It’s almost three years since Chantilly was surrendered to Save a Horse Australia. Now she’s ready to start her career under saddle – thanks to your support.
As you all know, on Australia Day this year, we rescued our first horse for the year, our beautiful Cobber. A horse who has obviously been looked after for most of his life because he is so calm and quiet, and loves people so much. He wasn’t much of a racehorse, our Cobber – he only won $1800 in prize money, but that probably meant he ended up for sometime in a good home. So how did he end up emaciated? In the dogger pens? Facing his end? What is his story? We will probably never know how such a lovely horse ended up facing a lonely end. He was rescued from the pens by a good samaratin who then realised that bringing an emaciated horse back from the brink takes a lot of work, and surrendered the beautiful boy to us.
So how do Cobber and Chantilly’s stories connect?
Chantilly was surrendered to us after her mother rejected her at birth. She was taken immediately to Gold Coast Equine for tests, and it was discovered her IGg levels were low and she was given two plasma transfusions. She was drinking well and was bright and alert and taken home to the Gold Coast Sanctuary where Jennifer Malloch looked after the little baby girl. Chantilly learned to drink from a bucket very quickly and thrived! Her front legs were a little bent and she had a large hernia, so she was taken to UQ Vet Hospital for surgery. The hernia was corrected and she had strip surgery for Carpal Vargas, which was a minor operation that was completely successful. However, she then had a growth spurt which caused some further issues. So she was turned out to grow and get strong, and most recently to come to me for some training.
But here’s the thing – this March Chantilly has been with us for three years. And even though fundraisers bring us in emergency rescue money what perhaps is not quite obvious is the ongoing costs. In the three years Chantilly has been with SAHA she will have cost us conservatively $12,000 when we take into account her vet bills and surgery to start her off on her life.
Was it worth it? You bet! Look at the lovely girl she is now – I’m lucky enough to have her at a property near me in the Northern Rivers, and we are now working with Callum Snell, who has trained horses for Cavalia, to start Chantilly under saddle. When Chantilly is adopted to her new home, someone will get a beautiful, young, unspoiled pony to take to the next level. We will hope that it will be her forever home, but we know too, that if for some reason she needs to come back into care, she will be a SAHA horse forever. She will give some lucky person as much pleasure as she has given us as we have watched her grow from the early days of her care by the wonderful Jen, to now, as she is beginning to come into her own as a young horse in great condition.
And now we have Cobber – he is at the start of what will be at least a year with us, while he puts on weight, and muscle, and recovers from his emaciation. He will need immense care while we gradually reintroduce proper feeds to him. Then there will be his re-training, and months of work to get him strong again, before we can even consider finding him a home. All of this costs money. Especially for a big horse – we estimate, with all feed, farrier and costs such as dental and vaccinations, on $150 per week. Although the initial costs are covered by our fundraisers, very often we fall behind because we have 100 horses in care, and some of them have minimal sponsors to help us carry their ongoing costs.
Some people might say – why rescue an emaciated 18-year-old horse? I would say – this horse deserves every chance, after he has so obviously given his love and effort for so much of his life, to be in a great home. You can see the gratitude in every cuddle he gives, and in his friendly head-butts. He knows he has been rescued, he knows he’s safe, he knows he’s loved.
If we could, we would create a world where safety, love and proper care would be the right for every horse (and needless to say for every person and animal on the planet), but all we horse-lovers can practically do is our bit, and our bit is to rescue when we can – responsibly, and with your help.
One thing we also desperately need for 2018 is regular donations. Every regular donation helps us more than we can say because it’s only through them that we can budget. Setting up even $10 per month is so helpful for us and helps us with our ongoing costs.
As you know for the past year SAHA has been committed to downsizing and to containing our costs, and we have done a great job, BUT we all desperately want to rescue again regularly. It’s where our hearts are – it’s why we all got involved in rescuing horses, both personally and through SAHA. I know that for all of us there have been heart-breaking moments during this last year where we haven’t been able to open our doors to a horse in need, and I know that we have spent nights awake and many tears wishing that things could be different. Well, the dawn is almost here – but we need your help to usher it in! We know of several horses that we would like to bring in BUT we don’t want to commit unless we know we have some funds to cover not just the rescues but also some of our ongoing costs.
Michelle, myself, Rachel and other staff and Committee members bring decades of experience of horse ownership and rescue to our commitment to SAHA. And to rescue is what we live for.
Can you help us help unwanted horses and ponies find a new and better life?
As soon as we can raise the funds we have the list, and we will be out there. We promise!
So please can we ask you to dig deep once more, to find it in your hearts to help us so we can rescue again. Help us continue our journey with Chantilly, and start our journey with Cobber. Help us continue to support the horses who are with us forever, and those who will pass through us on their way to becoming part of a healthy, happy horse community – with the knowledge that we are ALWAYS here for them.
To donate to our rescue cause click here
or SMS the keyword RESCUE to 0459 114 411 to donate $5 or more fast and easy.
Candida Baker, President