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October 2013



We did not have a wonderful start to October.  Happily it improved as the month aged, but more of that later.

Our gorgeous little Bonsela, having been returned to her owner with her mummy, was attacked and killed by township dogs.  Owner murderous.  We removed the carcass which was very painful indeed.    As I said in the Diary, a really DISMAL DAY.

We received the Rhodes University Traditional Horse Racing Report that sets out in a comprehensive way the history and workings of what some of us refer to as ‘bush racing’, but that in fact is very organised and has been for well over 100 years.  Quite a ‘read’ and very informative.

One of Stanley’s missions in Transkei is identifying potential ‘hoof men’ – those that show interest are given a rudimentary education in trimming and upkeep of the horse’s hooves as he is inundated with hoof work from the time he arrives at wherever until he leaves.  When he does find someone, it sometimes leads to giving farriery tools and this leads to us having to replace them, but Treloar gives us very generous prices.  Thank you, Treloar.

Another donkey from Walmer township was surrendered to the Unit.  One less in the township.  This is good.

A visit to the Unit by a Transkei man led to him buying a saddle and bridle and another contact for Stanley when he next visits.

We assisted a Fort Hare University researcher with his research into working donkeys in the Eastern Cape.

Our depressed Harold was fostered out to a ‘safe pair of hands’ and has brightened up a lot since he started receiving some intense tlc and getting some pals his own age.

Daisy, whose foal Gift, died, was returned to her owner, as well as another donkey that had come in for repair returned to his owner.

A Complaint about a horse with a broken leg was attended to only to find that it was actually a dropped hip.  Another horse on the same farm was suffering from severe and unrepairable laminitis and after a bit of a wrestle, she was surrendered to the Unit and the correct thing done for the horse.   X Rays revealed pedal osteitis as well as a compromised pedal bone.  Proper farriery from the beginning would have made a huge difference.

Another Complaint attended to had the owner very angry, but he calmed down and we got the story right from the ‘horses mouth’.  There are always two sides to a story, and sometimes three or four too.  

A further Complaint did not have a good outcome in that although the horses were improving, one was bitten four times by a snake, and so the owner made the decision to euthanase.

And then there was the day in the country.  Having been alerted to a slipper foot problem by SPCA Humansdorp, Stanley and I headed off for the day to meet Bruno, a magnificent pony in very good condition but with the most insane pair of hind hoof ‘slipper foot’.  I had to chuckle when Stanley brought out the hacksaw and everybody ran away!   Always a ‘difficult’ moment.  However, Stanley got stuck in with his tools and in the space of  1½ hours sorted it all out.  The owner had recently bought the pony but had been unable to source a farrier and was just so happy that his two ponies hoof issues had been sorted out, finally.  People seemed to think that it needed a ‘professional’!  He has assured us he will stay in contact to prevent the same happening again.  Thank you World Horse Welfare for making it possible for Stanley to do a ‘professional’ job.

On the way home, we did a Recheck on some other horses in the area and found that they were looking really good.

The three donkeys taken into custody from the Kabega area are still with us.  Stanley visited the owner, only to find that the owner had indeed died, but his wife asked if we could keep them until such time as she has built a kraal to keep them in.

Our Humansdorp horse visit that we thought was going to be quiet, turned out to be very busy.  Thanks to assistance from Volunteer Comine, a whole bunch of horses that had missed last months dewormings were ‘done’ and a bottle of dip for an increasing tick problem supplied to a ‘go to’ person – everybody in a specific area visits when they have a horse problem.  A request for a bridle and a girth will be done on our next visit.

A Walmer Cartie popped around and asked if the Unit could have two of his jacks gelded.  Done!

Another animal organisation surrendered a beautiful pony.  Once collected and brought in, she was only in the holding camp for about 15 minutes before being snapped up and adopted out and transported to her new home.  

In these difficult economic times, sometimes life takes unexpected, and sometimes very unpleasant turns.   Two horses found themselves in a predicament but were taken in by a friend who has made arrangements for deworming, vaccinations and feeding requirements.  Thank you, A! 

A theft of feed problem reared it’s head and someone had decided to poison the feed in order to stop the thieves.   Hopefully they have been dissuaded from this ‘solution’ as it could have long term ramifications!

A long, long time ago on having to euthanase my own horse (FLYING REGENT, by Regent Street, out of Egyptian Goose) and not being given any assistance at all to do the job, I had to load my own horse and take it to the Game Park.  A truly shattering experience for me.  I made a decision then that still holds true today – I will help anybody who is having difficulty in making The Decision or arrange a solution for them.  And so, with heavy heart two dearly beloved horses were sent on their way, humanely for the horses as well as the owner and groom.

Friend Rhoda surprised Stanley with entrance to the Richard Maxwell Course.  He thoroughly enjoyed the day and, although very good with equine loading and behaviour, learned different ways of explaining what to do and how to do it.  And thoroughly enjoyed the Lunch at the Grass Roof venue.  Thank you, Rhoda!

Stanley went off to Transkei as requested by the King and the Chiefs as well as the equine owners.  One of the presented problems appeared to be Bilateral Epistaxis, but our local PE Vet was contacted by Stanley for help with the problem.  Stanley gently explained to the owner who has been given much food for thought.

On the same visit, questions were asked about nutrition and feed to improve their horses, one man going so far as to say he wants the best for his horse even though he is only a Pensioner but happy to share his pension with his horse, no problem.

Moses phoned in a state on a Monday morning to say that his donkey jack, Boesman, had caused all sorts of drama in the township on the weekend and could we please come and take him and get him gelded.   Done.   Boesman is a beautiful, strong donkey jack and clearly the Alpha male and terror of the township, but will throw no more foals now.

Law of Four was delivered to his new adoptor and we wish them both well.

Stanley’s next Transkei Mission was totally rained out, but he was asked to come and assist with the stopping of a Race due to poor going, the mud clogging the horses hooves making for hazardous riding.   Well done, Stanley, on getting the job done without any screaming and shouting and being accepted by the community who listen to you!

And then, Rhoda turned 80 and decided to really make a ‘meal’ of it.  She arrived for a picnic at the Unit with her two legged friends who had to feed ‘her’ four legged friends, carrots before they could enjoy the picnic goodies with the Unit staff.  Obviously the word had got out and we were joined by an Nguni bull with all his girls.  A lovely midday respite, for which we thank you, Rhoda.

Rhoda also organised for Treloar and Ayanda to do a Musical Ride the following day and invited many other friends and in the process raised a huge amount of money for the Unit.  Fabulous!  ..and we wish you many more birthdays too, Rhoda.

As per the Adoption Contract, we sometimes are asked to collect adopted equines, both horses and donkeys, due to changed circumstances.  So we collected  two of our old friends and brought them in. 

Our monthly visit to Grahamstown for Donkey Clinic (we’ve been doing this since 2009 and the bakkie knows the way all by itself!) was hectic.  Ayanda found 20 donkeys that needed serious hoofwork done, 26 harnesses ordered the previous visit were given out, 1 bit changed, only one bad wound to treat, and a couple of dewormings. 

On the way home, we picked up a pony that is required as a companion animal in Port Elizabeth, and for which we have been reimbursed for diesel used in the collection.   And then we were ‘hijacked’ by a sick donkey in Joe Slovo township (between PE and Despatch) that we were able to sort with little difficulty. 

And only then was I able to head off to Fairview for the Horse Care Unit Raceday function.  I was upset at missing the first races on the poly track, but  it was good to see that the months of hard work done by Dorrie, with a little help from us, bring in funding for the Unit activities that will stretch for many months.  A presentation done by Johnny Johnson, of a bit removed from circulation in the Transkei and pointed out by Dorrie, was framed with the photograph as a reminder to Dorrie that from a distance, she had made a difference to just one horse.   SO well done, Dorrie!   ...and Thank You most sincerely.

A BIG THANK YOU too, to all those wonderful people who bid on the Auction Items arranged for the evening and we really hope you enjoyed your day and the entertainment provided.

And then Moses decided to accept a purchase offer for our precious Noodle.  We did not touch sides until she was safely in her new home, with all her old friends and another very ‘safe pair of hands’.  People might have wondered what was going on with two women dancing a ‘jig’ at the garage.  That was us, celebrating!  Noodle joined an elite group of Audi Donkeys that day and spent most of the trip lying on the back seat!

Ending the month with a further adoption of a horse and a donkey!   YESSSSS!


Fodder:  Antoinette, A N Other,  Lenchen.  Thankfully the supply of grass, grassmix has now improved.

Tack:  Teagan, kara, Tamsin, Treloar, Rhoda (for bit hooks), Sharon, Debbie, Peter and Mary, and Peter and Elsabe.

Carrots:   Hilary

Volunteer Groomers: Shimone and Julia

... and finally, Treloar who donated 2 flowering Amaryllis plants in pots.


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
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