An exemplary initiative by renowned actress Jenny Seagrove has driven everyone across the globe to take note. This initiative is Mane Chance Sanctuary – a perfect equine haven which has risen from the bottom to giving therapy to both horses and people.
To do something benevolent for the equines, the management at Mane Chance got in James French, pioneer in trust technique and his partner Shelley Slingo to provide therapeutic sessions to equines and building a close relationship with them.
''When all this began, I knew the horses would need therapy,” Jenny says. “I asked James French, who I had known through his work as a reiki master for 20 years, and who is a renowned animal communicator, to help out.’’
''It’s about getting the limbic system – the part of the brain associated with emotions and memories – of horse and human - in sync,’’ says Seagrove.
The technique has seen healing benefits not only to the horses but also humans. The horses turn out to be healers’ once humans forms close and loving relationship with them. Students under the Duke of Edinburgh programme, as well as kids from the hospice at Christopher’s in Guildford have seen the positive effects of “healing herd.”
''We had groups of children and volunteers here, some of whom had their own issues and a rapport and trust was building between some of the horses with the humans who seemed to need those most.’’
There was a time when Mane Chance had hit the rock bottom and was about to close down in 2011 when a friend of Jenny’s expressed her inability to feed a huge herd of horses and thus might shut the sanctuary down. ''It was one of those life-changing moments when you find a real purpose. Setting up a charity was a massive adventure” she recalls.
''I called a friend who found Monkshatch Garden Farm, where the owner let us rent the 47 acres we needed. A year later, we were offered it for sale.’’ She revealed the hard times she had to face while setting up this farm. Jenny had to sell her flat in London and philanthropist Simrin Choudhrie came to her rescue by chipping in for the noble cause.