Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Another animal has been given his voice and choice . . .

In all the things we are asked to do one of our most favoured is giving an animal his/her choice and voice in life and seeing their choice becoming  reality.  Often humans dictate what 'they' think is best for the animal, or perhaps due to a financial pressure many an animal is not given their choice, least of all their voice. 


To name a few, we have come across Horses who would prefer to do cross country instead of dressage - often because of the pain Dressage can cause by the taught form of riding, Horses who would prefer to jump instead of doing flat racing - often because of memories, Horses who would rather be happy hackers instead of jumpers - often because of historic accidents, memories or discomfort, horses who would rather not do dressage but are happy to jump. Dogs who would prefer not to herd sheep, dogs who would prefer not to do agility but work away at search and rescue instead. Dogs who would prefer to be 'pickers up' instead of hunters.

We have come across horses who want to be given the chance to trust and have, wholeheartedly, given their all to trust again, when others would never have given them the time or the energy needed to initiate this trust, Horses with broken legs who Vets have felt should be put down, yet, after the Horses being asked, and then answered by saying they were not ready to be put down and have, to the surprise of many, survived way beyond the Vets words and indeed years. Horses who did not want to be moved on from a certain area, Horses who wanted to move from one field to another because of a previous experience or loss of an equine friend or a sense of the area being unsafe.

What more of a delight could we ask for than to be part of creating or initiating or planting the seed for an animals wishes to become a reality. 

One of our latest request was from a person who was given an aged Gelding on loan, a horse who had been out on loan, bought and sold, not just once but quite a few times.  In this case there had been a, more or less, instant request for him to be returned to his owner, with a view to her potentially selling him on so that she could buy another horse.

With out being given much of a warning, the Loanee had to break the sad news  to her children, one of whom is classed as disabled. Although this type of news is often inevitable when a horse is out on Loan, most people give ample enough warning when an animal 'is wanted' back, but, in this case it was a matter of 4 or 5 days! 

With all of the family having grown attached to this Gelding and the Gelding clearly having grown attached to them plus with the fact that he had never seen his 'true owner' for more than a year. nor had there been even a phone call to check to see if the horse was happy or not, although there was the odd comment as a reply to some of the photographs which had been posted up on to a Public Media Platform but otherwise no contact had been made at all. 

Not only had the Loanee family got used to his ways, but the Gelding had, to his clear delight,  found himself half way up the pecking order, which we believe prior to his arrival his place had been at the bottom quite some time. 

When he arrived his coat was pretty thick with mud, his tail tangled all in all, not groomed or at the very least straight off a muddy field or paddock. 

The Loanee had also been told that he had to be drugged, costing around 200.00 per time, to have his fetlocks shaved off and that when tending to his hind legs he would rather charge you instead and that he would certainly not stand still. In the full year that the Loanee had this Gelding, not once did he offer to kick, charge, move while his fetlocks were being tended to, he also, contrary to what the owner said, was happy to be kept in a barn, never offering to barge or showing signs of being unsettled. 

He, on his first day struck up a relationship and was fascinated with a Ginger cat, who always seems to be the newby ' welcomer! Although at the beginning he clearly was a bit unsure of lambs and offered them toadie faces but it didn't take long till he struck up a bond with them, allowing them to lie down beside him and to pinch some of his feed (without any kicking matches). 

After about a two weeks he came in from being on the periphery and joined two of the horses, staying away from one of them - and quite rightly so actually! He then started to groom a couple of them and allowed them to groom him - just as horses do in the wild or when given a chance, and as time went on he could be seen giving and taking more grooming sessions from all of the horses around him. So yes, he had definitely found a place  of comfort and equality as well as an understanding of each other whether horse, sheep or human. 

He, on occasions, could be seen to ask to come in on his own accord without any other company and seemed totally content just dozing in his own wee world watching the world go by and accepting any tlc offered by whoever passed him.

an he gradually meets others. 

Then a lady friend who seemed more like a Wife / Soul mate,
This was such a wonderful bond, a true bond

And what this Gelding enjoys doing the most is
teaching and being with children and telling them they need to understand his 
specific language and then he will do what they ask!  

A little like life ..  you need to be able to go on to
each individuals wave length before getting a positive result!

And horse time . . .

And what better a photo to finish with than 
one lucky family and, one lucky horse

So having seen a few pictures of his past year and  to go back to where we were, an aged horse, roughly 22, who had experienced one full year with this family gaining trust, care, love, daily attention (and more), who had found his place in a small herd, then all of a sudden the owner wanted him back so that she could sell him and get another horse, all within a matter of 4 days, was perhaps not that thoughtful towards the animal as an individual. 

If he went back, he would probably be with his present owner for a few weeks, possibly a couple of months,  then sold or loaned on to yet another person where he would have to spend another x amount of months getting to know her/him, by which time he would be 24'ish! 

From what his present owner had said prior to the Loanee taking him on, he had had a few homes, both bought and on loan and the question this time round was, is it fair that a horse of his age has to potentially go through  more homes or should he be given the chance to have his own voice and choice, and this is where we stepped in.

Now another little thing that made this Horse unique was his flatulence, he has to be the worlds best at this. His usual flatulence can last up to about 5 to 10 seconds

On going in to see this Gelding to ask him his thoughts,  although settled to start with he seemed unsettled a bit, as if he knew something was up. He stopped eating and came and stood beside us, halterless, with his head lowered. It was a beautiful still evening with the stars gleaming up above so there was no reason for him to be unsettled. However, after asking him a few questions similar to; 

  • Do you want to go back to your previous owner?
  • Are you happy here? 
  • Do you want to stay under the care of your present Loanee and her family? 
and receiving the answers, he immediately turned his head round, let off the largest and longest wind we ever had heard, almost as if it was his way of showing the feeling of  sheer relief that he could stay if the owner allowed or if the funds the owner requested could be raised.

But what happened next totally moved us, he placed his head on Judi's shoulder and started to doze off - This was the first time that he had actually dozed off on one of our shoulders and what a heavy head he has! he almost had Judi sinking in to the ground!  It was a beautiful moment none the less and one that we will never ever forget. 

With him showing clear signs of his his request being heard we decided we would do everything possible to help his Loanee finally own him and try our hardest to make his request become a reality. 

Over the following couple of days the Owner started to put more pressure on, but a day or two after that, we are delighted to say, everything was resolved. But from the moment we asked him what he wanted, his whole body language and mental state changed for the better, he seemed doubly relaxed, and almost grateful. 

After another couple of days, this Geldings New owner was so, so pleased and couldn't believe that, she had given this horse the chance of a permanent home. As she has often said, she hates to see an animal being moved on from pillar to post,  ' I wouldn't like it, and I am sure no ones kids would like it if they were forced to move on to a completely different type of animals home to its own kind, especially at an older age. Would you put your Granny or Grandfather out to a house full of bears for example!   So why should we as humans dictate the same for other animals!  

With now owning this horse, the owner was keen to make contact with his previous owner, that's the one before the one she just bought him from. Apparently this lady happened to live only about 25 miles away from her. She asked the Lady some questions about his past and discovered a few things that she was not told by the owner who she had loaned him from in the first place. The most concerning one was that there was an instruction passed on that this Gelding should not be jumped, due to a ligament issue earlier in his life, yet a few of the videos sent to his now new owner, prior to her having him on loan in the first place, was of him jumping at competitions!

So, apart from, yet another animal being given his choice and voice, there are a couple of simple tips which we would like you all to follow when either sending a horse out on loan or indeed taking one on loan or better still before the horse is even moved

Please, when able, give all animals their choice and voice in life, we have ours what makes humans think they should control other animals of our planet choice in life. 

If you are stuck and want to know what your horse  truly wants to do, then email us

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