Our Horses

Page One is Felix | Gypsy and Tonto | Rico | Merc | Irish | Topaz | Waylon | Lawson | Brodie |
Page Two is Perdon | Linka and Lilly | Moose | Big Ben | Devon | Honner | Cobber and Digger | Tex

This page is Rebel | Kokoda | Beriah | Phoenix | Mae-Lee | Lakota | Ike

Page Four is Omar | Matilda | Red and Lilly | Bella






Even before he drew breath he was special. When his mother Rosa was having an ultrasound, the vet made the remark “I have never seen such a large heart in a foetus”. This is evident in his display of courage and determination. He established his position as the Alpha horse of the herd, never becoming intimidated by a larger horse of any breed.

He came into my care with considerable dental problems. He has deformed teeth in his upper gum with only one complete tooth. Being the Alpha horse all things are done with him first, eg feeding, grooming, trimming, entering and exiting pens and dental treatment. This is done to show him respect for his position in the herd, and in return he shows trust, obedience and respect to us. He was my first horse and over time we have developed a sense of real mate ship and I would do anything for him.




KOKODA ”KODA”…Standardbred…Deceased


I first met Kokoda 8.5 years ago when we moved next door to his home. I was told he was an approximately 8-year-old retired pacer and now he was a "lawn mower". They had ridden him in the past but he was no longer required for that purpose. Kokoda had been a successful pacer, he had 62 starts and 10 wins. He deserved a good retirement.


Unfortunately Kokoda is the all too familiar story of neglect due to a lack of knowledge and interest. Over the years I watched Kokoda stand quietly as motorbikes raced closely past him churning up the fire breaks and bored dogs nipped at his tail and legs for hours on end. He was generally fed in those earlier years, however to my knowledge did not receive the required care of a farrier or an equine dentist.


Things got worse for Kokoda several years ago when his owner left the property due to a marriage breakdown. Kokoda was left with an owner that knew nothing about horses. He was kept on to mow the lawn and keep the property neat and tidy.


I regularly began finding him on the road and putting him back inside, closing the gate left open behind him.

I would keep an eye on my horsey neighbour, contacting his previous owner to alert her if he was looking thin, colicky or when his feet were in disrepair. She would intervene and Kokoda would sometimes get the care he needed… for a while.


Three weeks ago I realised that Kokoda really needed my help. I found him skin and bones, shaking in the storm. He was pleading me to help him. I knew then that I could not walk away from him. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. I contacted his current owner and advised my friend, Angie, and I had removed the rope tied around his neck and replaced it with a halter. He was tripping on this rope and it was choking him. I was told that the rope had been tied there so he could be caught because he was "off to the meat factory", however no date had yet been set. I wonder how long he would have dragged the rope around, days, weeks?


The property had been on the market for a long time and it had finally been sold. Kokoda was now surplus to requirements once again. I had heard there had been attempts to rehome him, I wonder how hard they tried?

Later that evening after rugging him and giving him a warm dinner to stop him from trembling, I googled desperately trying to find a place I could call for leads on where I could rehome Kokoda. My first call was to Alan. I explained the situation and Alan agreed nearly immediatety to help him. He could sense the urgency of this situation and agreed Kokoda needed another chance.


It was such a relief. I was so grateful to Alan and the Calan Horse Sanctuary and wanted to help them as much as I could.


I started a campaign to raise much needed funds to help Kokoda transition to the sanctuary and allow them to continue their good work with the other 18 horses.


Over the last few weeks Angie and I have been feeding, rugging and caring for Kokoda. His condition, mind, body and soul, has improved out of sight. Many say he is like a different horse already. I had always known he was a sweet horse, although a little head shy and nervy. In this time I have found he has great character. He is respectful, interested in life and wants to interact with people and horses alike.


He is a quick learner and has a lot to offer. It was very hard to say goodbye to him today, however I know that he will have a wonderful new life at the sanctuary and will thrive on being part of the Calan herd.


Thank you Alan for the wonderful work that you do, to Angie for bringing his condition to my attention and motivating me to take action, and to all those who cared enough to answer my call and provide donations to help these unwanted horses. I look forward to visiting Kokoda very soon.






Another horse who was running out of time, joined Calan Horse Sanctuary on the 2nd  March 2016. Previously known by the name “McIver”, C.H.S. has bestowed upon the new name of “Beriah” meaning “Unfortunate One”.


Beriah was rescued around 11 years ago due to the former owner labelling him as “Surplus to their requirements” and considering it “time” to maybe shoot him. This once magnificent looking horse had completed at the highest level of Equestrian Sport, but now before us stood a sad under-nourished black gelding.


We were told that a person who had worked where Beriah was stabled and trained had witnessed him being beaten, starved and abused. Beriah’s rescuer set about treating him gently and with consistent kindness enabling him to trust humans again. Being of course, hand shy any sudden movement of any one’s hand would cause him to rear up in fear. Unfortunately, the lovely lady who rescued him fell on bad times and her property had to be sold, necessitating Beriah to be agisted else where and away from his rescuer’s loving care. Her efforts to still care for his welfare financially in spite of her personal problems became too much, and after 8 years of “No hands on care” agistment she realized he needed a sanctuary as his health was rapidly deteriorating.


Beriah’s rescuer’s sent out a heart felt plea to C.H.S. to please consider him to join our family. After much consideration we opened our hearts and gates to this 26 year old, beautiful and forgiving horse where we will endeavour to help him regain his health, self esteem and continue to trust humans for his remaining years.





"Escape Artist" was the tag given to the new arrival at Calan Horse Sanctuary. His story did cause us to evaluate the viability of his inclusion to the existing herd, was his well documented escape tactics going to impact on the existing security and tranquility of the sanctuary.


This beautiful, black, seven-year-old, standard bred would break out of his owner's property causing the public to call the shire ranger and report him causing damage, eating their gardens, and posing a hazard on the roads. The horse was impounded several times and notices sent to the owner, who eventually would retrieve him. After his final escape, the owner chose not to take ownership.


With just a short time frame available at the shire pound, Senior Ranger, Cara Kimber contacted Maree Ernshaw and her wonderful team at, Animal Actionist Limited to see if they could help. Immediately, they responded and offered short stay accommondation with the offer to secure him a safe and permanent home.


After several phone conversations with Carla from the Gosnells Shire and Maree from A.A.L. C.H.S. agreed to give him a home, keeping uppermost in our minds though, the welfare of the other residents. Maree and her dedicated team delivered what had once been a neglected soul, into our care with papers to verify ownership. Once placed into the large secure holding pen, the equine family came to introduce themselves with all the usual vocalization, head tossing and stomping of hooves. This also gave us the opportunity to inspect him. Once again we found we had a horse with badly, neglected hooves, worse than Mae-Lee's (see photo 1.). After 24 hours on the soft ground cover in the holding pen, the over grown hoof walls, broke off up to the white line maybe  indicating he had been tightly confined for long periods (see photo 2.) Then after a period of a few days C.H.S. set about bringing them back to a condition they should have been. (see photo 3.).


With each new arrival, we try to avaluate each one's physical needs as well as their emotional needs. With this seven-year-old, we noticed he lacked the social skills required to join up with the herd. We found him standing behind a building or in a corner out of sight, but after eight days of us opening and shutting various gates, he was slowly forced to join the sixteen other residents. Of course like each and every one, he has had to adjust and find the 'pecking order' and we are thrilled to see this beautiful horse slowly fitting in.


Because of his chequered past, with maybe death the final solution, C.H.S has named him 'Phoenix'.

We would like to commend the folk who played a major part in the 'fall and rise' of Phoenix from the ashes. The care and concern by the Gosnells Shire and 'Animal Actionists' has been exemplary. What great satisfaction it is to us at C.H.S. to be able to combine the efforts of such fine people who strongly believe in the protection of all defenceless animals and are prepared to go that extra mile.



On the 31st October, this year of 2015, C.H.S.brought home a 28 year old mare; totally blind in the right eye and the hooves, badly in-need of repair. The fifteen resident horses accepted her without any of the usual who-har:


No stamping of the ground with dust flying, no snorting or reaching out to bite; this welcome was quiet and gentle, befitting a lady. On her first day, Cobber stepped to the fore and took it upon him self to stay with her for the first 24 hours, then handed her care to Irish, who has gently over-seen her easement into the herd.


Yesterday, at sunset, Mae-Lee must have become disorientated due to her new sourroundings and wandered off about one kilometer from the herd. Irish became aware of her absence and went looking for her. Some time later, we observed him leading her back to the security of her new found equine family.


This beautiful, soft gentle soul has endeared herself to us all and C.H.S. will endeavour to give the same love and care that we have always pledged to do for all those who reside at the sanctuary."


In mid-January, 2017,  CHS received a call from a veterinary clinic to say they had been contacted by the local authorities stating that a horse had been found on its own in the bush.  It was uncertain whether the horse, a mare, had been dumped or perhaps escaped, but by the numerous manure droppings and hoof prints where she was found, it indicated that she had been there for a considerable length of time before the kind clinic staff made the discovery.  The horse was transported to their place of business where they lovingly cared for and protected her for the time being.


We at CHS needed no time to answer the clinic's plea to give her a permanent and secure place to dwell; it was an instant, positive 'YES'.


We bestowed upon her the name of 'Lakota' taken from the name of the Native American Indian tribe of the Sioux Nation who were known as the brave warriors and horsepersons of the Great Plains of North America. Upon reading about these people it is clear that they were and are now true survivors, battling harsh conditions and warfare-yet surviving despite what is done to them. Lakota displays similar qualities of courage and resilience and instead of wandering off to face her demise; she remained in the small, forested area alongside a water source that kept her alive as long as she stood her ground.


Once possibly discarded with the only certainty an unknown future, this beautifully soft, chestnut mare is settling in very well as our most recent rescue and member of the Calan herd.  Upon arrival she was assisted by number three of the pecking order, the ex ”Escape Artist”, Pheonix. This very capable fella immediately stepped up to protect and care for the new herd member like a true gentleman. He grazed by her side and positioned himself as the guardian between Lakota and the other horses.


On 2/6/2017 however, we witnessed a changing of the guard; number two of the Top Brass, whose name is "Irish",  decided to take over the royal duties and has done it in clinical fashion.  Unsurprising, this has become his M.O. as clever old Irish pulled a similar maneuver with our first mare, Mae Lee, whereby he stood back and let another horse conduct the ground work and then with his size, clear intention, and commitment, took over, which is where he stands now- Lakota's Royal Guard.


So this gorgeous yet lonely, wandering soul has gone from an almost certain tragic future to a position of having not one but TWO outstanding male admirers, a wise female companion plus seventeen honorable friends.

We at Calan Horse Sanctuary will do our utmost to give this gentle, lovely mare the secure,  peaceful and happy life she deserves”.



Dwight "Ike"


"Dwight raced until he was 9 years old having 66 starts and winning for his owners $384000.00. He was retired in February 2016 and given to a woman as a pleasure horse.
On the occasion I was visiting the new owner I noticed what terrible condition he was in, skin and bone with badly neglected hooves. After having a conversation on his condition I offered to take him home which was eagerly agreed too.
It became very evident that Dwight was suffering from terrible stomach ulcers and was a sad horse, very introverted and had a strained look in his eyes. So I set about to rehabilitate him and return him to the condition he must have once been. As he gained weight, his coat gleaned and with his confidence restored he truly blossomed.
I was surprised by the beautiful horse that emerged, Dwight was a true gentleman and a gentle soul, he was easy to handle and a pleasure to do anything with. He thrived on love and lots of TLC and enjoyed being fussed and spoilt.
As time went by I noticed he had some lameness issues that rest did not resolve, veterinary treatment revealed that the racing years had devastated his body, he had a chronically sore back (Kissing Spine??) arthritis in most joints and suspected early navicular problems, the vet advised me that he may be in chronic pain and was not fit for any more riding and maybe best to put him to sleep. BUT definitly he must be retired.

Due to a change in my personal circumstances I sadly realized I was not in a position to care for him on a permanent basis and as the murky word “knackery” had been connected with this dear horse in the past, I diligently commenced looking for a worthy suitable home. I contacted Calan Sanctuary in a vain hope that they may be able to take him in, luckily Calan was able to offer their place as a home and I was so relieved with some trepidation, WOULD THE SANCTUARY LOOK AFTER DWIGHT WITH AS MUCH LOVE AND CARE AS I DID?
As soon as we drove up their driveway and saw the immaculate facilities, clean tidy yards and met Alan the proprietor I instantly knew that Dwight was going to be loved and cared for like a King.
He can now live a contented life surrounded by other horses to enjoy a life of relaxation that he certainly deserves."





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