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  • Writer's pictureAnimal-Kind International

Helping Horses in Ghana: a birth, a rescue, and goodbyes

Animal-Kind International supports our Partner Organization, The 6 Freedoms-Ghana, @thesixfreedoms, by providing funds for horse feed and supplements, meds and vet care for horses, upgrades of paddocks/stables, fees for grooms/horse caretakers, and other costs related to T6F's horse rescue efforts. Below is an update of T6F's work during the 1st few months of 2024 and about how Animal-Kind International is helping horses in Ghana.


 

A new colt is born!


At first, T6F thought that Anas was finally putting on weight after trying so hard for a couple of years --T6F had de-wormed her and increased her food allotment--finally that seemed to be working. Although the shape of her belly didn't seem quite right, the grooms claimed that it was "natural, being a bit out of shape."


So after being away for about a week, Ulla from T6F was truly surprised to see Anas’s colt when she gazed inside Anas's paddock at Aplaku one morning.


Rescued horse Anas gave birth to a colt in Ghana.
Anas's colt, a surprise to everyone but Anas!

The good news is that this colt is strong, energetic, and healthy--a sign of T6F's good feeding and care of Anas.


Rescued horse Anas and her colt in Ghana.
Anas with her colt

This was Anas in mid-2023:


Rescued horse Anas in Ghana with the Six Freecoms, one of many horses they are helping.
Anas in June 2023, after ~ 1 year of de-worming and nutritious food, she was still slow to put on weight.

Anas is one of five horses, now six including her colt, at the stable in Aplaku, where T6F cares for the horses and trains the grooms, encouraging them to value the horses, as well as to take pride in their important work.


The Aplaku horses actually have owners: two who don't provide any care at all and who may visit the stables every other month, if they visit at all. T6F has decided that this will no longer do!


Ulla told us, "We will very soon give them the choice: Only if they give us official agreement of adoption for their horses, we continue the care of their horses in the name of the Six Freedoms like we do since 2019 already. If not, we will stop completely our engagement and leave the stable with the horses behind. We cannot support horses any longer of who we do not have official agreement."


Owners who won't officially hand over their horses to T6F can take them back, asserting their ownership, whenever they want. And we've seen that happen after T6F has worked hard to get a horse healthy again, only to have to relinquish the horse to an uncaring owner.


 

T6F recently learned sad lessons about providing care without official adoption contracts in place.


Rescued horses in Ghana we said sad goodbyes, both died.
On the right: Goodnews behind Medina in happier times at Asafo

One of these sad lessons involved Medina, whose owner took him back about a year ago, after T6F provided good care and feeding and he became healthy and strong. Over the last year, he had lived with his sister on a small compound in Accra. The plot had some grass, but was full of trash, and they didn't provide sufficient feed. For lack of food and probably also out of boredom, Medina started to eat garbage. Aikins, who works as a groom where Medina was living, informed Ulla that Medina died from colic.


Medina, rescued horse in Ghana, sad goodbye.
Medina in happier days at the Asafo ranch (Eva L's ranch)

After Ulla was informed about Medina's death, she immediately tried to convince the owner to let T6F take Goodnews back to the ranch in Asafo, where she could get good food and care and plenty of exercise. But then, only two days later, T6F received the very bad news that Goodnews had tetanus.


Ulla called the vet who T6F uses, but it was already too late. Her body was getting stiff during the last stage of tetanus. When she died, Goodnews was pregnant.


Goodnews, before she was rescued by our Animal Rescue and Protection partner, helping horses in Ghana.
Goodnews, 2 1/2 years old, before she was rescued in 2020 from a dirt plot near Ridge Hospital in Accra. With no grass to graze, T6F used to bring food and water to Goodnews and her mother, Queen, who was also rescued and brought to Akim Asafo. But since T6F was never able to get Goodnews offically transferred to their care, the owner reclaimed her.


 

Now, T6F has two newly rescued horses officially in their hands!


About 20 years old, for the last two years, Jah Bless lived among cattle and was owned by a cattle rancher from Mali. No longer interested in him, the rancher gave Jah Bless to Wisdom, a groom who works with T6F.


Jah Bless’ body shows that he has lived a hard life. His back, along his spine, is covered with white spots, scar tissue from misuse of a saddle. These white spots are so common-- almost every horse in Ghana has them-- that people believe they are natural.


Helping horses in Ghana like Jah Bless whose scar tissue shows that he had a difficult life.
Jah Bless' back showing white spots, which are scar tissue, healed over

Jah Bless' legs show arthritis with Degenerative Suspensory Ligament Desmitis (DSLD), diagnosed by osteopath Eva I.


T6F felt that the only answer was to rescue Jah Bless to prevent him from a future of beach riding, where he would be in pain for the rest of his life, taking tourists and locals for rides. The owner agreed to hand him over, with official papers signed by all parties!


A cattle farmer close to Eva I's house will provide a temporary place for Jah Bless, where he can get regular treatments from Eva to strengthen his muscles and build confidence. He will no longer be ridden but because he's such a gentle guy, T6F feels he will be a perfect horse for beginners to work with to learn about horse care.


horse and groom
Jah Bless with groom Pascal in Ghana now a healthy horse helped by the Six Freedoms.


The other horse who T6F recently officially took into their care is Boga. About 8 years old, T6F took over the care of Boga about a year ago, after he developed open abscesses from an unprofessionally given injection. He was severely underweight too.


Helping horses in Ghana like this one with open abscesses.
Boga with abscesses from an incorrectly given injection

Rescued horse helped by the Six Freedoms Ghana.
Boga, recovering after he was rescued by T6F

Now that T6F knows that Boga will never have to be returned to his previous owner, they are preparing a paddock at Asafo for him. He will take over a room that two rescued donkeys currently live in.


A new home for a rescued horse in Ghana but now occuppied by two rescued donkeys.
Preparations are underway for Boga to take over the paddock where the 2 donkeys now live at Asafo.

The stable where the rescued horse will live in Ghana.
Asafo stables, where Boga will live, joining Mr Key and Sunrise, 2 other T6F horses

 

Since T6F doesn't yet have their own rescue sanctuary, they use two stables, one at Asafo (thanks to Eva Lydeking, who owns the property) and one at Aplaku, close to Eva I, who helps with horse training and care, and training and oversight of grooms. Meanwhile, the Six Freedoms is exploring locations and ways to obtain their very own sanctuary while they continue helping horses in Ghana.


We hope to have updates soon about T6F's very own sanctuary.

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