A FERNDOWN horse whisperer is appealing for help after watching her home of 13 years burn down.
Shari Penegar, 41, who lives on fields off the Heatherlands Estate, has also faced floods covering much of her land, and said she needs a new home for her six horses.
It is believed the fire began after a draft of wind blasted down the chimney of her converted horsebox home and blew sparks from the log burner.
Shari said: “It’s lucky I’m a multi-tasker, because when the fire began I was out with the horses.
“There were 100mph winds that night. I had put my phone under my hat to leave myself hands-free while I spoke to a friend and sorted the horses, and I looked up and saw the Perspex window was melting and there were flames coming out of the top.”
Shari managed to get her cat and dog out of the horsebox before it burned to the ground.
“I only just got them out in time – a massive flame came after them, so it was very close,” she said.
“I’ve lost things I’ve had since I was a baby.”
Friends have gathered together to fund a tepee for Shari, but the land is still too flooded for her to pitch it, and she said she now hopes to find new land for herself and her horses to live on.
She said: “I’ve lived in the New Forest for all of my life, and I’m now desperate to find somewhere else. This was a temporary place for me, and I could do so much more for clients if I had better facilities.”
Shari rehabilitates problem horses, as well as using her animals to provide therapy to people with emotional or physical difficulties.
She said: “It’s amazing how much horses can help us – people don’t always realise.
“I can hear what the horses are saying, and I feel what they feel. They are like dolphins – they totally bond to us.”