A sanctuary is a place where one can take refuge and be safe from torment, persecution or other forms of negativity. And sanctuaries are not limited to humans only, but available to other forms of life too. There are many places of sanctuary for animals, which include locations on land, sea and other bodies of water.
We see lots of examples of animal sanctuaries on TV and on the Internet. Some of these include protected animal reserves in Africa, special protected zones for endangered species and underwater sanctuaries like the Great Barrier Reef. These are truly remarkable locations that ensure protection of different animal species, and even plant life, from external disturbances that disrupt natural balance and harmony.
In 2011, a sanctuary for horses popped up in Surrey, England. It all started when an acquaintance of Jenny Seagrove, an English actress, called her asking for help to care for and feed a variety of animals which included cats, dogs, birds, sheep, horses, and even a goat and a cow. At the time, there was no prearranged structure or protocol on running an establishment for caring for these animals so Jenny went on to provide whatever help she could provide.
Approximately a month later, the Mane Chance Sanctuary became a registered charity. Adequate space was needed to serve as the home for the animals and the hired staff for the sanctuary, too. This problem was solved by a farmer acquaintance of Jenny's who happened to be selling his farm in Compton, a village nearby, and generously agreed to let them use his land free of charge until a permanent buyer came along, and with this the Mane Chance Sanctuary was born.
In the 2012 spring season, Jenny officially purchased the land where Mane Chance Sanctuary was originally established, and the organization evolved into a safe haven designated for rescued horses. On top of that, Jenny also brought aboard James French, a Reiki master and famous animal communicator, along with Shelley Slingo, his life partner. They are helping Mane Chance Sanctuary develop into a one-of-a-kind refuge for horses and people alike. We might think of this establishment as a kind of rehabilitation center with a psychiatric facility, for horses.
The Mane Chance Sanctuary
One thing that separates Mane Chance Sanctuary from similar establishments is the focus on not just the physical but also the emotional health and well-being of the animals cared for by the organization. There are several other characteristics that help the sanctuary stand out as well.
Thanks to the contributions of James French, a "Trust Technique" method of healing has been implemented. This technique employs some patience and gives the horses reassurance that they are in a safe and peaceful environment. It's all about observing the horses' responses and moving at their pace.
Another thing observed by the Mane Chance staff is the potential benefit and impact their work could have on other people and the community. The people who come and visit the animals in the sanctuary form a special bond with them. Through these interactions, an almost spiritual healing takes place. People not only get a sense of peace, relaxation and self-discovery through these special connections but they get to learn more about horses in the process. So for both humans and animals, it's a win-win situation.
The organization eventually branched out into the community and established connections with charities and launched helpful outreach programs. What started out as an endeavor to help out animals, eventually blossomed into something so much more with people benefiting from the project.
It's safe to say that there's more in store for this unique sanctuary in the years to come. And with the kind of impact Mane Chace Sanctuary has on both animals and people, what's not to love?
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