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June 2013


JUNE 2013
Wowzer!  The Unit is now into its 8th year of operation!  I have no idea where the time has gone, but it has!    It’s got something to do with momentum and impulsion, I think!  Thank you to all our sponsors, donors of cash and kind, and Interested and Affected Parties for your many generosities over the past seven years – you have made the time fly!

As with most things, Facebook has its good and bad sides, leading to some very peculiar comments being posted all over.   The Unit finds it a valuable tool to get information about our daily activities out into the public sphere in small ‘bites’.  Unlike the newsletter that goes into slightly more detail.   Sarah is the administrator of The Daily Donkey, her own fb page where she puts up pictures of her/our beloved donks (and that we swipe from time to time).  One only has to look at her ‘likes’ to see that there are many local and international people who are avid donkey lovers.   We on the other hand, put up pictures of both horses and donkeys as well as pictures of our adventures but try not to overwhelm you.

Being able to call Andrea and ask her to take some Epson Salts to our Patrick in Grahamstown who was being overwhelmed with donkeys requiring help and we not going to be there till the following week, was a Godsend.  Thank you Andrea!

Stanley set off for a two day Transkei visit and was promptly enveloped in 40 horses with their owners involving trims and rebalancing of hooves, wound treatment, deworming new horses and assessing old dewormeds and finding that their condition has improved.  As Stanley says, ‘they were grateful to see the organisation and said they love their animals and they have no intentions of abusing them in whatsoever, but now the fog is starting to be clear on their eyes – on how to do things right ever since this Horse Care Unit has shown itself to them’.  Of course, a full report with pictures and expenditure by Stanley is put together for the Unit Director’s and the ‘big boss in Joburg’.

On his return and his weekend on duty, he was asked to collect, by the owner’s sister, a young jenny that had been attacked by township dogs.  Her hindlegs were a bit of a mess, to put it mildly, but once cleaned up she made a rapid recovery, returning home two weeks later.

Our delivery of Cotton Webbing arrived, much to our relief.  World Horse Welfare specifications suggest nothing unnatural, i.e. nylons, should come into contact with the body of an equine, hence the need for cotton webbing for the manufacture of our harnessing.

The same courier company that delivered the webbing also phoned to report a ‘wild’ horse on the Rocklands Road.  When we arrived, we found the owner leading the animal home and on asking were advised that a big chicken truck had rumbled past making a huge noise and the horse had reared and broken away from him but that the problem for him was now over, thank you very much.

Marlene from Hole in the Wall, Transkei, phoned asking Stanley for assistance with the horse that had stood in a broken pipe and with all the pulling to get loose, ripped his entire hoof off.  Marlene’s problem was that the owner did not speak English and her Xhosa is very little, so Stanley who had seen the ghastly pictures was able to clear up the problem with the owner, who then said Thank You for helping my horse.

In my haste, late on a Friday afternoon to collect the horsebox that was in for minor repairs at Lesters, and because a horse had been found in Humansdorp with a broken hip (that our local Vet, Dr Pieter, attended and euthanased – Thank You Dr Pieter and Shaun for assisting the doctor!),  I left my Diary on the fence pole.  As it has all sorts of vital information I had a bit of a wobbly, until that is, I found it in Sequin’s, and the newly born Cupcake’s, camp the next morning.  Sequin obviously had a very special treat as she ate every single delicious page! 

Luckily for me, I had photocopied the Grahamstown Clinic information for the Finance file, so at least I had that information for the day!   Records of our ‘doings’ with the animals and their owners are so important.  Everything is captured to the relevant Database file, including emails, sms’s and phone calls, so that in the event of a Case Docket being required, the information history is all there and very useful it has proved in the past.

A day was set aside to collect the four fat but aged horses that we had been wrestling with for two years to have them released to our care.  The ever responsive Treloar assisted with her horsebox and so the four were retrieved.  In addition a fifth horse was thrown into the bunch and he had only been with us for a few days before an adoptor fell in love with him and took him home.  Gate poles to keep the lads on the right side of the fence were bought from one of our township Carties who makes a living out of selling shack poles!

With assistance from passing motorists, we were able on two occasions to assist getting 5 horses back to their Yard in response to frantic phonecalls and sms’s.  

Mid month early morning excitement was had by motorists heading off to work when Stefaan and Arthur settled down in Heugh Road.  As the traffic was really heavy and after a thorough scolding from me, they were happy to wait under the tree until reinforcements arrived and the traffic died down a bit, before being moved across the road into the township.  Naughty children!

One of the Transkei issues are the many Thoroughbred racehorses that seem to wind up there.  This led to our Dorrie assisting with the sourcing of a microchip scanner and making arrangements for payment from a kind sponsor in Gauteng.  This in turn led to Stanley having a lesson from Mary as to how the scanner worked as well as an afternoon at the races with our Vet to see the how of regularised racing worked so that the information can be carried forward to assist the Transkei thoroughbreds.

The first SOS Trail Run (for humans – Foot power for Hoof power) was held on the Public Holiday and was very well supported by our Friends and the general ‘running’ public.  Sharon Jessop does a grand job of setting up interesting courses for these ‘off roaders’ and judging by the comments, the ‘run’ was enjoyed by all, including the dogs!

The beautiful Magic Touch, her leg wound now healed to our satisfaction, was also taken to her new home on the public holiday.  On my way home, I received a call of a ‘lost’ donkey in South End and as the horsebox was still attached to the bakkie, I went directly there only to find Whitey who had been tied to a fence by the remains of her broken tether by the finders.  She was so glad to see the horsebox she just walked in and said, OK, home James!  Thank you Vanessa!

We collected our Lopoor (because his ear is half cut through and hangs down hence the Lopoor)  from his temporary companion animal job to a horse because he was calling to the girls next door (also our township expats) and keeping the neighbours and guests awake! 

A generous donation of first class tack was received, including an almost new Saddle.  It was snapped up before it could even be uploaded onto the fb page!   Donations of tack are sorted by the able Isabella who works Monday and Wednesday 2 to 4pm in the Recycle Shop.  Good tack is put up for sale (and the money banked to fund our many activities) and the rest is set aside for Stanley’s Transkei visits.  It is not called the Tack Recycle Shop for nothing!

The Harvest School students visited again and it was lovely to see how their interaction with the donkeys grows with every visit.  The donkeys of course, see them coming a mile away!

A Complaint at 10pm from the NMMM Cowboys about horses on Old Cape Road near the Prison was attended to, but by the time we got there, no horses were found.  A similar Complaint in the middle of the day was also attended to, but again the horses were never found.   It takes time to get to these Complaints, especially when they are on the other side of town.

Our groom Alfred brought a message from William to please come and fetch his donkey as the township dogs had got at him.  Done, tick.  Hunting dog wounds are noted for their placing:  nose/muzzle, hindquarters and sometimes abdomen, all inflicted to ‘bring the hunted animal down’.

A mass 6 monthly deworm was carried out in Humansdorp leaving 28 horses and 11 donkeys ‘done’, some with ease and some with a bit of a fight.

I can only speak for myself but we do love our equines, but some, because you get very involved with ‘fixing’ them, are loved a little more than the others.  So it was very painful to find Littleman dead in the camp one morning.  All that picking up and putting down to bed to get him mobile again gone.   He had recovered sufficiently to join his partner in the Boys Camp and although he was dewormed and got regular feeds and treats, never seemed to ‘fatten up’.  And then he went down again, after a month.  He was separated for the night, given a painkiller, fodder and water, but next morning he had gone.  On chatting with our Vet, Dr H, we could only think it was a stroke or perhaps a heart attack. 

Thanks to a Facebook posting by Sarah and that was shared by Ayesha, Geoff Applewhite donated a digital camera to the Unit for use by Stanley on his field trips.   For once, Stanley was speechless!  Thank you, Mr Applewhite!

And then the Complaint about 2 donkeys in Heugh Road in the dark and evening traffic turned out to be 3 donkeys, all on the wrong side of the road.  They were trying to return to the other side (this I know sounds like a chicken joke – sorry!) but were wary of the traffic.  Thankfully, Jermayn stopped and after a bit of pulling and pushing, the lads raced each other back into the township.  Thank you, Jermayn.

On the penultimate day of the month, Milton from Kwanobuhle phoned in a panic to say that Saaiman/Simon, was lying down and then getting up for a mouthful of grass and then lying down again.  We collected him and brought him home.  Dr Hilda visited and treated him and it was just a matter of time before the goods were produced.

Antoinette – 4 big bags leavings
A MICROWAVE – donated!   Brought in by Sarah from the donor.
Rhoda and Friend – visited and fed all carrots
A Nel – 2 Milk Kreem
PE Saddlery – more used tack donations collected in the shop
Michelle M – tack
Wednesday and Saturday Walkers – money donation
Candice –  6 bales lucerne and 1 bag bran
Equiwash – SallyB delivered our monthly free bottle
Sam - delivered back 4 halters that he had of ours, two of which are brand spanking new!!
Onward and upward!

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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