Well, the countdown to the end of the year is beginning and although this is October’s report I definitely have to include the first week of November because otherwise our darling new baby foal would miss out!
It seems so long ago now, but just like any month with Save a Horse Australia, it was full of triumph and tribulation! It started with a bang with our beautiful old boy Moonshine suddenly coming down with colic. Moonshine was rushed to West Vets where he was admitted to intensive care for 24 hours, and treated for another four days. We are SO lucky to have such amazing supporters because his care was not cheap, and it was covered by a Moonshine Fundraiser. Also, to be honest, he was not the best-behaved patient on the planet according to the vets, but they rather took to his curmudgeonly personality, and once he was back with his friends in their luxury retirement paddock at Buccan, he was back to his old cheerful self.
It’s a funny thing about horses and vet treatment. Some horses seem to intuitively understand that you’re trying to help them – I’ve known horses be completely quiet and still through quite unpleasant procedures, just looking to their human for comfort, but then others, either perhaps because of trauma or abuse in the past, or even perhaps occasionally with a low-pain threshold can kick up a fuss at even the tiniest thing. What? Remove a thistle from my delicate nostril? You must be kidding? That is really scary!!!!
Then there was the rain again. It thundered down and washed away and turned our only-just-recovering paddocks into mud once more. With horses upturning buckets and eating feed straight out of the mud we did our horse feeder fundraiser, and wow did that produce some conversation on the Facebook page! But we love to see engagement, and ideas, and we loved it even more when Magnum Equine saw what we were doing and came to our help. The end result is that we raised enough money to buy 30 feeders at Magnum’s discounted price, and they also gave us an extra five for free. Watch this space for photos once the feeders – which are on their way to us – arrive. No more games for the naughty horses such as pretty and lively Mariah for instance, who likes to casually throw her feedbucket around.
Due to the rain, and our new Operations Manager, the wonderful Michelle Beatty settling into her role, we didn’t adopt out any horses in October, but Indiana’s owner had a chance of circumstance and this beautiful little riding horse came back to us, as well as companion horses Mac, London and Honey-Megs. It’s not easy to reduce numbers when horses return but this is the point of the SAHA contract – if people are no longer able to keep horses for one reason or another they come back to us and we can find them another beautiful home. At the time of writing this report we currently have 109 horses in care (including little Pickles).
It was SAHA’s personal End of Financial Year, and we ran a fundraiser which unfortunately did fall very short of the somewhat ambitious target we’d set BUT with the publication on social media of our latest promotional video we saw an extraordinary increase in the amount of likes, and followers on our Facebook page, and some great new donators and supporters coming on board which was very gratifying. As you all know we are so grateful for the fundraising support, but when we get new regular donations and sponsorship for horses, this is what really helps us to budget.
In conjunction with our EOFY it was a great time to re-think strategies for SAHA, and at the moment we are coming up with a strategic plan to see us through the next phase of growth, as we commence some wonderful ground-work based programs, a publication division, and offer more corporate partnerships so that we can work with people to become known as an advocate for horse welfare around Australia.
So we have to sneak into November, because as most of you would know, SAHA got an early and unexpected Christmas present when our lovely mare Desiree dropped a foal – a lovely chestnut colt – in the early morning hours of Thursday November 2. We had been told by the vet clinic that Desiree had miscarried and so beyond remarking that she seemed to be somewhat, shall we say, plump, we didn’t think she could possibly be pregnant. Also she wore it well, and because of the extremely erratic weather she had a summer combo on. So all in all, she was lucky, and we were lucky – the little fellow was born without incident and is blossoming at the Buccan sanctuary.
And what a game we had with his name! Our wonderful stable-hand Kasey and our rider Jess, were the lucky two to find him, and Kasey was determined he should be called Pickles. We put his name up for auction, and we’re not sure how long it will take Kasey’s family to recover from the bidding war that ensued, but in the end Pickles won the day. Although we have persuaded her that when he grows up Mr. Pickles might be a better name!
But it was a day of mixed emotions because it was also the day that we had decided to finally put our beautiful appaloosa, Texas to sleep. Texas had been fighting a battle with his tumours, and when they began to break out on his legs, just at the point of his joints, the vet’s advice was that it was much kinder to put our darling boy to sleep. He spent his last day grazing in the garden, and eating a huge bag of carrots! Run free sweet man…
Getting back to Christmas and the end of the year beckoning – DON’T FORGET our calendar and our raffle! They make great Christmas gifts!
Our calendar, which has the most beautiful photographs by Byron Bay based photographer Heidi Flumm, is available through our shop here.
And what could be better to buy for your horse-obsessed loved one than tickets in our massive Olympic Float Toyota HiLux raffle, which will be drawn on – wait for it – Valentine’s Day. So buy your love (or even get your love to buy you) a Christmas Present that will hopefully produce you the winning ticket for February 14. The prize is valued at over $80,000! You can get your tickets by clicking here.