Saturday, May 18, 2013

R.I.P Oscar

Absolutely heartbroken, had to euthanize one of the sweetest and most special ponies I've ever come across.  Today little Ocsar suffered a freak paddock accident and broke his femur. Which in horses is is not fixable, made the horrible descision and end a life that was special, unique and a freind to everyone who met him, a great ambassador for his breed. 

R.I.P Oscar almost a year ago he arrived from the wild and was with us all to briefly.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Video skills

I've got a friend and she's awesome. We all have one like her, someone  who's got all the talent in the world, whether artistic, athletic or intelligent, but just doesn't realize it and doesn't back themselves. You tell them their amazing and they answer "oh I'm not that good, anyone could do it" . You want to shake them and be like " NO, no, no your really good god damnit" and you want to see them use the talents they have.  Because if anyone could do it, we all would, but we don't all have the same talents and we can't all do everything.

This friend of mine is amazing at making videos, I'm trying to get her to make some videos of the wild horses, as some footage of what they are up to these days is way overdue. I could not make videos like my friend, I simply don't have the artistic talent, or the ear for matching movies and music together like she does. Truth be told I'm a little jealous of her mad movie making skills, and wish shed use her talents more.

So to give her a bit of encouragement I'm going to share one of her videos. She made this with the most basic editing software and footage from still camera, not even a real digital video camera. She's and amazing girl and this video will hopefully show not just her talents but some of the work we did in India as well.

Please check it out.... A word of warning it's pretty graphic, don't watch it with your dinner.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Happy mothers day!

Just a quick Happy Mothers Day, to all the fantastic mothers out there. Also to one little wild horse who to this day is the best equine mother I know.Even though her baby is weaned and grown, towering over her, she delights in taking care of him and sharing her feed every morning.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Judgement day

It's easy to judge. It's even easier to judge from the comfort of your armchair, comfy bed or kitchen table. No one is innocent of it either.

What's not easy is judging people out in the field, in the middle of the chaos, when the lines of good and bad become pretty blurred. Behavior is not so black and white, and things aren't as simple as they seem from your computer screen.

In the last twelve months I've done a lot of traveling, I've been to corners of the world I never fathomed I'd visit, and seen how things that seem so clear cut quickly change to grey when you become more involved. The work I do through charity is something I've always dreamed of doing, and I love it. I'm lucky I was raised to be fairly un-judgemental of things, and was aware of various sides of humanity from a young age, thanks to both my parents occupations.

I truly see awful things when I travel. But I love it, I enjoy jumping in and working, The gore and horror don't bother me to much. I'd be lying to say that the work I do is purely unselfish. Because I get pleasure out of it, satisfaction, adventure and a sense of helping others,it makes me feel like a better person for doing it. I'm definitely still no saint.

But I've learned you can't judge what you don't experience, being an expert on a subject is not the same as understanding it. I've learned every one has an opinion, whether it's good, bad or the most pig headed ignorant point of view I've ever heard of.

One thing I've really learned though is how incapable we are of judging cruelty. I've have seen some of the worst suffering, the worst treatment, the cruelest forms of survival in the last twelve months and sitting at home writing this on my bed I feel less capable than ever of forming an opinion and a judgment of it.

I have seem animals suffer at the hands of humans, more than I thought possible. Seeing it and having to deal and treat it in the flesh is far different from looking at a photo and being shocked by what I've seen.

I have no doubt that there are bad and very cruel people in this world. I dont think it matters if they are brought up in poverty or abundance. Bad people will do bad things.

I also know that poverty, and lack of education is a hot house that leads to suffering and acts of cruelty among good people. I know that religion has a lot to answer for.

In one part of India I saw tiny skeletal and dehydrated ponies carrying almost their body weight in cement bags, rocks and gas bottles up mountains. These ponies worked until they died and lived a life of unimaginable misery. Once near death they are left on cliffsides for leopards and scavengers to do away with the bodies. A lot of these ponies problems could be solved with something as simple as better access to water. You want to hate the people and it's easy to from behind your computer screen

But what about the countless number of people alongside the ponies, the men who work in gangs to push huge carts of supplies up the mountain, skinny and bow legged from malnutrition, missing teeth and with out shoes going up steep rocky paths. Or the women in bright sari's with basket of rocks on their head or hips who work all day laying down rocks on the road, usually with there newborn babies lying just meters away on the ground. The conditions and life expectancy not so much better from the ponies that we westerners judge them for treating so badly.

Suddenly who's right and wrong becomes less clear.

Emaciated animals turned loose to roam the streets with broken limbs and twisted bodies is heartbreaking, and you wonder how thousands of people walk by and turn a blind eye every day. But then you see beggars, even more twisted, barely recognizable as human, dirty children and old women who fare no better that live the same fate as the animals and that line of judgment gets even more blurry.

What about the mules who work all day carrying loads of bricks In the sun, until the weight of the cart creates huge open gaping pressure sores on their backs and still they work. But when the day is done they go back to their families home, which is just stacked bricks with a sheet of metal on top, and the mule is put into a stable that is the same size of the entire family home. That is to say one room with a roof. Beneath each towering brick chimney are courtyard settlements of the stacked brick rooms and from the outside you cannot tell which is mule stable and which is family home. Animal and man live in exactly the same conditions, neither works harder than the other, the mules fair better most of the time, at least they have a room to themselves. So are these people selfless to ensure the animal they rely on lives as good as they do, or selfish for working it until its raw and bleeding?

Not so easy to judge now is it?

Cruelty in these country's is never black and white. There is never a goody and a baddy, but more a multitude of suffering and survival.

When I see comments underneath our photos posted on the internet it makes me mad and I do judge, who are these faceless people to say that "these people should be hung" or how they are "monsters" and "wish I could treat them how they treat there animals". But I do understand the reaction, the images are awful, it seems pretty easy to serve judgment on a photo, I too want to make someone pay for the misery of which some of these animals are inflicted, it makes me sick to my core to look at wounds, broken un-treatable bones and animals without hope of better life or escape. But judgement is easy, finding a solution is where the real hard work begins.

Ps below is a picture of a brick kiln family home....take away the beds and this is how's the mule lives, form your own opinion

Friday, May 3, 2013

Time flys

Time flys, this it will be almost three years since my first wild horses arrived. The stallions from last muster will have been with me a year and in another twelve months I'll hopefully have another lot of wild horses arriving from muster.

To be honest I'm left scratching my head a bit at how fast time rolls past. Some days I feel I've achieved not even a quarter of what i could acheive with these horses. Then other days I remember that there is only me, and I have to run a business, a farm and do so many other things than judt play with wild horses, and I'm happy with how much I've achieved. Every single wild horse that's come through my hands is now not wild, more importantly they are happy, well adjusted and relaxed equines, whether they live with me or have gone on to new owners.

None however has manged to do quite as much as Fern, my little grey mare from the 2010 muster. Not only was she mustered as a very mature horse at eight years old, she was pregnant, had her foal in captivity raised him to be one of the healthiest calmest and most polite youngster I've ever come across. She's been my show horse, and one of the most talented jumping horses I've ever ridden, but the more importantly she's now gone on to teach more children to grow up loving horses, and wild horses in particular.

Fern get used on the school holiday camps I run, and is one of those priceless horses who just adapt to any rider, is never naughty and quietly gets in and does whatever is asked of her with no fuss. Every rider who is lucky enough to sit on her gains confidence, whether a wee child or a shy teen, in no time she has them flying happily over jumps.

One of my biggest goals with wild horses was to show people how amazing they can be, how non wild, sensible and versatile they truly are. But most of all I wanted people to fall in love with them. Becasue if you can get people to experiance something first hand and love it, then they will want to save and preserve it themselves, in this way maybe we can save more horses each muster. One day hopefully every horse that it is possible to rehabilitate will be, and not sent to slaughter.

I'm not sure I've achieved making people fall in love with wild horses but I think Fern has.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

I don't know what happening I never seem to have time to write these days but here's a few pics to show what I've been up to overseas recently....

I have worked in slums, rubbish dumps beside railway tracks seen some true horrors and some wonders, soon hopefully I'll be able to sit down and share it with you all as I have plenty if stories to tell