Living in Bristol and volunteering at HorseWorld about once a month, I regularly see horses who have been rescued after being abandoned and often, sadly, abused.
Last year a young colt was found in Avonmouth and brought to HorseWorld where the vet discovered that he had two fractures in his vertebrae – one in the neck and one in his back. It looked as if he had been beaten with a heavy object, perhaps a metal bar.
He was also extremely thin and the staff named him Twiglet because of his skinny legs!
To read more of Twiglet’s story, click here
This lovely boy has recently had an operation on his right foreleg due to growth problems caused by his early lack of good nutrition. I have been fortunate to offer healing to this beautiful colt and I want to share his story, and those of a few other horses, to raise awareness and to ask for your help.
A while ago I posted a blog about the issue of fly grazing and the problems that it causes. (To see the post, please click here) HorseWorld are currently running a petition hoping to end fly grazing in this area. Please sign and share this petition, and perhaps create a similar campaign in your own area.
Perhaps it’s just my involvement with HorseWorld that is bringing this issue to my attention, but it seems that this problem has been increasing recently, and often involving such young horses. It is heartbreaking to see these animals experiencing such a tough start in life and I would love to see a much brighter future, both for them, and for all the other horses (and other animals) out there. I believe that one step towards this is to spread awareness of the issue, and also to support people in finding better ways of looking after these beautiful beings.
Some of the other young horses I’ve had the honour of meeting are Pilgrim, Grace and Joey.
Pilgrim and Grace were found wandering along a road in Avonmouth. Pilgrim is believed to be about 2 years old and he had suffered severe injuries to his neck and shoulder. His neck showed evidence of tethering as he has a ridge of thickened skin where a collar would lie.
Despite these injuries, Pilgrim is a lovely, inquisitive boy. It never ceases to amaze me how horses often come through experiences like this and can still give their trust to us. This might not happen straight away. For some the trauma has caused them to shut down, or to be very wary, and even defensively aggressive, but with the love and care they receive at this wonderful rescue centre most of them are able to open up and learn to trust again.
Grace was even younger than Pilgrim at only 7/8 months old. She was uninjured but was very nervous of people and it appears that she had never been handled.
Despite the law stating that all horses over 6-months of age should be micro-chipped and passported, neither Pilgrim nor Grace had any identification meaning that it will probably be impossible to trace an owner for them.
You can read their story here.
The youngest recent rescue is Joey who had to be pulled from a muddy ditch back in February.
He was very thin and cold and unable to stand so Avon Fire and Rescue were called in to help. Back at HorseWorld, staff washed him down and warmed him with hot water bottles and heaters. B&W Vets gave him glucose and fluids and took blood samples to see if he was suffering from any other health issues. Thankfully Joey was eating on his own within 24 hours and after a few days of excellent care he was back on his feet again.
When Joey arrived he was very withdrawn and mentally shut down. I had the opportunity to offer him some healing and he was such a gentle soul, coming over to explore me and the healing energy. He and Grace (who is slowly learning that she is now safe) have become friends and it’s lovely to see these youngsters sharing time together.
Joey has made such an improvement that he was able to be part of the Open Day last weekend:
You can read the full story of his rescue, and watch the videos, here.
So what can you do to help?
With so many horses coming in to HorseWorld (I’ve only scratched the surface with the ones I’ve mentioned here) their resources are severely stretched. They are pushed for space and for money to feed and care for all the horses, ponies and donkeys.
There are several ways in which you can support their work:
- make a donation
- visit / donate to the tack shop
- support a particular appeal
- sponsor a horse
- rehome a horse – this creates room for further rescues
- visit the Centre on one of their Open Days
- spread the word
This information is for HorseWorld but I’m sure the same applies to other rescue centres across the country. If you live outside of Bristol why not contact your local centre to see how you can help.