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Cecil's Horse Sanctuary is a small horse and pony sanctuary based in Hertfordshire

Cecil’s Horse Sanctuary offers a loving permanent home to horses and ponies who are old, abandoned, neglected, abused or unwanted (horses and ponies who had nowhere else to go and, in most cases, would have been euthanized). Many of our residents come to us with physical and/or mental health problems – some requiring special diets or ongoing medical treatment. Our ethos is for all the ponies to have a happy life where they enjoy

just being ponies. They live together in herds and spend the day with their friends eating, sleeping, drinking and playing. They are fed, watered, cared for and loved. Many of the ponies have paired up and formed close bonds with another pony in the herd.

The sanctuary relies entirely on donations, events, open days and the hard work of the founder and volunteers. 

We receive no government funding – our ability to rescue animals and offer a secure and safe life for them, is dependent on our fundraising. We became a registered charity in June 2016.

Opening Times

Sunday afternoons - Berkhamsted (CLOSED)


(due to bad weather or other unforeseen circumstances)

Open Afternoons


Berkhamsted site (Swing Gate Lane)

Please email for availability:


  1. Pre-booked sessions only, paid for in advance. There will be a limited number of people allowed for each session. Please do not arrive at the sanctuary without booking as you will not be able to enter the site. If you have a voucher, please show it at the start of your session (paper or electronically).

  2. A slot is for one adult and one child only. We can accommodate adults, one adult per pony (unless with a carer)

  3. The session will comprise of a grooming session with a pony, taking the pony for a walk and a chance to see our other ponies and learn about their stories. If the woodland trail is too muddy/flooded, then we have an alternative area for the children to enjoy walking the ponies. There is no riding involved.

  4. Please come suitably dressed.  Wellies are a must for adults and children as the woodland trail gets muddy and there are puddles to splash in!  ABSOLUTELY NO OPEN TOE SHOES ALLOWED FOR HEALTH AND SAFETY REASONS

  5. The sessions (£11.00  for one adult and one child/£11.00 for an adult session) last approximately 45 minutes. For an additional adult to attend and view there is an additional donation request of £5

  6. Bookings are subject to change due to the Covid-19 pandemic. If we have to close again due to national restrictions, your voucher will be valid for a time at which we are able to open again. People who have made new bookings will be issued with a voucher if we have to close due to Covid-19 restrictions.

  7. We now have special rosettes available to purchase with your booking at the cost of £2 each.  These will also be available to purchase after your session. Cash only, exact change appreciated! 

Currently the sanctuary policy is one adult and one child per pony as the child's parent/carer needs to be able to fully supervise them so that the volunteers holding the ponies can socially distance in accordance with government guidelines.




  1. If you feel unwell or have any of the symptoms of Covid-19, please DO NOT come on site.

  2. Arrive promptly at your allocated time.

  3. Ideally bring gloves to wear and use them when handling the ponies

  4. One adult and one child per pony (or one adult), all children must remain with their adult at all times

  5. If, for whatever reason, you need to cancel, 48 hours’ notice must be given or a £5 fee will be charged. If less than 24 hours’ notice is given, then the full fee will be charged.


When booking you are agreeing to all of our Terms and Conditions

We understand that these changes may change your visit to us, but we are complying with the measurements put in place by the Government to make the sanctuary a safe place for all.

Please be respectful to our volunteers and remember that things are very different for everyone. We want you all to enjoy the wonderful sanctuary and love our ponies as much as we do.

Once again, we hope that you enjoy your visit and that you and your family stay safe.

Special Pony Sessions

These sessions are themed sessions - grooming and walking one of our ponies with added extras!

In the past we have had special sessions for Easter, Halloween, Jubilee and Christmas.

Next special pony session will be: TO BE CONFIRMED.

£20 a session - grooming, take a pony for a walk through a themed walkway, special rosette and certificate and a small gift from our lucky dip.

Seasonal Sponsorships

A super Christmas present for those pony lovers in your life.

£20 for one year’s sponsorship, a calendar and a special rosette. These packs are great for someone who is not planning to visit the sanctuary. You can sponsor any of our ponies – why not have a browse through our Facebook page and choose your favourite pony/horse/donkey/mule!


Sponsorship Scheme

If you wish to visit the sanctuary during one of our open afternoons, groom a pony and take them for a walk, why not check out our silver and gold sponsorship packages on our website.

You can add a calendar for £5 to either of these packs.



Your nomination could help us win up to £15,060!

We could receive a grant of up to £15,060 but we need your help!

SEIB Insurance Brokers will be giving away a total of £60,000 to charities as part of their annual SEIB Giving campaign. The winning charity will receive a grant of £15,060 from the specialist horse insurance broker and the remaining amount will be split between 8 runners up.

SEIB are currently asking members of the public to nominate the charity they would like to see win. Nominations are now open but only until 17:00 on Monday 16th January 2023.

To nominate us simply go to SEIB Giving | SEIB Insurance Brokers

Using our charity number 1167523

Thank you for your support.

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