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Sometimes one needs to put one’s cards on the table, and now is as good a time as any.  We have heard that the ‘horse care unit’ does not do horses, only donkeys!   What?!   Tell that to the many, many horses that we see on a monthly basis making their lives better, both in PE and surrounds as well as many Thoroughbreds and Crossbreeds in the Transkei.  Yes, we look after township donkeys and in many cases, find those released to us, loving homes and companion horses.   Far better that they are in with us than on the suburban streets giving motorists (and us) grey hairs and always the potential ‘accident waiting to happen’.   So having said all that, your generous donations of leavings, grassmix, lucerne, tack (for the Recycling Shop), and money is very welcome at any time.  We currently have 5 Thoroughbred horses with us available for adoption.

Now, let’s get down to business and keep you informed.

We had a wobbly start to the month, figuratively and literally.  Having arrived to feed up supper on the public holiday, we found Littleman’s pulling partner staggering around the camp like a drunk fowl.  It did not take long to work out that he had found probably the only piece of Cynanchum creeper available and had a munch leading to the inevitable wobblies.  We brought him in and kept him with Littleman who was still unable to rise to his feet unaided after a month nor lie down without us ‘collapsing’ him onto a shavings bed.  But clearly they had a good effect on each other and very soon after, we were all ecstatic to find that when hearing the breakfast gong he got to his hooves!   Really warm fuzzy stuff!  And just the other day I heard that their owner had had an altercation with a vehicle and had sustained a broken leg.  So, I guess the lads will be with us for a while yet and already in with the rest of the boys.

On revisiting the horse that fell in the swimming pool, we found that it had recovered sufficiently from its hind leg injury.  Won’t be the first horse and won’t be the last to try and have a swim!

Tracey visited with Edith and Derek from the UK and they spent a good two hours treating the donks and horses to carrots, leaving behind a money donation when they left.  Thank you!

Humansdorp has, like all of us, their own problems, one of which is that teenagers from the surrounding area, ‘steal’ or ‘take without permission’ their horses and subject them to some particularly hard riding, leaving them exhausted, lame and the owners extremely angry as their horses are precious to them.  And so Koos asked the SPCA to phone us to come and collect his horse that was in a bad way and take it away because he just could not stand it anymore.  Which is what we did.   Another owner got to hear that we were there and because of this problem that we had discussed on our previous visit, he decided to surrender his old horse Matroos as well, so that he, like us, could sleep at night knowing that Matroos was safe.   In between picking up the mare that was in quite a mess and the old man, we picked up another horse and took it to the local Veterinarian for attention.    What an afternoon!  Both horses fed a good final meal and kept safe for the night before their release the following morning.    It takes courage and fortitude to make these decisions, so well done to the two owners who accepted responsibility for their ‘friends’.  The community is dealing with the issue.

On the 8th, International Day of the Donkey was celebrated at the Unit by 40 children from Harvest Church School along with their teachers, mothers and others, and much to the enjoyment of the donkeys who were treated to carrots and grooming.  The horses also enjoyed the carrots.   It was great to see the interaction of the children with the smaller donkeys that are so less intimidating than a horse.   When they left after 2 hours, the Unit was presented with a huge envelope stuffed full of 40 letters of thanks from the children.  Thank you, Janine, for your help!

4 new donkey customers were identified and assistance called for and that led to Stanley heading out with Ayanda to a wild rodeo in order to do their hooves that had not been done in a while and so therefore they needed the trim.  Unfortunately Stanley’s glasses were damaged during the rodeo.
We returned Tshwana the donkey to his owner in Grahamstown on our monthly visit.  His owner was very happy to see his friend again after he had sustained what appeared to be an abscessed knife wound in the neck and that had taken 2 months to heal.

Stanley did another visit to northern Transkei and managed to sort out a number of equine problems including taking some very graphic and revolting photographs of Lymphangitis on the horses.  It is not something the Unit has had to deal with in the past so some research from our Veterinarians was in order and a treatment regime investigated.  Peculiar that it seems to be only in one area.  Another problem was a deep wound on a rear fetlock that had been ‘cut out’ and stitched by somebody and had never healed.  Stanley recommended a treatment with Epson Salts wet poultices on a previous visit and on his return found that the wound had almost closed.   Unfortunately, due to the wound, the horse had not received his AHS vaccinations and sadly died recently of the disease.  It was not all for nothing as I am sure he got great relief from the poultices that were done every day.  RIP Smokey.

A Complaint received of two horses on the Altona Road was attended to with no result – they just dissappeared into thin air!  

Late on a Sunday evening, the SAPS reported two abandoned donkeys in Uitenhage.  We advised them that we would collect them in the morning.   When we arrived at the Police Station it was only to be told that the Cartie had been DUI and had been removed from his cart and the donkeys let loose.   Eventually we unravelled the whole story, collected the donkeys from SPCA and returned them to their home in Langa.  Thank you, Koos.

We seemed to have a rash of horses loose on the rural roads round about this time which made life a tad difficult, but no problem for Bonita, she hopped in her bakkie and assisted with the search.  Again, no find!  Thank you, Bonita!

The Donkey Diner was visited by Boesman who Caryll found was lame.  We collected him and treated him for a jarred knee.  Silly boy had been fighting the other jacks and hurt himself!

We were invited to do two Talks this past month, one to the Voetsak Hiking Club and the other to the FOWLS (Friends of Walmer Library).  Always nice to dispel misconceptions! 

A jenny with mild colic and brought in at the request of her owner was treated and in due course, presented us with a foot long sausage, 90% of which was plastic.  Subsequently returned home.
Red Scent was taken upcountry to her new Adoptive home.  It was a long drive and with no complications.

A gate problem caused by visitors not shutting it that led to two horses and a donkey wandering around on a road was solved by a kind neighbour taking them into safe custody till the following morning.  But it was really weird because there was another property in a different area that also was missing their donkey and two horses.   In due course, all equines returned to their various homes, safe.

A recheck on a farm covering 20 horses found that there was fodder available.

One of our adopted horses seemed to be having a bit of a problem with his hooves, but Stanley was able to rectify and give suggestions.  Unfortunately a complaint about donkeys at the Airport was unable to be attended to due to the fact that we were not ‘at home’, but on visiting the area later we found that the donkeys had already been found by their owner and taken home.

A visit to Humansdorp by Stanley and Ayanda led to some 20 horses having their wheels balanced.
You just cannot win sometimes and so it was when a number of calls were received over a weekend of stray donkeys.  When only one person is on duty with a groom, there is only so much you can get to, especially when the complaints originate from two or three very separated areas!  We just do the best we can.

We also found a pre term slipped foal in the camp one morning.   Later, we had a problem with a car cutting in too soon after passing a donkey cart and clipping the outside donkey on the head, killing him almost immediately.   What a way to start and end a day?

It’s great to see how just doing primary health care (deworming and vaccinations) and giving advice to horse owners means that other than emergency work, every body is healthy and happy meaning that field trips are check ups.  This month we will be doing mass dewormings.

And it’s also good to find on your way in for weekend afternoon feed up that Daisy, Whitey and Blackie meet you on the road also on their way in.

A productive two hour meeting with the NMMM Waste Department on the subject of dumping on road sides and the issue that the Carties get blamed for it, when in fact there are people, and there have been for years, that dump regularly on the way to work, to the beach or wherever.  A visit to the Carties with the NMMM folk we hope will have positive results. 

A visit by Stanley to a major raceday in the Transkei is having great impact on the Thoroughbreds and Crossbreeds as he is able to assess and assist owners with information and empower them to look after their horses – it’s all about the horses, not the humans.

After months of trying we have found a manufacturer of cotton webbing, recommended by World Horse Welfare for equine harnessing as they believe nothing unnatural should be in contact with the body as it burns both hair and skin.  Our previous supplier disappeared off the map but Weavewell has saved the day!  Our donkeys and horses are going to be so happy soon!

On his return, he had the difficult task of helping Marlene to make the right decision for the horse that had caught its foot in a hole in the road and had managed to pull his entire hoof off from the coronet down while trying to free himself.  The child riding him had the presence of mind to bandage (with his blazer) the wound and stop the copious bleeding and get it to Marlene who reached out to Stanley for help.   Shame, poor boy, now at peace.

On the last day of May, little Cupcake was born to Sequin (named by Emma).  Feisty mother who let fly with both hind legs when we were busy trying to see what the strong foal’s sex.

Thank you to Sarah who popped past to meet the new addition!

And to add to all this, we are busy with our annual Audit!    Whew – very glad it is June!
Elmien  - teff
Tracey - tack
Walmer Athletics Club - leftover refreshments left over from the Spar Ladies Race.   Lekker stuff!
Cathy  – tack
Rhoda - 20kg carrots and also toothsome treats for staff and and staff munchies for Treloar’s birthday.
PE Riding Club – numnahs
Feed and Seed – collected a box full of halters for us! 
Antoinette - 4 bags leavings.
Amy - flymask and bread
Roberta – 10 bales lucerne
AACL Bargain Box – bridle
Moya – great tack donation
THANK YOU TO VOLUNTEERS – Robyn and Erin from Collegiate who assisted with feed up.
Banking Details:
Bank:  Standard Bank    Universal Branch Code:  051001
Account: Eastern Cape Horse Care Unit (all donated monies are used by us in the Metro and beyond!)
Account Number: 080733875
Landline:  041 366 1594
Cellph: 072 357 2505
Email:  This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website:  www.echcu.co.za
Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit


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