’ memory. Many of the animals we take in at the Sanctuary have suffered physical or mental abuse because of human cruelty or ignorance.”

The Sanctuary aims to help all the horses it can which have been left to die in fields and, if there is no space on-site, she will travel out to keep feeding them. The Sanctuary has also gained a reputation as a specialist centre for the treatment of veteran and blind horses, and has provided homes to two of Britain’s oldest known horses, one of whom – Orchid – died recently aged 50. Sue and her team also offer advice on animal welfare and to owners of elderly horses, and organise a variety of workshops on elderly horse care, health, nutrition and many complementary therapies.

The work of the Sanctuary also extends into the wider community, with ponies taken to visit care homes for the elderly and schools to educate young people about respecting and caring for animals. Remus is an accredited organisation offering work placements to young people and is a Duke of Edinburgh Award training venue. Tours and talks are also provided for disabled, deaf, and blind groups.

Sue ensures she is available 24/7 to respond to calls to help animals in need and is also under constant pressure to fundraise to pay the running costs of the Sanctuary, which are in excess of £400,000 annually. The charity relies totally on public donations.

Despite all of the demands on her time from running the Sanctuary and carrying out hands-on rescue work, Sue continues to campaign for improved horse welfare and has lobbied at Westminster on the issue. She also promotes horse welfare and cruelty issues locally and encourages members of the public to be on the lookout for signs of distress in horses and to report any suspected cruelty or neglect, in Essex and across neighbouring counties. More information on this can be found via the Horse Welfare section of the Remus website.

Following the award, Sue said, “I was very pleased for the whole team to hear I would receive an IFAW award, it represents the work done by everyone here. Our work is often very similar to a hospice, giving animals that have usually suffered greatly, the very best of care, allowing the younger ones to get over their abuse and develop into happy adults, or for the older ones to spend their twilight years doing as they wish while enjoying the highest quality care that we can achieve.

“I don’t think a horse should be put down because it has reached a certain age if it can still thrive; I think we should be giving something back, especially when so many of these horses have suffered in the past. The most satisfying aspect of the work is seeing a horse that at first has completely shut itself down and won’t interact, to suddenly coming to me or playing with other horses in the field. This is how they should be, full of life, and when I see that restored it is very special.”

For further information, contact Sue Burton on tel: 01277 356191.


UK horses need our help!

You may notice a common theme in our recent blogs, and there is a reason for this. 2014 is the year of the horse and at Remus we are concentrating on the welfare of horses. Especially how the laws need to be changed as the current ones are not taking into consideration abandoned horses, fly grazing, tethering etc; we have been around the country meeting with representatives from other horse sanctuaries and even out to horses that have been abandoned to see what we can do.
Along with the Fosse horse initiative, Remus is attending a peaceful protest at the House of Commons on the 16th April from 12-2pm. Why are we doing this? The problem with horse welfare, tethering, fly grazing and abandoned horses is that the whole country needs to work together if we are to put an end to the cruelty to these majestic creatures. It baffles me that I even need to write about this as we live in a highly developed country where we can get pretty much anything we want at the click of a button. We seem to struggle, however, to notice the plight of the horses that are left to fend for themselves.
Our aim for the protest is to highlight the present equine crisis and that the existing laws do not offer horses, ponies and donkeys sufficient protection
We have seen some awful sights this year and terrible scenes of cruelty and unfortunately it is too late for thousands of horses in the UK, but if we can make a change this year, we will be doing something for the future generations of horses that are being born on our soil in the future.
If you are interested in joining our protest on the 16th, visit our protest page on Facebook  where you will find all of the current news and information. Please remember to keep the protest peaceful, lawful and respectful; we are representing ourselves and need to get our point across in an effective way!

What’s going on at the Sanctuary?

So far this year we have been exceptionally busy rescuing horses from across the country as well as campaigning to get horse welfare acts changed nationally and local Authorities to act on a local level. There has also been a lot happening at the sanctuary that we’re just itching to tell you about.

At the beginning of the year we had a big problem with the Mardyke horses. Many of you will have seen these horses under the roundabout as you go to Lakeside or Bluewater.  The land that they were grazing was extremely flooded and they were at great risk of getting stuck in the mud or drowning (something that we have seen many times over the years on this site). Thankfully we had a lot of support from the media and those who signed our petition that we put online. It took long enough but the councils eventually accepted their responsibility  and banned any horses from grazing on the Mardyke plains with immediate effect and in future years the land is not to be grazed from November to March . A big thank you to everyone that supported us and helped these horses

There is still a lot of work to be done to help horses in similar or worse conditions so please look and take a read at our new facebook page.

The horses at Remus are all doing well including Pippa who is loving her new life with sight following cataract surgery. Gracie and Holly our two pregnant mares are doing well.  The recent sunshine is making a huge difference to them after such a wet weather

We have plenty of upcoming events around the county, starting with our spring fair on the 15th March in the Billericay Reading Rooms, in the High street. . Come along and pick up a bargain, you never know what you might find. On the 26th some of the Remus Ponies are going to be in the George Yard shopping area in Braintree. Please come along and show your support and meet some of our ponies.

Our first open day this year is taking place on the 4th May at the Sanctuary, and we’re praying for some sunshine for then! We’re lucky enough to have the Midnite Blu again singing for us, so please come along and see some of the animals and listen to the wonderful performance.  Also this May we have Basil Fawlty (John Cleese lookalike) joining us – should make for an interesting afternoon Sybil!!!

This week we’re writing a small piece on Guinness, our lovely Shire Horse.

Guinness came to us when she was due to be put to sleep in a divorce dispute; shocking, we know. Luckily we managed to save her from certain death.

Guinness has such a lovely nature and she is a very popular addition to the horses we have here. If you want to find out more about Guinness or follow her progress you can sponsor her for just £25 a year. For £25 you will get a photograph of her, a certificate and history of Guinness, an invite to the sanctuary to see Guinness, a Remus pen, car sticker and two updates a year on how she is getting on, all for just £25!

For more information about what’s happening at the sanctuary, click through to visit our website!

Year of the horse – Year of the horse welfare crisis

The Country is in the grip of a horse crisis. Every day horses are dying and suffering and the Authorities seem powerless to help them. In this The Year of The Horse we have to make every effort possible to change things for these gentle and humble creatures. This is our one chance to show that the people of this Country care passionately about the welfare of horses. Please sign and share this petition as much as you can. We are their only voice!

The Problem

Every day horses are dying and suffering across the Country and the Authorities seem powerless to help them. In this The Year of The Horse we have to make every effort possible to change things for these gentle and humble creatures. This is our one chance to show that the people of this Country care passionately about the welfare of horses.

Recently I stood on the side of a road with horses in the most awful conditions, a dead pony behind me, a pony stuck up to its belly in mud and the RSPCA Inspector said – ‘I cant do anything’ This is crazy – our laws need changing now Our Welfare Groups need to be able to act to help horses BEFORE they die. We are putting hay out for many of these horses just to keep them alive until the situation changes. All welfare Organisations are at the end of their tether. Action has to start now to save and protect these innocent creatures

What needs to be done

Already the National Welfare Organisations have put together some excellent Reports on the current situation regarding different options that need to be put in place to alleviate the suffering and they include;

  • Criminal legislation is needed to punish fly grazers and act as a deterrent to prevent them using local Authorities as a horse disposal service
  • Amend the Animals Act 1971 so that Authorities can dispose of fly grazed or abandoned horses other than through markets or auctions, where at present the Authorities have to fund the microchipping and passporting of these animals only for them to be purchased back extremely cheaply by the very owners who left them in the first place, only now they are worth more because the Authorities have microchipped and passported them
  • Mandatory microchipping of horses and a presumption on the part of the law that a horse has no owner if it is not does not have a microchip or passport
  • Defra to expedite negotiations with Ireland and France to restrict the Tripartite Agreement which currently allows free movement between the UK and these countries, creating welfare problems, facilitating crime where horses are used as cover and opening the door to equine disease
  • Proper enforcement of the passport and microchipping laws
  • The creation of a central equine database

Our thanks to the work of these National Organisations for the effort they have put into the various reports that are presently before Parliament

What you can do

Get involved. Add your voice to help these horses.

  • Make a donation to help us to get food and care to these animals to at least give them a fighting chance
  • Sign our Petition at…
  •  Can you monitor horses in your area?
  • Report horses that you are concerned about to us
  • Are there other ways that you can help? If so please let us know. All help gratefully received
  • Write to your MP. Local Councillor. Make as much noise as you can

In this The Year of The Horse it is important that we prevent the suffering of these noble animals by tightening up the existing legislation. If we don’t make enough noise now then we condemn these animals to a lifetime of misery. This is our one chance to be their voice

Together we can help make suffering on this scale a thing of the past. Please for their sake ACT NOW

Get involved – Email us now

Report a Horse/ Horses that you are concerned about – Email us now

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