After years of admiration and a love of horses Sylvia wanted to do something to help the plight of so many unwanted and mistreated equines. Many Tears runs a variety of courses/programs to help both chidlren and adults who have an interest in horses.
We offer an interactive hands-on approach to teaching children about the wonderful world of ponies, including those who have never been around them before. The programs educates by interactive example.
We also have our Only Friends and Horses Group for people who are struggling or feeling lonely. Here you can meet like-minded people in a supportive environment to spend some time with horses, grooming horses, walking ponies, learning about horses and care, getting some fresh air and a well needed break from real life
We have resident rescued horses that love attention and in turn teach the public about their needs and minds. Please note that this is not a riding school and little or no riding will be involved. You can find our more about our courses here
If you have any question please email us at manytearsequestrian@gmail.com.



Here is a before and after picture of Gueaero from today!
We are still looking for volunteers to come and help out with our horses and we are happy to teach horse grooming too!


We are looking for enthusiastic, horse loving, volunteers who have some experience with equines who would like to come and spend some time with the resident horses and ponies at the rescue.

If you would like to volunteer with us, here are some of the jobs you may get taught to do.

  • Keeping the ponies stables clean and grooming the ponies.
  • Taking the ponies out for walks to the stream or further afield.
  • Clicker training the equines.
  • Learning about harness driving and eventually driving the ponies to exercise.
  • Helping the equines have a fun-filled day giving them new experiences along the way.

If you can dedicate consistent time once a week or so and would like to help, please email Sylvia at swvanatta@gmail.com

Below is a video of a day in the life of the horses at Many Tears which introduces you to some of the wonderful equines we have at the rescue and also shows you what a day volunteering with them may be like!


Hope everyone had a jolly Easter! The Many Tears horses were certainly happy to be turned out to grass for a few hours today for the first time this year - Molly was skipping about like a spring lamb (although everytime I got my camera out she put her head down to eat !)


It was Miniature Shetland Mayhem at Many Tears today as Edith and Kenny galloped around the round pen jumping fences

Just look at the lovely little munchkins flying high!


Crystal on the receiving end of the famous ‘Kenny Kisses’

When you visit us at Many Tears Equestrian, you can be sure of a warm welcome from the super friendly Kenny and all the other equines!


My bull terrier Crystal has never been a fan of exercise and now she has discovered the perfect way to get her daily walk -riding high like a princess while the lovely Tucson struts his stuff!


Clip clopping along the lanes with the awesome Tucson. I had my bull terrier crystal sat next to me too but she was more interested in sleeping than taking in the lovely view!


The horses at Many Tears are deep littered - which means their stables are only skipped out daily but not fully mucked out, adding fresh bedding on top regularly.
Deep littering is my favourite way to bed horses as I find it the most economical use of bedding plus it builds a lovely deep bed which offers lots of support for the horses to lie down and as the wee trickles through and compacts the bedding at the bottom a sort of ‘electric blanket’ effect is created keeping the horses nice and warm.
Of course it’s important to top up the bed every few days so that there is a good clean layer on top otherwise the horses could develop foot rot. Every few months the bed should be dug out completely and started again - this is what I’m doing this week.
I started with Gueaero and Edith’s stable - I think I got the seal of approval as Gueaero went straight in and had a huge roll once I’d finished!


Kenny was our video star today in all his red-headed glory. He was the perfect model in our demonstration of the importance of grooming your horse or pony properly -what a pint sized dude!


Quarrel the Spanish Parade Horse

Getting to grips with his high stepping walk in hand and under saddle. It’s been a little while and he is a little out of practice but full marks for effort

According to Sylvia he was once taught how to bow too, the plan is to refresh his memory on that too so watch this space for future performances from this super little chap


Hello folks, my name is Maaike Rose and I have recently joined the fantastic team at Many Tears animal rescue. I have an established equine background, having trained and competed horses for over 25 years. I’m super excited about getting the Many Tears horse and pony program up and running again once the Covid restrictions are lifted At present we are all working very hard to get the ponies in tip top shape and refresh their skills so that they will be ready for you very soon. 


23-10-20 TODAY IS THE DAY!

Today is the day!!!! Well, ultimately, yesterday was.. but.. today I got to ride Quarrel for the first time in 3 months!! He had shoes yesterday!!
3 months ago, as they do, he lost a shoe in the field, but sadly for Quarrel due to the fact he doesn’t have the best hooves anyway, he tore off a large amount from the side, leaving not very much to nail a new shoe to.
After the Farriers advice to leave him bare foot, due to the risk of it happening again and breaking off even more foot, he wore boots daily for 3 months. Luckily he spent a lot of time in the field where his boots could be removed, but he had to have them back on for bed.
He has sensitive feet so hasn’t quite been himself, in just one day I can already see he’s much more comfortable and happy!
He enjoyed our little hack, now we shall be using lockdown to get him a bit fitter again !!!!


Here goes again.. just as I thought we were starting to get things up and running at MTE, we’re faced with another lockdown.. honestly it’s quite disheartening.. this year has been so strange.
I feel like it was January only yesterday, and suddenly we’re going back into winter.
I was lucky enough to go on a the experience or a lifetime in February, to Arizona! It was fabulous, I worked hard, and learnt a lot. I learnt a lot about myself and horses in general and life. I was refreshed, inspired and ready to bring it all home.. to lockdown.
My newfound zest for life came crashing down pretty soon as the rescue had to close as the whole country started the first lockdown.. we were closed for around 6 months I think? It was a strange time.. no groups, no volunteers, I guess we were lucky for a lot of sun and the beautiful horses I got to spend it with.
It was a huge relief when we finally got to open our doors to the public and over the last few months it’s been a slow but steady build with groups starting back, volunteers coming back, hospitals attending, homeless people, children with additional needs.. that’s all I want. I want us and the horses at many tears to be able to put a smile on peoples faces, give them something to look forward to, teach them about horses, give them a passion, to be able to share the wonderful world of horses with the people I have done so far has been special. But here we go again, one more lockdown .. one more set of closed doors, quiet days.
On the plus side, Quarrel had shoes on yesterday for the first time in 3 months (see latest blog) and it’s a great time to get him fit again! Song is still needing a lot of training, and I have plenty of horses to keep me occupied!!
It’s not all bad huh, just a cycle at the moment .. but we will come back from it once again.
The horses will miss everyone, and so will I.. but stay safe everyone x

15-10-20 FREDDY & EVIE

Last Saturday two very special children came to visit the ponies. Freddy and Evie’s mum contacted us via the facebook page, and we weren’t sure what the outcome of the visit would be, but arranged for her to bring her children up anyway.
Freddy has Pathological Demand Avoidance and Sensory Processing Disorder. Evie is his sister, who is classified as a ‘young carer.’ I don’t yet know much about the children, and am looking forward to getting to know them, but was a delight to spend time with them.
The two of them took to feeding the horses chunks of hay, which of course the horses loved. Freddy’s mum explained that Freddy doesn’t like to touch things, and at first he grabbed the hay with his sleeves down.  The next load of hay I handed him, he grabbed with his bare hands, making everyone smile. The look on his face and his sister when the ponies took the hay from their hands was pure joy.
Both of the children adored grooming the ponies, and it was wonderful to watch Freddy pat Molly with a smile on his face. Freddy’s mum told me that it was wonderful to see him talk to me about horses, as he struggles to talk to people he doesn’t know usually. That warms my heart.
Evie fell in love with Kenny and named her toy horse teddy (who was nameless when she arrived Saturday) after him!! I know that the whole family had a wonderful experience here and I can’t wait to teach them more about horses and who knows, maybe one day they’ll have one of their own!
Evie’s mum expressed that sometimes being a young carer can enable them to go through more than the child who has additional needs, so it’s such a special thing that Evie now has this hour to spend time with horses with her family where she can laugh with the horses and connect with them. Hopefully this will give her something great to look forward to every Saturday!
The ponies we have here are extra special and are a super good judge of character.  They bring joy to those who need it most. If you have a child with additional needs, or who is a young carer, please don’t forget that we are here for you. We would love to be able to offer this hour of love and freedom to more children who require it so please don’t hesitate to get in touch, you are not alone, and horses are the best healers.
When the family arrived back home last Saturday, I received a message from the children’s mum.. “Thank you so much for today, the children haven’t stopped talking about Molly and Kenny. Freddy normally doesn't talk much to people he doesn’t know. The chance in him was beautiful. Thank you.”


This week saw the horses have their annual teeth check up!! They get seen yearly by Kayleigh Sowden who is amazing at what she does with a wicked sense of humour .. luckily no one had any major issues, which is usually the case.
The second newest arrival, Tux being a typical Shetland decided it wasn’t his day and refused to have his teeth done, oooops. Attempt two will be soon.   Molly had some tartar removed, Edith had her two front teeth filed down, and the rest were pretty straight forward!
Having a horses teeth checks is sooo important, it can be the root cause of so many problems ridden or general behaviour. Sharp edges or other more severe problems can cause pain in the horses mouth, unfortunately they’re not able to communicate this to us so it can come out in many other ways.. always listen to your horses, if you experience any behaviour out of the norm, teeth are always a good place to start!! We’re very lucky that most of our horses are more than willing to have a giant rasp in their mouth , so it’s easy going!! Take a look at these pics to have more of an idea how it works!!

10-10-20 SONG

Song remembered! She was a bit worried to begin but stopped running away from the saddle pad, and allowed me to put them over her from all angles!!
We’ve finally conquered them on the floor to, instead of breathing like a dragon and refusing to go near we're comfortably walking over them!! Success!
It appears Song has been pushed into things in the past.  She’s fine when things are on her, but it’s the process and actually being able to see said scary items that worries her.. so we’re doing our best to make her comfortable with everything before even thinking of riding her !!
Well done Songle/Songlett????????????


I’m going to make this a short one, just because of how proud I am of this girly, it’s a quick update on the one above.   Another success day for song!!!! Today we faced her with the numnahs, carrier bag on a stick, AND the flag all at once, and MOVING.. I had the help of Katie and Becky and song was absolutely fab! ????  


Last Friday was a home Ed unlike any before.. there was only 3 attendees.. why? Lockdown. It’s happened again, and has locked away many volunteers and people who attend groups.. just when people had started coming back ..
Anyway, seen as there was just 3, we decided to do something a little different.. as you may know by now, we have a new horse, Song. Of course she has had to have somewhere to live, she has taken the end yard and we have moved the two shetlands, Sylvia had an idea to make them a little pen outside one of the bottom stables, but a bit of groundwork needed doing first, such as moving bits of wood and picking up ALL the acorns And raking the area, well the 3 children did pretty much all of it!
They all worked so hard, whilst having a laugh. They got all the jobs done and did up the Haynets and got the ponies in. What a super team I had to work with!


Meet the new arrival.. Here is Song! Song has come to live with us due to her not being able to go in foal again, until Sylvia came along and brought her back to Many Tears, giving her a future where she will be loved every day.
Song has been here a few days and has taken everything in her stride, it’s apparent that she has been sat on before at some point but we don’t really know what she has done or hasn’t done in her life, so we are taking her back to basics.
Song is so so sweet, she does not have a single bad bone in her body, she just hasn’t seen much of the world apparently and can sometimes be a little jumpy. That being said, Song with a bit of practice lunged well, accepted a saddle and walked around with a rider. We are not sure what her job will be for the future, but she will be here and loved that’s for sure. The aim for the next few weeks are to get her riding well and work on some desensitisation.
Isn’t she beautiful?! Song has the most amazing mane after being brushed for 2 hours to remove the knots, leaving a long thick flowing mane. Sian spent a huge amount of time brushing out Song’s tail on the day of her arrival, now its tangle-free!
Song’s character is coming out more and more as time goes on, she even tried stealing the staff members mango juice!

26-09-20 Urgent Rugs Amnesty!

Do you have lots of OUTDOOR rugs hanging around and want to help a good cause??

We are collecting rugs to , where they are being handed out to ensure that tethered horses (since it’s something we cannot stop) are being kept warm and dry this winter! If you want to know your rugs are keeping a horse warm this winter please get in touch, we are doing a collection and they will be going over NEXT WEEK!!

The rescue has contacts to people in Ireland who are handing out these rugs, we understand there are horses in our own country that are tethered but a horse in need is a horse in need, regardless of location and we are happy to be helping these horses knowing that they will be warm this winter.
Any rugs are welcome that are waterproof,
Thankyou ever so much for any support.
Please message the MT equestrian facebook page or e-mail manytearsequestrian@gmail.com to arrange drop off.

25-09-20 TUCSON, a superstar pony!

Tucson appreciation post

Everyone who has been here at Many Tears Equestrian will know Tucson. He is 12.3 of wonderfulness. He has beautiful flowing rapanzel mane and feathers that look like he has hairy boots on! Sylvia is constantly wishing he was a hand or two bigger, in fact we all are!
Tucson was very worried about people when he first arrived, it was long before my time her at MT, but I’ve heard the stories.
A young volunteer with us has worked so hard on him, and has helped him massively along his journey to being the horse he is today. Sadly, Katie is outgrowing Tucson and able to ride him less and less, she came this week for the day and hadn’t ridden him in a week or so and he was absolutely wonderful.
Of course like all horses he has his days and sometimes will stand in the roundpen and have a moment of refusing to go forward but hey, he has a bit of attitude!
Tucson isn’t the biggest cuddler ever, but if you catch him at the right time he will sneak a cuddle!! Tucson is the perfect all-rounder he schools well, jumps epicly, drives a cart and is such a safe pony to teach all of Sylvia’s young grandchildren how to ride!
This pony really is one in a million and if anyone has come across a way to make a pony grow a hand over night, pleaseeeee let us know!
*Note, Tucson is not looking for a rider, or a home.. BUT i just want you all to appreciate how wonderful he is!*


It had been a long, busy day of booking in dogs and helping with kennels, which I enjoy doing but of course it's tiring.. I had just finished lunch and wanted to get as many of the horses exercised as possible before home time..
I had just finished round penning Gueaero and was working on some groundwork stuff and Sylvia appeared at the gate 'Jump on, i'll give you a leg up..' she said. At first I thought she was kidding, I had never ridden Gueaero bareback before. I had ridden Quarrel, and Tucson, but riding him without a saddle had never occured to me, and of course I ride him regularly and know how powerful he is. My thoughts raced a little, no saddle.. no bridle.. just simply a rope around his neck. I tried to make up some kind of limp excuse, but I couldn't argue with Sylvia's reply.. 'Trust your horse..' she said. So I let her leg me up, and that was that. As soon as I sat on his back my nerves disappeared completely, he always makes me feel safe.
Gueaero listened perfectly to my body queues and the rope as neck rein, and we walked a bit, trotted and stopped, no reins attached! Sylvia took a video which is attached to this blog, but safe to say I was absolutely beaming sat on his back trotting around with nothing but a rope. And in that moment I put my trust in him, entirely. I had to. And he did not let me down. It was a beautiful moment. And it reminded me that sometimes, we have to just let go. Let go of our worries, relax and live in the moment.


Beautiful Molly has more going on on the inside than you would think.  On the outside she is 15 hands of marvellous American bred horse, on the inside she has chronic laminitis and cushings disease.
Molly's cushings is managed by one small pink pill a day but the laminitis is a bit more complicated. Every year Molly has an annual foot scan to see how things are going inside her hoof. This time we had a new vet from the Dyffryn Tywi equine practice in Nantgaredig. The picture features Peter who visited Molly this time.  Each front hoof is x-rayed annually and this years x-rays didn't reveal much different from last year.  Whilst this is good news there is no deterioration, Peter is encouraging us to try and get Molly's hooves to improve.
Biotex-80 is the product he recommended, whilst he sounded like part of their sales team, and gave it a great pitch, Peter gets no money for gaining a sale and recommended it purely based on the fact he has seen such HUGE improvement on horses by using this, so this is the next part of Molly's hoof journey, we have set out to order some of this supplement to try and get some better hoof growth.
Biotex-80 is replacing Molly's current Biotin, as it has 3x more amount of biotin in every kg making it much stronger! This is great news for Molly, and we can't wait to try it! Whilst Peter was here, he did Molly's bloods and we are now awaiting the results to check that she is on the right amount of medication still to manage the cushings. When I told Peter Molly has cushings, he was very surprised, and commented on how well she looks!! Everyone knows Molly just knows how much of an angel she is, and how Sylvia will do absolutely anything to keep her happy, healthy and comfortable!!
Hopefully we can update in a few weeks one we manage to order it as to how she gets on with the supplement! Molly also needs new boots. These are so we can walk her on the road to graze on the keb side and help her to keep moving if the fields are to wet to turn her out in. These boots are special and cost over £200, the new biotin product is also super expensive at over £100. Good horse care is just not cheap!!!!! But is so necessary.


We are now onto the second group of pony club, we got lucky today and were able to take the ponies out for a walk, practicing our walking, halting and turns. The sun was shining, the sky was blue, everyone was in good spirits and the ponies were generally well behaved... most of the time!
Again, we have been lucky to have a great group who are keen to learn and genuinely love being around the horses. They have almost mastered points of the horse in just two sessions, using things like Pasta to remember Pastern, and trifle joint to remember stifle joint. I'm impressed.
One of the girls asked why Quarrel wears boots, the poor boy pulled a shoe off in the field 6 weeks ago, and pulled a chunk of hoof with it. Sadly, Quarrel doesn't grow hoof quickly so has to go barefoot with comfort boots for the time being to try and grow some hoof back.
Molly also shares the boots with Quarrel, so Sylvia has an idea that we should try and fundraise in order to purchase another pair so that they can have their own boots.. soooo, we're all brainstorming for some fundraising ideas and reaching out to raise money for the ever so helpful boots from Soft ride! https://www.softrideboots.com/index.php


During lockdown things were particularly quiet here, while it was strange having no groups or volunteers it was great to be able to spend some valuable time with the horses.
Edith as a lot of you may know is the naughtiest Shetland we have, I’m pretty sure she thinks she’s a dog sometimes! The first time I ever volunteered here at the rescue a few years ago, I spent some time laying down with her in the middle of the yard!
We decided Edith needed a job, and since being so small the options are slightly more limited than your average horse.. but that makes no difference to Edith, she is small and mighty!
Edith was born to be a driving Shetland! She loves it! Over a few months we started mouthing Edith, then long lining her, she then spent some time pulling a tyre around the sand school and progressed to taking bags of feed for a trot up the road in her little cart!
Now Edith is a fully qualified driver, happily trotting people up and down the road. Edith can be a little devil when walking up the road in hand and pull you to grass constantly, when you put her blinkers on and hitch her to a cart she turns into a real work horse! Edith absolutely loves having a job, and how cute does she look in her harness now?!


Last Saturday saw us say goodbye for our first group of pony club completers! What a wonderful bunch they were! This week starts us into the second group, I’m so excited! It makes me beyond happy to be able to introduce this generation into the wonderful world of horses!
We’re excited to launch another new group soon, which yet has no name, but i hope to bring together a group of people and create a safe environment for us to chat, learn about horses and inspire each other!
During these strange times, a lot of people will probably still feel isolated and trapped, this group is aimed at people who may have faced mental health challenges, before,after or during covid, feel isolated, or generally in a bit of a flump.  We will have weekly self care tasks to complete, your own journal and over the coming weeks will include things like music, creativity, ponies and a bit of light chair yoga!
The aim is to empower each other, be true to ourselves and have a good ol laugh! If you would like more info please don’t hesitate to e-mail manytearsequestrian@gmail.com


Yesterday was one of those super wet, miserable days. We hope you’re all wrapped up warm inside, and if you have to be outside, I completely feel your sogginess! The horses have had a chill day munching on hay. As much as the horses love being in the fields, they’re quite partial to the occasional duvet day.
Unfortunately for us, we do live in wales which means we get lots more rain than we would like, which means the horses if they were out in the fields would just get super wet and muddy and that’s not fun for them either! If I get wet, I can go home at the end of the day and dry off and change my clothes, the horses don’t get this option, so we don’t want to put them out to get all wet and soggy!
During this really wet, soggy time we’d love to find more ways to entertain the horses. The horse’s happiness is always top priority, they’ve all had a lovely long groom today, done some clicker training and played with some treat balls, sounds great! We would absolutely love some support in getting our horses some more fun, enriching things that they could do during rainy days. We have added some l20-08-20 ikits and treat balls to our Amazon Wish List if anyone would like to treat any of the horses to a special gift?!


We are seeking horsey loving, passionate, caring, dedicated,
easy going volunteers to join the team!
Jobs will include:

  • Helping to muck out
  • Filling haynets
  • Cleaning tack
  • Grooming / loving the horses

n return for your hard work, there is the option to progress onto helping to
exercise the horses and to learn how to lunge, roundpen and drive ponies!!

We would prefer to arrange a regular day each week either between 8am-10am
or9am-11am but times can be discussed.

No experience required just a love for horses and the desire to learn!!
Please message Bryony on our Equestrian Page
or email manytearsequestrian@gmail.com


Hi! Bryony here, I recently did a LIVE video on the MT Equine Facebook page giving a little introduction about myself. The day of the video Sylvia came down to the yard with her phone on video, talking at it, I assumed she was going to ask me to explain what we were doing, which was tack cleaning. Instead, Sylvia ask me, ‘so tell me about yourself..’ It was at that point I completely forgot everything about myself. So I thought I would do a proper intro, so that that video was not my introduction, said video is in one of the blogs below, I am aware we have supporters all over the country so at least you can now see the face behind the screen. 

It really is such early days but its been  a very intense few weeks of learning, everyone has had such an effect on me. People are still continuing to ask if there has been anyone found to continue running MT equestrian, as it stands, that person is me. SO here I am. I worked with the dogs since last August, and until recently I had my own horse. I never imagined I’d be lucky enough to be in the position I am in now.

Initially I wanted to travel, help at some dog shelters, horse rescues and help children in less fortunate countries. I’ve always had a passion for helping people, and helping them to become the best they can be. I was a support worker before coming to MT, and that definitely fulfilled that, but  I missed the animals! The long term aim was to work with horses and people and to be able to help people through horses because they really are the best healers.  Somehow I feel like the universe guided me into this job with the help of Katy! Of course, I love to ride, it’s definitely a perk of the job, but I am so thankful for however long I am here for to have the chance to work with such wonderful horses and really connect with them, whether it be riding or on the ground. This would not be possible if it wasn’t for Sylvia saving all of these horses and donkeys, and of course Katy putting such hard work, time, love and dedication into training them.

I began volunteering with Katy on a Monday, and one day Katy said ‘I think you should do my job..’ I quite literally laughed, and didn’t think I’d ever be able to do it, but Katy had so much belief in me. The more time I spent here with the horses and people, the more I fell in love with the whole thing! I learnt how to round pen here, and after the first time I literally burst into tears I was so overwhelmed with beautiful emotions, but after that, I was hooked! It teaches you so much about the horse and their behaviour, their body language and how they respond to your body language, having direct effect on your self-awareness and body language, which can do wonders for your confidence. These are not only horse skills, but skills you can transfer to your every day life. Katy has helped so many people over come things in this way, and the power that connecting with a horse in this way has over you is indescribable! I hope that in my time here I build a bond built on love, trust, and mutual understanding with the horses. It takes bonding with your horse to a whole new level. Aside from that, my main aim / priority is to give these horses a happy healthy life in my time here!

Anyway, as we all know, Katy was, and still is, incredible at what she does, I really am honoured to be carrying on what she has started, for however long I am here and I do hope that I make her proud. I’m so pleased to be able to share my knowledge of horses and to help people from all walks of life, just by being here, enabling them to spend time with these incredible creatures. I love seeing the smiles on their faces, where you can just be, and sometimes forget where you are, and forget yourself. Priceless. I love the love they share for the horses and each other, the laughter they share, the knowledge they’ve learnt. I love that this is a safe supportive place that they can come and be themselves, It’s like one big family. The people I’ve met there are some of the most amazing, courageous, determined, kind people I have ever met, and I know that so many of them have overcome some struggles, yet they’ve all welcomed me with open arms!

I am also totally in love with the home Ed group, They are a vibrant, unique, open minded group of children and I feel energised and inspired when I am with them. They love to learn about the ponies and I love to be able to teach them. They are all totally unique and at the end of the day they are the future! Over the last few weeks, the amazing volunteers have helped me so much and have helped everything run smoothly, they really are a blessing! The hard work and dedication they put in is actually so heart warming. I’m sure there will be plenty of ups and downs and that’s okay. I would not have gotten this far without Katy’s continuous support and encouragement, even though she is not here she is always at the end of the phone, has listened to my happy tears and my sad tears!  I know no one will ever fill the hole Katy has left, but I’m just going to be myself, do the best I can and I hope you will all join me on my journey.

Love from Bryony x

KAYLEIGH SOWDEN - KS Equine Services



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