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Horses in my dreams

Non-human animals are mistreated in countless ways all over the planet and sometimes even off the planet. The suffering is immense. One of the most exploited creatures would have to be the horse. Whipped to run. Saddled and harnessed. Left to exposure. Often underfed. Horses, donkeys and ponies are seen as machines to race or work and are routinely disposed of when their usefulness has been sapped dry.

Bobby almost lost a shoe to Peanut the donkey

Horses in the Leeds area do however harbour slight hope for a life outside of suffering. Hope Pastures is a sanctuary for horses and ponies that is situated a few miles out of Leeds city centre. Run by a few paid staff and many caring and dedicated volunteers, the sanctuary caters for horses deemed redundant or left for certain death. I visited Hope Pastures yesterday with Bobby and Stuart. We were overwhelmed by the beautiful animals and the compassionate humans working to give them a happy and safe life.

Standing tall, proud and healthy thanks to Hope Pastures

The horses, ponies, donkeys and mules of Hope Pastures are lovingly looked after on a property that has served as a sanctuary for several decades. Horse lover and Hope Pastures yard manager (and fellow vegan) Sophie spared some of her valuable time to speak at length on the horses and sanctuary. We were told of the sad plight the animals endure before finding solace at the site. Sophie informed me of the numerous animals that are turned away due to space restrictions, thus highlighting how widespread the abuse and neglect of horses truly is.

The sanctuary of course requires cash and lots of it to give these beautiful creatures a chance of a dignified existence. Sophie spoke of the staggering cost of bedding and feed needed to get the animals through the winter months. I was intrigued to discover the land on which Hope Pastures is situated is actually leased from Leeds University. Water bills are immense and a lot of money is required to pay for medical treatment, especially for neglected horses and donkeys just arriving at the sanctuary.

Donation box asking for apples and treats

The sanctuary is not only a fabulous home for horses, it also serves as an educational opportunity for young people from all across the area. A small classroom is situated near the grooming stables and is filled with drawings created by past visitors. Children who visit have a valuable opportunity to discover what exactly is required to care for a horse and will even learn through hands on experience with jobs such as laying bedding, mucking out and feeding. Hope Pastures also ensure young visitors gain an insight into why horses end up on their sanctuary and the responsibility humans have for caring for the animals.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit and would like to throw down a challenge to my FGV readers. Let’s raise some money for Hope Pastures! Adopting a pony or horse for a year costs only £12.50 (AU$20 or US$20) and I think we should easily be able to get 30 kind and compassionate people to donate this amount each. Your donation directly goes to feeding and caring for horses and you will receive a certificate naming the creature chosen by you.

Please visit this link to choose a horse, donkey or pony and make your £12.50 adoption donation now: I want to adopt at Hope Pastures!

Please comment below when you have adopted an animal. I would love to see if we can reach our goal of 30 adoptions. I’m sure we can do this for all the beautiful horses, donkeys, ponies and mules who deserve a happy life at Hope Pastures.

Hope Pastures operates on donations - please help

Hope Pastures is open to visitors 7 days a week between 10am and 3pm. They do not charge admission but will of course accept any donation. Check their website for special open day events and fund-raising opportunities.

The Phyllis Harvey Horse & Donkey Trust
Hope Pastures, Weetwood Lane, LEEDS LS16 5PH

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Written by fatgayvegan

  1. I wanted to get the donation ball rolling. I adopted Peanut on behalf of Bobby. Bobby’s nana Pat also adopted a horse. 2 adoptions down, 28 to go. xx

  2. I just adopted Lady! She’s so beautiful! Can you please give her a pat for me next time you visit? x

    • Of course. Thank you Erin. I love that you have adopted Lady. It has made me blubber. xx

  3. I just adopted Flossie – let’s go this weekend xoxo

    • Only 26 adoptions to go! Flossie thanks you Josh xx

  4. I just adopted Dotty and Angel and Muffin. Thank you so much for letting me know about this wonderful place. Can anyone visit???

    • Christine! Thank you for your wonderful generosity. Your adoption donations are going to be put to good use. Anyone can visit. Hope Pastures is open to the public. Just check their site for any planned maintenance. Wednesday has a guided tour and they have several open days a year that are a bit more interactive. Your adoptions take our the FGV Hope Pastures drive to 7. We have 23 to go. Tell everyone!

      • Hoping to visit on Sunday 🙂

      • Say hi to Peanut if you make it out there.

  5. $20! I can do that. Will update when it’s all done.

  6. Mr Jingles adopted.

    • Thank you, Jey! I saw Mr. Jingles in the paddock yesterday and he looked beautiful and happy. xx

      • Give him a pat from me when you go there next. <3

      • Will do. xx

  7. I saw your post on the veg/vegan society Qld forum. These guys are doing an amazing job! Having worked in rescue centres before I know how much people sacrifice (money, a job, sanity!) to dedicate themselves to helping animals who deserve better.

    The pictures melted my heart and I just had to adopt Mr Pickwick. I don’t have a lot of spare cash right now but when I do I’d like to make my donation a bit more substantial.

    Thanks for telling people about Hope Pastures. You are a gem.

    • Thank you Emily for giving up some money to help Mr Pickwick and the other gorgeous animals at Hope Pastures. I know how difficult it can be to make a donation when you are struggling yourself. You are very kind and compassionate to make this sacrifice. I saw these horses up close and it is so moving for me how people are responding. xx

  8. I adopted Sparky.
    Thanks for letting us all know about Hope Pastures

    • Excellent news. It is my pleasure to spread the word. The volunteers are the superstars (and of course the horses!).

  9. Hope Pastures…really is a special place – my one year old son Bobby loved it, his face lit up as soon as he saw the ponies and donkeys. If you can go – it’s a great place to spend quality time with loved ones and the staff are very friendly and welcoming. I’ve adopted Trigger for my nephew in Sussex so that when he visits we can go to see his pony. Thank you FatGayVegan for introducing me to Hope Pastures…the name says it all!!!!

    • Trigger is very beautiful. Thank you Stuart for getting involved. Bobby looked so happy to be around the horses and ponies.

  10. Happy to help these beautiful animals! Hope my small gift can help these folks doing such great work! 🙂

    • This is now seeming very doable after this latest adoption. Thank you! 12 down, only 18 to go.

  11. Thank you so much to FGV for spreading the word for us and for helping to raise some much needed funds to pay for the care of our residents. It is much appreciated by everyone at Hope Pastures. Thank you to everyone that has adopted so far, if you are ever in the area please come and visit ( as stated above we have some maintenance work planned in the next few weeks so check first). Our open day is on the 22nd May and we would love to see you there too. Kind regards & thanks again to everyone Lynn & Philip x ( Trustees)

    • Thank you for stopping by, Lynn & Philip. The work you do is invaluable and and I am honored to do my small part in helping to raise funds.

      I am still following up a few leads for donations and we also have Stuart working on getting students at his school involved.

  12. I have adopted Jasper, he looks like he’s a curious horse, full of beans… I liked him. I liked the others too, but can’t adopt them all… it looks like, the 30 adoptions are proving to be a challenge ? Hope you get there… and good life to all the lucky horses and donkeys in Hope Pasture ! and good luck to all who are helping to give them a good life.

    • Noémie! Thank you for getting involved. It is wonderful to hear from you in this way. Your adoption takes our drive to 13…. but there is more news!

      Stuart from a few posts above has been helping students at his school in Leeds with fundraising. A group has started the ball rolling there by adopting Sparky. So we are at 14 adoptions and I know of some readers and friends who are contemplating still. We might still get to 30.


  13. My boy has chosen Peanut too and will be adopting tonight.

    • Excllent, Jey! I met Peanut and he is gorgeous. This adoption makes 15. Half way to our target of 30. Let’s keep rolling along.

  14. A friend has adopted Mr Pickwick.

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