AKI Grantee: HorseSafety-Ghana (Final Report)
Healing, care, and health for the horses at the Kingdomstables, Accra [while raising awareness and providing positive influences for other horses around us.] #thesixfreedoms @thesixfreedoms
HorseSafety finished their Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grant Project with flying colors! Briefly, here's what they did in October, November, and December. [For background about their grant and more information about HorseSaftey, please see this previous AKI Blog post about HorseSafety.]
HorseSafety continued to provide care for the 2 recently rescued mares, Queen and Goodnews (their story is in the previous blog post), who are staying at Eva Lydeking's ranch (since HorseSafety doesn't yet have their own ranch). The 2 horses put on weight and got stronger. Queen, the mother of Goodnews, was pregnant (she was pregnant when she was rescued) and expected to give birth in December. HorseSafety was trying to find a quiet place for her to deliver.
HorseSafety also continued to treat colt Pablo's eczema and while it was improving, it hadn't yet healed completely. HorseSafety would have loved to have a lab test done, but they didn't have the budget for it.
During October, HorseSafety continued to treat the 7 horses at Kingdomstables, all of whom had vitamin and mineral deficiencies, but they were improving. Hoof treatments were done regularly since HorseSafety was paying a salary to the caretakers-and it was part of their job requirements.
In October HorseSafety provided expert care and balanced nutrition to 9 horses, all recovering from trauma.
HorseSafety rescued Sharon, being informed about a neglected old mare who was on the streets of Accra, around Burma Hills. Barbara, a Dutch expat from the neighborhood, agreed to cover her transport and care costs for the first months. That meant HorseSafety wasn't taking on additional costs, and they jumped at the chance to rescue an old horse in need.
That morning, Dr. Christian Twumesi, 2 veterinary students (Core Albright and Francis Anarfo), and Joe Aikins, a jockey who helps the HorseSafety team and who is well connected to the horse community, found the old mare standing at the roadside, in pain and weak, she could hardly walk; she had badly deformed front hooves.
HorseSafety arranged with Eva Lydeking to transport the mare to her ranch the same day. Later in the afternoon though, the owner called Barbara and said he wanted to keep the horse. Luckily, she was able to convince him that it was best for HorseSafety to take Sharon.
Just to be sure, a little later that day, the HorseSafety team met with the owner and he agreed that they could take her. (He said he was overwhelmed caring for her; he and his son have 4 more horses on their compound, all in very sad condition, one with an injured eye. HorseSafety plans to go there, especially since the owner seems very willing to accept help and obviously help is needed.)
Sharon was transported that afternoon to Eva Lydeking's ranch, where she was immediately treated for laminitis. She was improving daily, but still in pain and was given paracetamol every day and regular hoof care. Everyone is confident she'll recover, but it could take up to a year!
Also in November, HorseSafety constructed a 2nd paddock for their mares at Kingdomstables so that finally all HorseSafety horses have regular free run!
They also held an art exhibit at Kingdomstables, the 1st ever combination art-horse welfare exhibit. It was a joint effort with vet students, horse people, artists, and caretakers-all part of HorseSafety's efforts to spread awareness of good horse care and of the beauty of horses in general.
HorseSafety's ongoing care for the 7 horses at Kingdomstable continued throughout November. They were all doing well, but there was a bit of disappointment that Pablo was still suffering from eczema. In addition, they continued the care of their 3 horses at Eva Lydeking's (Queen, Goodnews, and Sharon). They didn't yet visit Sharon's former stable due to their very constrained financial status. HorseSafety had to make a tough decision and focus on the 10 horses under their care now.
Queen, the mare who HorseSafety rescued in September, gave birth to a colt on December 7- no complications and everyone is healthy! They have their own personal space for some weeks before other horses are let back into their paddock.
HorseSafety continued hoof treatment for Queen and Sharon, thanks to Eva and her team of Eddie and Emmanuel. Good hoof care requires a lot of experience and effort, but the horses are already showing such great improvement. After 6 weeks of care, Sharon's severe laminitis is healing and less painful. Her hooves have to be reshaped due to neglect--over a period of years.
And HorseSafety continued their ongoing care of the 7 horses at Kingdomstable. But still Pablo was suffering from eczema. They are now trying to get some special medication for Pablo. All 7 horses were de-wormed in December.
During December, HorseSafety continued to care for the 5 horses at Ranch Eva Lydeking (Queen and her new born, her first born Goodnews, and Sharon, who gets daily treatment for her laminitis and painkillers, and the newcomer Mr K, who requires the most attention for now). More about Mr K, who deserves a separate story, in an upcoming AKI Blog post. Suffice it to say that he's a bit of a challenge with his open wounds that are more difficult to heal because he lays in sawdust for comfort. He has even deeper wounds that need to be treated with special antibiotic cream and green clay, but for now, he shows no sign of fever or infection.
By the start of 2022, HorseSafety had 12 horses in their care.
It's been a tough, but rewarding few months. What HorseSafety is most proud of (besides rescuing horses in serious need and continuing to provide good care to the Kingdomstables' horses) is that people who are around the horses-the owners, the caretakers, stable owners- acknowledge the better health of the horses and the better situation at the HorseSafety stable (KIngdomstables) than in the past and compared to what they see most other places. HorseSafety is on their way to broadening their network and attracting more people who are interested in their work.
The most difficult thing has been that HorseSafety doesn't have their own land and are therefore limited in activities and possibilities. Their budget is small, especially compared to the high costs of caring for horses. And as is happening elsewhere, the cost of food is increasing and is a constant challenge.