April '15

We have finally succeeded in getting both the orphans, Maple and Syrup, doing all the ‘right stuff’. Although for a while it was very touch and go for Maple, who was very poorly. However, treatment by our Vets in the very early stages of Biliary brought her back to us. Although we were given a commitment to a supply of milk, this never happened. So it was 2% milk, which meant that Syrup had the ‘squitters’ (excuse the nonscientific term!) regularly, no matter how much Protexin he got! All came ‘right’, when we bought some Denkavit Foal Milk, and so our morning pooh patrol is no longer anxious, but happy when we see the well formed, firm stuff on the ground. Rene and SamS clubbed in with some litres of milk, but if anybody would like to contribute towards the cost of milk substitute it would be most welcome. The ‘finders’ do not want to be the ‘keepers’, so both are available for adoption. (They had a merry old time, as did Alfred and I, during this past week, when they managed to open their gate and went for a gallop outside their camp, kicking and bucking like mad. I swear I could hear them yelling, FREEDOM, FREEDOM, YIPPEE!).

Our other problem child was the horse that inflicted huge damage on his face and leg and that the owner requested with an offer to pay, to be admitted so that he had some equine company while healing. Both wounds were extreme, but with good veterinary instruction, miracle foam, Dermovet, good food and fodder, pain control and antibiotics, he is healing well after an intensive 2 hour changing of bandages every day. When he arrived he was horrified by the donkeys, but by the next morning, he was whittering to them over the fence and now is bomb proof as far as donkeys are concerned. Well done, boy! Thank you to MegM and SamS for helping with the cleanups on Saturdays and Sundays when it is ‘down time’ for alternate staff members.

The recent Dog Walk at Fairview Race Course also conducted a raffle for us, and this was won by Dawn Rogers. Well done, Dawn! And Thank You to all contributors!

On Easter Sunday accompanied by Volunteer SamS who is always a willing pair of hands, even in the pouring rain, I took our Daisy to downtown PE where Daisy did us so proud at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This particular religious group, like the Jewish faith, have slightly different times of celebrating Easter/Pesach/Passover, and this was this catholic groups time.

Despite the chanting, clapping, drumming, singing and ululating, Daisy did not bat an eyelid and almost preened with the adulation of the Christ on her back, occasionally grabbing a palm leaf to chew from the celebrants. Fantastic experience.

I was very distressed about the damage done to the world famous Horse Memorial in central Port Elizabeth as were a number of other folk. Bearing in mind that this is one of the few Horse Memorials worldwide that has a man ‘serving’ a horse, rather than the other way around, Tarzan-like on a ‘rampant’ warhorse. Our Friend Ayesha did her magic again on the fb page, so on this Wednesday, many riding folk along with non riding folk and passers-by reacted to the invitation to join-up with a flower laying ceremony at the Monument. It was very heartwarming and emotional, especially when Stanley stood his ground for the TV cameras. His Transkei equine owners were really chuffed to see him on the telly and approved. Tanya brought the house down by bringing a replacement silver plastic water bucket that, stabilized by a rock inside, completed the tableau to the enth degree. And to find the flowers and bucket still in situ three weeks down the line, was amazing.

Another donkey requiring medical assistance. His owner had lent him to some cretin where the donkey had received a burn wound on his upper abdomen. The blistered skin had died off but had re-adhered to the muscle underneath, leaving an unsightly, uncomfortable and unsatisfactory, for the donkey and his owner, ‘scar’. Debriding commenced immediately followed by Dermovet. Gone home!

Our Moses phoned early one morning to say that his donkeys were missing and had anybody reported them to us. Only to phone ten minutes later to say, it’s OK, I have found them. Nice one and Thank You, Moses!

An early morning alert from the local Community Policing Forum about a donkey/vehicle accident on Victoria Drive got us up and running early. Removal of the carcass accompanied by the owner done. The removal of tethers from donkeys is a problem for us and the owners – they are doing the right thing, so to the dolts that remove the tethers I say, you are being criminal!

Hilary of AACL phoned on a Sunday afternoon to say she had found a horse on a dangerous section of Old Seaview Road and realized that all was not as it should be. We found the horse being taken into a safe area by concerned landowners and put it up on a number of Facebook pages. It took hours for the owner to make contact, but we were able to facilitate his returning to his own pastures, although it was already dark. Thank You and Well Done, Gary and daughter and Hilary!

We were sad to hear that our Gift had suffered a snake bite, probably a Cape Cobra, and had died. Human family distraught. Sorry Boy!
A late afternoon urgent request from the Kwanobuhle owner led to us collecting Meisie with a broken leg and taking her for euthanasia. We sometimes are skeptical of another’s assessment, but in this case they were perfectly correct and took the correct action too. Well done, guys!
Two donkeys from down the coast with really bad hooves had Stanley, Tom running (me driving!) for two hours to catch them, having been surrendered by their owner in reaction to a Complaint received by us. As slipper foot, once begun in any equine, needs regular ongoing farriery to keep under control, and as the donkeys were wild and unhandled and therefore not suitable for Adoption, the euthanasia decision was made. Sorry lads.

TRANSKEI MISSIONS 1 – In Stanley’s words: I gave out 8 numnahs, 7 girths and 9 helmets, 3 bits and 2 bridles. Mr Radebe had to help his son by reading names of people who were going to benefit by taking good care of their horses, as I was busy teaching the youngster on how to take good care of hooves. These people I have trained from time to time in how to take care of their horses, but what is sustainability without tools? Because I had to give out my other personal rasp in order to take care of their horses. At these trips trying as much to involve the community in terms of showing and let them to be hands on, so I can see where to improve so it is education verses practicality mostly. (29 horses presented and dealt with, 11 tack beneficiaries, a dangerous river crossed on horseback to bring permanent relief to a horse with no hoof walls).
TRANSKEI MISSIONS 2: More than 16 horses have benefitted and group of people so to say.

Here I had shown some people how to handle horses after deworming, cleaning wounds, applying Dermovet. Then I dealt with Mr Myango 8 horses where I dewormed them all and gave him a blanket, a halter, and treated tendon with Iceman and gave him some, and from there they day was gone as it was after 18h15 then off I go to sleep at KWT. At Mabelentombi everyone was pleased to see me and most seem to want attention but at the race meeting I usually work with crossbreeds mostly as they are the ones usually needing my attention most time, because they got to be used to do all sorts of things from competing to cattle herding and that make them to be exposed mostly to saddle sores and people tend to care more about Thbs than salt fetchers or salt fetchers tend to be used more for all sorts of things like mules.

The request of the furious owner of an electrocuted donkey youngster because of illegal electricity connections in his township was acceded to.

A sudden unexpected, as always, AHS outbreak reported. Luckily for us, we have a professional AHS expert who advises us as we refuse to give out false information. But it has certainly been a trying time for equine owners who are naturally concerned for the health of their horses. Thank You, Dr B. And Well Done to Briget for pulling her pony through his confirmed AHS episode!

An alert about a donkey in a cart knocked down in Walmer was received, but thanks to unending Saturday morning traffic on Circular Drive, exacerbated by the infernal load shedding putting the robots out of order, by the time we got to the scene, the donkey cart had moved on.
We did however find the cart later and the donkey was none the worse for his experience.

A generous donation was gratefully received from the owner of the severely laminitic horse taken by Stanley and Carla to a potential cure. Thank you!

I splashed out on a new office for a kettle, my old one having finally given up the ghost. Gotta keep the staff and volunteers fuelled with tea and coffee!

Arthur, Patrick’s one donkey jack, brought himself in for a hoof abscess. Kleva boy! Stanley sorted.

While we were on our early morning leaving for our Grahamstown Donkey Clinic, we were hijacked by two donkeys on the island outside the South End Fire Station. And Stanley and Tom could not find them. Ayanda, Carla and I did however, in the faaaar distance. Down at the fuel tanks below Humewood, resting on the grass. I don’t believe anyone realizes just how far and fast a walking donkey can move from one area to another. A little bit of airtime, 2 vehicles, 5 people = 2 found donks, now reunited with their owner.

Grahamstown Donkey Clinic = two donkey bite wounds, 2 donkeys trimmed and rebalanced by Ayanda and going away sound, 10 full harnesses replaced, 5 bridles and bits replaced. Good one!

To end off the month, a badly wounded donkey from Motherwell Fire Station was collected. It took Stanley and Tom 2 hours to find him and then Stanley phoned to say, yes, he is bringing it in, but via the Vet. Hectic stuff! Obviously a sideswipe by a vehicle had peeled off the skin and muscle from the hip area. But the people who were asked to fetch him on Saturday, didn’t! And by Tuesday, the loose skin and flesh had died off and hardened. The blood loss down the leg was heavy. But, Dr Lara with many people helping managed to cut off the dead tissue, staunch the bleeding and inject a painkiller. Admitted to the Unit for more ‘nursing’ but this, like the others we have, is NOT going to be a quick fix, but so far things going according to plan.

Well that’s it for April. And today is the 1st of May, yet another Public Holiday!


  • Lyn – 6 dewormers via @ 9th Avenue Vet Clinic
  • Anke – saddle and jodhpurs.
  • Rhoda and Isabella – Easter eggs for staff
  • Alison Williams – Whispering Winds – 1 Zebra striped bugbuster for Auction
  • Meg and Colin - HTH to clean the outside sign of fungus
  • Lakato – donated Fly Wipes.
  • Rene – made and donated a fence divider for the Pink Palace and orphans
  • Anne – bread x 3 from 9th.
  • Meg and Colin – wellies and rainsuits for staff – and not a minute too soon as well!
  • Pick ‘n Pay – 4 bales lucerne from their display.
  • SamS – orphan milk and night feeds
  • Eleanor – blankets
  • SamT – new foal feeder
  • Function Warehouse – 15 bales lucerne from their function.
  • AWS – 7 Equimax
  • Claire – blanket.
  • Melissa – a ficus tree from her garden because her pot broke
  • Michelle – tack
  • Mrs Pay – carrots.
  • Andre – blankets
  • Ascot Stud – Cylence via SallyB
  • Madelein – blankets and flymasks.
  • Sue – blankets.
  • Lakato - horse hair shampoo and conditioner via 9th Avenue Vet Clinic
  • Bridgette - flymasks


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

Cellphone: 072 357 2505
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Website: www.echcu.co.za

Facebook: East Cape Horse Care Unit