We are full, sorry we can not help your horse.....This is a sentence that a horse sanctuary doesn't want to have to say. It is also a sentence we seem to say and apparently means nothing..
Not only are we struggling with our huge growing monthly food bills but we are also bursting at the seams. We have to spend so much time moving horses around in our 5 paddocks to create harmony among the mini herds. Then we will get to a point where we will find a perfect balance and then my phone rings with another emergency.
This is exactly what happened yesterday. Sunday morning I woke up to these pictures from our helper, no words just these pictures. He knows that we said no more, and told us he wouldn't contact us again until we have the new land. But like us he couldn't ignore these pictures.
Having not a lot of detail of the horse, only that he was owned by a lovely young girl, who cared about him. We decided to have "an afternoon off" and pack up some of the dogs in the car and head to the north to see the horse. The dogs would have a great time and its nice to get off the finca for a few hours a week. Sunday afternoon is quiet and we have a chance to have a little break and hopefully be able to offer some help.
For those of you who do not know the island, the difference between the south and the north is incredible, you can drive from hot, dry desert land to raining cold and green within 1 hour. This is where this horse lives, up the mountains. The weather is European however the landscape is still not, there is still no options for grazing and acres of land for horses to run free. The landscape is steep, rocky and limited resulting in horses having very little space to move and usually inside due to the rain and the mud.
After driving for just over one hour we arrived to a beautiful area in which we had never been to before. The weather was on our side and we arrived for the first day without rain in over a week. Beautiful views over the sea and lush green landscape. Once we finally found the little farm we were greeted by a lovely girl, its true she cared really about this horse. It turns out that he had an accident in march resulted in 2 serious injuries on his lower back legs. Any horse owner will know the challenges of healing lower leg injuries. Especially on a feisty thoroughbred, living alone in a small paddock, knee deep in mud whilst pregnant. ( the woman not the horse)
This alone is hard enough but the poor girl was given such terrible advice that no wonder it has not healed. The condition of this horse was through absolutely no fault of her own. Other than his legs he is in great shape, well fed and well loved despite people recommending her to put him to sleep. The reason she wants us to have him is because she knows that as soon as you give over the responsibility of your horse you will have no idea of his future. She is so worried that someone will sell him on and force him back into racing because of his breed. Even though she had offers to sell him and make some money, that was not an option for her, giving him to the wrong hands despite loosing her job due to covid.
Vet recommendations are to keep him with shoes on, antibiotics and on box rest. Since march! Anyone with even a slight experience with thoroughbreds knows that this is not always so easy. Mixed with the common feed recommendations on this island of high grain and low fibre is a recipe for disaster. But she persevered , she cleaned his legs, treated him and tried to do what the vet recommended her to do. All in a tiny makeshift "stable" from pallets, bedframes and rope. The area was so full of mud that we couldn't even see the extent of his injuries.
This is heart breaking that the regular person goes to a vet for advice and instead of advising diet changes, movement and removing his shoes to allow blood flow to help recovery he was forced to live in a tiny space for 10 months having heavy expensive medication to treat an infection which was not even present.
Well we all enjoyed our run in the woods after visiting the horse, this is our favourite thing to do if we have a chance to have a couple of hours off. Letting the dogs run free is quite difficult here due to laws and regulations but its so worth it when you find a place. A perfect chance to think about how we can help?
Suprise suprise we said yes to taking this horse, I am relatively confident with the correct vet, treatment plan mixed, big space to move around, dry climate and our great team of volunteers we can hugely improve the life of this horse and this stressed girl who is watching her loved horse suffer with no help to care for him. He will arrive tomorrow with a promise that she will come and visit her horse when she can, we actually believe her this time.
He should arrive tomorrow and we see how he get on here. We will update his arrival on facebook, youtube and keep you updated on patreon for the full background and details of his accident, how he was living, his previous advice and updates of his future plans. If you would like to sponsor him monthly you can on patreon.