AKI Partner Organization-The Six Freedoms, Ghana
AKI's Partnership with The Six Freedoms
The Six Freedoms (@thesixfreedoms) is AKI's newest Partner Organization. After receiving and very successfully completing two AKI Africa-Based Animal Welfare Organization Grants (2021 and 2022), and because we have known for a long time about the dire situation of so many of Ghana's horses, we decided to make The Six Freedoms an AKI Partner.
The Six Freedoms is dedicated to the welfare of horses in Ghana and beyond. Their vision is a human-horse relationship based on respect, compassion, and understanding.
Due to the lack of financial means and professional care (unproven "traditional" or word-of-mouth remedies are favored over the more expensive services of a vet) and also because horse owners and grooms lack sound knowledge about horse care, most horses in Ghana suffer from mental and physical abuse. Animals are mostly treated with dominance and violence and therefore show serious signs of emotional and physical distress.
Above: Jockey Issaka Garriba and police horse Holala: Ulla and her team work with horses and their caretakers to create a greater understanding and appreciation of behaviors, leading to gentler training and handling and a more positive relationship between horse and caretaker.
For the owners and caretakers, the main sources of income are racing, beach rides, and religious festivals. All these events are known for horse abuse. Mostly, caretakers live a life without dignity, too, in wooden shacks or horse rooms, surviving "hand to mouth." The horse owners only see their horses for special events and shy away from the responsibilities that go along with being an animal owner.
The Six Freedoms rescues severely neglected horses who need special care. Due to limited means, and because taking care of a horse is very expensive, and the horses under The Six Freedom's care require significant time and attention, currently, the number of horses they can actually rescue is limited.
Since The Six Freedoms doesn't yet have their own property, they rely on Ranch Eva Lydeking in Akim Asafo and Kingdomstable in Aplaku, Weija, Accra where their rescued horses are brought to recover. Ulla, Eva, and the grooms at Eva's ranch coordinate closely on all Six Freedoms' rescued horses.
To expand their influence, The Six Freedoms works with other stables in Ghana with about 80 horses in total; the Accra race course; the Accra police stables; and key people in Ghana's horse community, such as well-known jockeys, trainers, and horse owners.
The Six Freedoms' work is becoming widely known and the horse community is now acknowledging this new way of working with horses and asking for advice, even offering more horses to The Six Freedoms to take care of. Each horse that The Six Freedoms rescues and recovers increases their visibility in the horse community, and more and more people are requesting their help.
The Six Freedoms currently takes care of their 13 rescued horses. And through their collaboration with local and international experts on horse nutrition, care, horse behavior and training, The Six Freedoms is able to help many more horses. They readily share hands-on knowledge about horse welfare, throughout the horse community.
Caring for teeth (above), hooves (below), and coat, a good diet and exercise are all part of caring for a horse. The Six Freedoms works with local and international horse professionals to promote this training.
Click on a picture to learn more.........................
Ultimately, to reach out more effectively, The Six Freedoms plans to establish a rescue ranch, a place, that will introduce a whole new way of thinking about horse care and training.
The ranch will provide a place where professionals can train horse caretakers and give them a first-hand experience of a healthy, non-violent living space for humans, animals, and nature alike. Through workshops, people will learn and experience the benefits of this training and be able to apply it at their own stables.
The ranch will be a platform for sustainable and respectful living. And importantly, it will provide more space, in a natural setting to shelter more horses in need of rescue.
The 6 Freedoms are: Freedom.....
From hunger and thirst
From pain, injury, and disease
To express normal behavior
From fear and stress
From being property