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Animal Kind International: Helping Horses in Ghana

 

ABOUT Miriam Imrie: Helping Horses in Ghana

In 2007, when Miriam and her husband moved from the U.K. to Accra, she knew she would volunteer in some way to try improve the lives of animals in Ghana.  Horses have always been dear to Miriam’s heart.There were plenty of horses around Accra that needed help, and very few people who actually knew how to adequately care for horses.

There’s a racetrack, a polo field, there are military-owned horses, and there are horses that with their owners, ply the beach in Accra, taking tourists and children for rides.  So Miriam set out to help the horses.  

Miriam now works with owners of individual horses and with stables around town, encouraging owners to groom their hoses, and to provide water, proper food, and medication, when needed. Miriam has held two courses for horse owners to teach them proper care of their animals. Along with four other women who are involved in this horse care initiative, Miriam is making a difference in the lives of Accra’s horses.

Miriam needs: wormers, grooming tools, hoof care supplies, dietary supplements, joint, injury, and wound care products, fly repellants, etc. She can put to good use, just about any product for horses that we can send her. If you can donate supplies to Miriam’s Horse Care Project please contact Karen@animal-kind.org to arrange the donation. Thank You!

"I was in Ghana in July 2009, and spent time with Miriam visiting horse stables in Accra.  We brought treats for the horses, checked on their health and conditioning, and walked a few of the horses that we had permission to walk. Many of the horses never get out of their stable—they spend most of their lives in the small space, with a window looking out at the grounds that they can’t reach. Thanks to Miriam and the four women who volunteer with her, Accra’s horses now get a little of the care and attention they crave"……Karen

Ghana’s Forgotten Horses

By Miriam Imrie
Horses are expensive, delicate creatures. They need expert care and attention and can make big dents in even the fullest of wallets. It’s not hard to see why looking after these noble animals in West Africa, home to some of the world’s poorest countries, is an almost insurmountable task. read more..

Miriam provided the following description to us of the life of Ghana’s beach horses

Life's not a beach for Ghana's horses - September 2008
La Pleasure Beach in Accra may be a place of fun and relaxation for the city's residents, but it's a place of pain and misery for its beach horses. Forced to give countless horseback rides to tourists in the blazing hot sun, these undernourished, poorly cared for equines face a daily battle.

When they are not being ridden up and down the sand, they can be seen walking the streets searching for food or tied in the middle of major roads to take advantage of tiny patches of grass on traffic islands.

Many of the horses offered for rides at La Pleasure are dehydrated and with no decent water source nearby, they can be ridden up and down the sand all day without so much as a gulp of water.

The young boys who ride the horses and tout for business from beachgoers are not capable of caring for these complex creatures and do it only to scrape a living. They too are in danger from injury as they ride the horses along a busy highway to reach the beach. Once there, they walk up and down for hours, trying to get people to ride the horses. Adults are allowed to ride small, weak ponies and some are hired out to be ridden up and down again and again by people who know little about horses, and tug painfully at their sensitive mouths.

Not only are the horses poorly cared for, they are forced to wear unsuitable tack, from ill-fitting saddles to crude metal mouthpieces. While some beachgoers shun the horse rides, most people are unconcerned. When asked if she was worried about the condition of the horses, one woman retorted: "They look fine to me. I don't see what the fuss is about. They are strong animals, they are fine."
 
It's true that on the surface some of the horses don't look as bad as others, but as they get older and are ridden constantly the neglect will start to show.
 
It's clear that more needs to be done to regulate the practice of beach rides. Skinny horses with visible rib and hip bones, dull eyes and dirty lacklustre coats cannot be allowed to be dragged up and down the beach in the scorching sun. Beachgoers must be enlightened about the damage beach rides cause the horses, and the horse's owners must be educated on how to keep their animals healthy.
 
One child told me that his 'boss' makes him ride all weekend for a pittance and if he doesn't get enough rides he will be in 'big trouble'. This puts pressure on the children, some of whom are as young as 12, to offer the horses for rides over and over again. The boy says he cares about his horse, but all he wants to do is go to school.

Learn more about one of the Ghana Horse Project's initiatives.

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This is from Aluizah in Ghana. the photos are credit: Aluizah Amasaba Abdul-Yakeen. the story of them is below, at least that's the beginning of the story. The middle of the story is:

Luckily, Aluizah spotted these horses and together with Miriam, they are getting attention and help for them. Since they've been abandoned, and no one is coming forward to care for them, the Ghana Horse Care Project is providing food and veterinary attention. Your contributions toward this project are greatly appreciated. We'll keep you updated and hope that the next pictures we post of these horses are happy ones.

Photos/Info

Aluizah, a GSPCA volunteer sent us photos and the following message:
21 horses were left in the open to suffer for almost six months to face the vagaries of the weather. Two of them you can see are terribly sick. Their regular stable and place of race has been sold out by the previous government to a hotelier. Click on the photo below to