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Hushy 'Hashimoto'

It is said that the human-animal relationship can be developed through subsequent interactions, affected by the postive or negative emotional valence of the proceeding one. Horses implement a process of catergorization to classify humans with whom they interact as positive, negative, or neutral stimuli by evaluating the kind of approach and the nature of the contact.


This love story is all about the close and mutually beneficial bond that fomed between a horse and a human, who were brought together by circumstances and where lives were changed forever.


Introducing the horse: Hashimoto.


Born on the 5th October 2009. He was originally bred at Hemel en Aarder stud farm in Hermanus and had all the potential in the world to be a great race horse. However, he would flip over backwards with the jockeys, obviously injuring them and was deemed dangerous and not safe, so was surrendered to the ECHCU in 2012.


Introducing the human: Kate Roberts


Hushy came to the yard where Kate was working and to see if he could be helped to get to the point where he could be adopted. Kate worked with him but all he did was go backwards, fast. He was a very sensitive horse that didn’t respond well to pressure or being pressurized. However, progress was made, and it was then time for him to go back to the Horse Unit but Kate was heart-broken. She had fallen in love with Hushy and time was really running out for him to be adopted and Kate couldn’t bear the thought of such a special horse not getting a second chance, so she adopted him. And the rest is history.


Hushy turned into the sweetest, kindest, lion-hearted little thoroughbred you will ever come across. He might not have been the most talented horse when it came to dressage and show jumping, but he was just magical on a cross country course. There was nothing that he loved more, carrots were a close second!

Hushy became the highest level Eventer in the Eastern Cape and travelled around the country competing in various eventing shows. His show name was changed to "Hezekial Hashimoto".Hezekial means "God is my strength". Kate explained that the foundation of their partnership was based on trust, love and compassion. Sometimes all a horse needs is a gentle handler, who takes the time to understand what fears and insecurities they might have and in return, offer understanding, comfort and love. “Hezekial Hashimoto (Hushy) is my best friend. My partner in crime. My little horse with a lion heart, who has so much to give”.


Tragically, Hushy developed a very bad sinus infection that got into his brain and he suffered from bacterial meningitis. The vets did everything humanly possible to save him, unfortunately his body was so resilient to antibiotics and couldn't kill the infection. Normally once the bacterial meningitis gets into the brain, within 3-4days they pass away, Hushy hung on for just short of 3 weeks on the 2 March 2021.


Kate wrote the following tribute to her beloved “Hushy” on the day he passed, “There are no words to describe the absolute heartache and loss we feel. My sweet, sweet Hushy you were the greatest. You had a heart of Gold, you always gave everything you had and more. You were gentle and kind, spirited and one hell of a fighter. You gave me 9 years of pure joy! You were so much more than just a horse to me. You were the best teammate I ever had, you were my best friend, my heart horsie. We lost together, we won together, we grew together. Every challenge I faced in this sport, you were there. We have been on a journey not many people have experienced in their lifetime. It's just not going to be the same without you.”

LINK TO KATELANDS RIDING CENTRE

https://www.facebook.com/katelandspe


Introducing the place: ECHCU

https://echcu.co.za


Kate and Hushy met at the ECHCU, which is a non-profit organisation that relies on donations to feed and care for the horses and donkeys in its care, pay rent, fuel and salaries for their staff who all have hearts the size of a mountain for these precious animals, run their vehicles and not forgetting, pay veterinary bills. Prior to the pandemic the ECHCU was receiving very welcome funding from the racing sector but with the negative impact COVID-19 lockdown has had on many, so it has affected the ECHCU. Their funding has been withdrawn and they are left to go month-to-month in the hope of having enough funds to see them through. Before Hushy passed away, an artist had been commissioned to do a portrait of Hushy that would be auctioned on the ECHCU auction page as a fundraising venture.


Introducing the artist: Venancio


Venancio Matsinhe. Venancio is 25 years old and lives in Mpumalanga. He is currently using his pencil drawings to sell and put himself through matric. He goes by the name IT's ALL ArT to represent his work and his plan for IT's ALL ArT is to build a company where people will come and learn how to improve their gift of ArT and become leaders. He wants to be able to reach not just South Africa but the world. Venancio says, “I'm a person who is always learning, improving and growing. Given the fact that I teach I need to keep learning to have something new and improved to teach the people I teach. I find it hard to be the same as yesterday, I enjoy change” Venancio is on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @itsallarti and on WhatsApp/Cell +27 63 182 6485. To order, email a hi res photo and pay for postage on top of the cost for the portrait. https://www.facebook.com/itsallarti 


Given the circumstances surrounding Hushy’s passing, auctioning the art was not an option. Janine Birch and Katelands Riding School, which is owned by Kate Roberts, came on board to cover the costs of the 2 drawings of Hushy and made a donation to the ECHCU in lieu of auctioning the pieces as well as having them framed. An official handover of the artwork was done on Saturday, 30 October at the Horse Unit, where it all began 9 years ago.


“My Hush you were a legend! You came to me broken with no hope of a bright future, but together we grew through trust, love and patience. It was an honor to have shared every single one of those experiences with you. I will treasure them for the rest of my life. My little horse with a lion heart.


Here’s to Hushy! The greatest horse I ever knew. My once in a lifetime horse.

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