We have a dream.
We know that somewhere out there is a person, experienced in natural horsemanship, with interest in working with rescued horses and teaching these skills to others. A person who would be able to spend some 6-12 months in India on our farm, working with the ponies and horses and teaching our staff as well as kids from the nearby schools some of these skills in the form of a weekly pony club meeting or something like that and helping to arrange farm activity weekend camps for city children.
Because we believe that the farm with its animals has lot more potential to offer for people, especially for children who could really benefit from learning about positive communication with horses and simply from being around animals, taking part in the daily activities at the farm.
So for starters, let me share about the most recent additions to our herd of rescued equines.
Ariel was initially named as Nelly by some participants of the WVS India ITC training center who, together with Nigel rescued her from being lost without mother on the Ooty streets. Ariel was just a week old at that time and first spent 3 weeks in the WVS ITC where she was gradually introduced to drink milk from a bowl instead of a bottle. We started feeding her with the Dexolac –milk powder, moved from that to Lactogen and then to normal, fresh cow’s milk. The ITC vets and volunteers did a great job in feeding her every two hours during the first weeks. It is a tough job to take care of an orphan foal!
After those first weeks in the WVS ITC Nelly was brought into the Hill View Farm (and subsequently renamed as Ariel, by Emma and Saara) to be introduced to other horses so she would learn to be a horse and also to have more space to play. Her first friend was an injured horse (traffic accident) that is being treated in the shelter for its wounds. It is important that Ariel has one bigger pony on her side when we slowly introduce her to the rest of the group. So she won’t get bullied being the youngest and without a mother.
The other newcomer is a foal born to Yasmine, one of the ex-circus ponies that were given to our custody last year. This new little girl was named Rosella but will be called simply Ro. One of the ex-circus ponies (Rain) already gave birth earlier this year (to Wind) and the third mare of the circus-group, Belle, is expected to have her foal any day now.
While these little ones need to learn how to be horses and the company of their mothers and other ponies and horses is the best teacher for that, they also need to be taught to be handled by humans so that they can be cared well without stress and injuries.
In June we were lucky to have Michelle Gay, a Parelli-technique trainer (trained in the Shepherd Youth Ranch in North Carolina) who was in town to help the Leg-Up program to visit us for a day to show some simple games that we could play with the rescued horses to get them to trust humans more and to respond to our requests with only very gentle cues required. This type of ground work is very important with horses – it is the base for all further learning but also it is important in itself as well because it teaches us humans important skills in understanding how to ‘speak’ same language with horses.
Would YOU be interested in helping us with the ponies (and horses and donkeys!) or do you know someone who would? Please contact us to know more what we could do together for the awareness of horse welfare in India!
Olen Ilona, kolkytjarisat eläinlääkäri ja kahden ponitytön äiti. Tulin Intiaan yli kymmenen vuotta sitten vapaaehtoistyöhön ja jäin sille/tälle tielle. Blogissa kerron elämästämme ja eläimistämme Intiassa.