sooooo it all started a very long time ago when I was a little girl on holiday with my parents in cornwall. We visited a lovely little petting farm, having had animals all of our lives (my mum even named me after her favourite goat) we said that one day how lovely it would be to have a petting farm of our own. So I studied horse and small animal care at college, worked in various places over the years to bring us to this point where it was finally possible to do it! After 3 years searching for the perfect spot on the canary islands (which i can now say does NOT exist with all the stipulations to make it legal for animals and our small budget) we found our lovely little spot in Arico, Tenerife!
With nothing on the land other than some broken rocks and 1/2 a cave house, no water or electricity or direct access we started the battle with paperwork! Our story from finding the land to now is short in time but very long and quite honestly boring to read unless you enjoy stories of the crazy legalities, paperwork, problems with workers, theft, police calls, more paperwork, dust, diggers, carrying many many many bottles of water up and down hills, sweat blood and many tears, building, emergency yard moves, nature toilets, learning cementing skills, moving rocks, paperwork and waiting for licence numbers. Ok so maybe it wouldn’t be boring to read, would just take to long to write… another blog i think!
But here we are now . Long story short! We haven’t given up yet! So the plan to make a self funded rescue centre, we aim to get the funds from 3 main ways other than donations. We know that we can not rely solely on donations to feed such big animals, on this island as grazing doesn’t exist and all of the feed has to be bought in adding on a hefty price tag.
Firstly, but this doesn’t really bring much money, its just a nice way for people who are kind enough to donate to see where the money goes. we have a small petting farm. No fee to enter just bring us a bag of any animal food and kitchen scraps for the chickens and pigs. Of course we do accept financial donations as well. Come to Cuddle the guinea pigs and rabbits, feed the goats, play with the pig and groom the horses. This just helps to keep all of the small animals fed and so far the donations have been incredibly generous.
secondly is our wonderful horses, not all of the horses of course. Just the ones that are healthy and rehabilitated, happy and calm riding bitless and barefoot. These Horses are looking for sharers, someone to love them and ride them like there own. Not only does this bring in a little money (we ask only enough to cover the food) but it helps to keep our horses healthy and active. We are lucky to have many perfectly healthy horses at the moment who enjoy there rides and are great for relaxing and enjoying rides along the countryside. For the others they have as much time as they need and if they can’t be ridden they enjoy just having a fuss and eating carrots! As we are not a riding school or excursion centre and never will be we absolutely can not rely on the horses alone to bring in enough money, they don't even provide enough to feed themselves. We refuse to work the horses much and put that pressure on them. But we are proud to offer rides on calm happy healthy rescue horses for regular riders. Our yard it situated very close to the beach which means we get to stroll along the coast and enjoy the stunning views that Arico has to offer…
Even with a plan, this project is not easy. it has a lot of stress, tears, heartache, pain and working from the second we wake until the second we sleep 7 days a week. There has been many hurdles for us to cross, many things have nearly broken us, physically, mentally and relationships. But with the help of many amazing people we keep heading in the right direction and fighting. So maybe we are dreamers, it is a big project…. huge in fact, we of course don’t know exactly what we are doing, and will make mistakes along the way. But The first brick we laid and the floors we cemented shows that, but we are learning and doing it. We will fail some things But have assured we will give it everything we have got and we certainly have a plan! I don’t have enough words to thank you all. Every person who has lifted rocks, breathed in dust, got sun burnt, cut themselves on broken fences, been biten/ scratched or stood on by an animal, gone to bed with aching muscles. You are all truly amazing! Also to the financial support, we are regularly shocked by the kindness from some people. A huge huge thank you to you all As Currently we rely on you more than we would like. A generous loan from the bank and horse sharers but its mainly your kind donations to keep us all fed. But the plan is finally within reach! Thank you all so much for the incredible support over the past year and a half keep with us and tell your friends!