Sunday-Rose has settled in beautifully and is eating well.
She now has a bright future ahead thanks to all of your support.
Sunday-Rose has settled in beautifully and is eating well.
Sunday-Rose has settled in beautifully and is eating well.
She now has a bright future ahead thanks to all of your support.
In the past the property, Alumor, has been used as a thoroughbred spelling property, and although there’s a lot of work to be done, the bones are there, with the property divided into paddocks, each with its own water.
This past weekend we’ve had our massive working bee – and wow, what a difference a few days can make. We’ve cleared paddocks, repaired fencing, painted the house and mowed – and did I mention mowed???
Things will work a bit differently at this sanctuary – instead of having a resident caretaker, the house will be a Save a Horse Australia house for staff, interns and volunteers.
With its facilities of several round-yards, an open barn with a small arena area, a large flat paddock perfect for working horses, and access to the National Trail at our back door we are very excited to move forward into a system where we can rescue, rehabilitate and re-home easily from one spot.
Withcott has some perfect areas for our equine therapeutic programs, including a lovely old open dairy bales. The horses that will be used for the programs – including our Equine Facilitated Learning, Mates 4 Mates, and other programs in the pipleline – will be those that for one reason or another can’t be re-homed due to age or medical needs, and that are suitable for interaction with children and adults. It will give SAHA’s permanent residents a wonderful chance to engage more with people – humans and horses healing together is a wonderful thing, as any horse people know.
Once we’ve moved – and it’s a pretty massive move to get our 40 Tarampa residents up here and settled – then we will open our doors to new rescues, but just while we regroup we will be sticking with our current 104 horses!
On that note – our move is EXPENSIVE!! At the moment we have double rent (triple if your count Buccan); all the costs of setting up the property and the house, and the move to come. We are still $4,300 short of the $13,000 we had budgeted for the move and to be honest we are a bit desperate – if there is any way any of you could contribute to our moving fundraiser we will be forever grateful. To donate, click here.
In other news, because of all the heavy rain, which was eerily reminiscent of the floods last year but thank goodness in the end not as bad, we’ve been taking some horses off Buccan. Three of the lucky ducks that have gone to a 15-acre paddock full of grass at a Somerset property are Surprise, Sunny and Dallas, with Chico and Zorro to follow on Tuesday. Little Milo and Charming are off to Michelle’s for a few weeks until Withcott has safe paddocks where they can pick but not over-eat; Nelly has gone to a wonderful foster home and we are so thrilled for him; Zeus has been adopted to Anne-Marie, to be a companion horse, to her mare Lilly who needed a friend. It’s a beautiful property and a lovely home for our dear boy.
Matisse, our lovely four-rising-five-year-old Percheron-cross, who has recently come back into care, is coming down to me at Mullumbimby to join the little herd of Tyra, Chantilly and Roulette and start her journey towards being a ridden horse.
Which brings me to the horses and their training.
This is such an essential part of rehabilitation – it can’t be over-stated how important it is that when we adopt a horse, even if it’s a companion horse, that it is safe in all aspects – including tying up happily, standing for the farrier and floating well, and all of this, when you are dealing with young horses or horses who have had abuse, takes time.
Down at Mullum the fantastic news is that our lovely trainer, Callum Snell (The Barefoot Brother) has fallen in love with dear Dawson, and now that Dawson has learned some manners, he is at Cal’s in a great new home where he will have loads of stimulation.
Chantilly and Roulette are coming along in leaps and bounds – Chantilly has gone from quite strong resistance to any form of training, to putting up a metaphoric hand, and shouting out, choose me, choose me – what are we going to do today???? It’s so lovely to see. She’s now being ridden, and as long as everything goes well, I believe she’ll be ready for adoption in a few months.
Even though training in this way takes longer, because Cal is doing it at the property where the horses are living it is a wonderful way to build a long-term foundation that will stand them in good stead for the rest of their lives! Each horse in full-time training costs $100 per week, and will be in training for a minimum of six weeks, depending on their age, stage and personality.
For those of you who will see the benefit of this slow and steady method and might consider it worthwhile to donate for our ongoing training costs, you can Donate Here.
And the moving link again is: : https://saveahorse.giveeasy.org/campaigns/were-on-the-move-can-you-help-us-raise-13000/
Thank you to all our wonderful supporters out there, we appreciate you from the bottom of our hearts, and so do the horses! We can’t do all this without you, and as we move towards our new incarnation at Withcott we are very excited to be on the journey with you.
And last, but by no means least – don’t forget it’s only just over a month until we draw our massive cash raffle on Mother’s Day – with three amazing cash prizes. The draw will be live from the Withcott sanctuary, and you have to be in it to win it!
First prize is $10,000, 2nd prize $3000, and 3rd prize $1500.
This is the link if you’d like to buy a ticket: Buy Tickets Here
Candida Baker – President
I think it would be fair to say that it’s been an eventful year. We’ve survived several floods, droughts, several bouts of severe colic and expensive hospitalizations, the unexpected arrival of Pickles our surprise foal, the tragic death of Desiree, his mother, and a steady stream of SAHA horses coming back into care. This, of course, is the beauty of a SAHA lifetime adoption contract, but at the same time with only 50 acres between our two sanctuaries it hasn’t always been easy to fit them all in.
The fact is that a charity survives on donations and boy, have you guys donated this year, allowing us to continue our high-level of care for our now 105 horses in care, and to plan for some wonderful expansion into therapy programs next year which we will be announcing very soon. You guys all saw a tiny taster with the visit of our minis, Milo and Charming to a nursing home, which went off SO well and we have many more planned for our little mascots.
Our minis are a very good example of our work because they were both rescued with terrible hooves, and although we have gradually rehabilitated them, they do have permanent changes to their pedal bones, and therefore they are not adoptable. We decided that it was very important for them to have a ‘job’ – as it is for all horses in my opinion – even if the ‘job’ is being a companion, and so they will help us spread the word of SAHA far and wide, and bring people a lot of joy as they do so.
Joy. It is the season to be merry, and we are enormously grateful to still be here. We have adopted out 31 horses since March – almost one a week which is amazing, and although a few of our lovely old ones have crossed the rainbow bridge (to be always remembered on our website) we are very lucky that our horses – thanks to you guys – stay in such amazing health.
I would like to thank you personally and on behalf of the Committee and staff for digging deep over and over (and over and over) again for us. We have a few large feedbills including one with our lovely Goodna produce who are so supportive of us, and we are truly desperate to get it down for them before the New Year. Can you spare just a small donation from your Christmas food fund to help us feed our hungry horses?
It’s hard for anyone to imagine the size of our feed bills – a bale of hay at approximately $10 -13 per bale feeds 2-3 horses per day, and we have 105 horses in care, which is a staggering $350 PER DAY or $2,450 per week. On top of that we go through 40 bags of hard feed a week at approximately $22 a bag at each sanctuary, which is $1800 per week – so our feed bills, before we start with supplements or joint formulas or any of the specific feeds we need for high-maintenance horses is in the region of $4,250 per week!!
All it takes is for us not to be able to pay our full feed bills for three or four weeks, and suddenly it’s looking massive.
Not unnaturally Christmas is our most difficult time of year – a lot of people are away, and our donations drop. We often find it difficult to make ends meet.
Just look at the amazing photos of our beautiful old man Caddie – he was so skinny and emaciated and he is now well and happy – that is what your donations do for us!
CAN YOU HELP US this Christmas so we can face the New Year with a lovely clean slate?
Thank you so much for everything you do for our lovely rescue horses. We hope you all have a wonderful, safe, peaceful and happy Christmas and New Year.
Candida Baker, President
Well what a week it’s been!
Obviously the Main Event for SAHA has been the unbelievable generosity of our supporters who rallied to our cry for help. A cry straight from the heart of Jennifer Malloch, whose bail conditions were amended last Friday which meant that Jen is once more able to post and comment on the SAHA page. The Committee would like to extend the warmest thank you possible not only to everybody who donated but also to Jen for her continuing passion for SAHA.
But before I talk a bit about the fundraiser, I actually want to tell you guys a personal story about a horse. A horse I shared seven glorious years with, and a horse I said a final goodbye to, two weeks ago today.
When Beau came to me at the age of 23, he was given to me by an acquaintance from the Gold Coast – Kate. Beau had been owned by Kate for 11 years, and they’d done great things together, but Kate was wanting him to wind down, and I was looking for a trail-riding horse. The agreement was that when he needed to retire he would go back to Kate’s to live out his last years, and that I would look after him in the meantime.
So in due course, Kate delivered Beau to my place with a bunch of bananas – because, she told me, they were his favourite food, along with mangoes. She also told me that if he did get a chance to go through an open gate, or escape through a fence, he would!
And so it was that this elderly flea-bitten grey Anglo-Arab gelding and I began our friendship – slowly at first, with some little rides in the arena, where I discovered that if I rode him correctly (and I was a bit rusty at the time), he would go straight into a canter from a walk, or stop, and that he needed scarcely any aids at all. He was so light and responsive it was a pleasure to ride him and it wasn’t long before we began to venture out, almost always in the company of a friend of mine who rode another of our horses. We covered many miles, and I found out more and more about Beau’s trustworthy nature – I could pop him into a gallop – which he loved, and as soon as I sat back he would slow down. He never shied; he positively loved going through water, and it wasn’t long before we were using him as a school-master for our young horses or off the track horses. Beau would teach them that traffic was nothing to be scared of, that water wasn’t going to attack them, that going out to shows was fun and meant lots of treats, and other general good horse behaviour.
I remember one day I went out with a friend riding one of our young horses – a then three-year-old paint called Storm – and I didn’t realise that the farmers in the macadamia forest where we lived were burning a huge pile of timber. Somehow it was hidden from view, but as we chanced around the corner we were greeted not only by ten-metre high flames, and the crackling of burning wood but the beeping of an earth-mover as it shovelled more timber on the fire. Horse hell, to be sure. I told my friend to turn Storm’s head slightly away from the fire, to keep her leg firmly on him, and to stay on my inside, and blow me down if Beau didn’t ride straight past the burning flames as if they were no more scary than a piece of rustling grass!
I could tell you so many stories about this wonderful horse, and how I discovered that I could actually ride him with no reins, and my eyes closed and he would still somehow know where I wanted him to go, or how, at his very last show we won Reserve Champion pleasure horse when he was 28, or how he taught my daughter to canter, with amazing patience and grace – I know Kate has even more stories than me, and some of them are so unbelievable that I am saving them for the pages of a future book.
But time passes, and in his last year with me Beau began to stumble every now and then. He still loved to go out (and as Kate had predicted, he also still loved to try and escape up the lane whenever possible), but when we went out for rides, I would often walk up the hills beside him, and down the hills beside him, and even then I would have been happy to have kept up our partnership, but it was obvious to me that he was ageing. By now he was 30, and if that’s not a good age for a horse that has had an eventing career to retire at, I don’t know what is! I’d talked to Kate a few times, and over the years of Beau’s time with me, she and I had become firm friends. We hadn’t seen each other that often, but we’d discovered that we had much more than just loving Beau in common, and when it was decided that he would go back to her, although I was incredibly sad to be losing my riding friend of seven years, I knew that I would be seeing him and Kate soon at her lovely property.
And so it was that not too long after his retirement I went to visit. Now, in his time with me Beau had become very partial to molasses water which I would give him as a treat after a long ride, but I’d forgotten to pass this information onto Kate. Well, the moment I led him into Kate’s barn, he started tossing his head in the direction of his bucket, then looking at me intently, then tossing his head again. Kate was curious. “What’s he doing?” she said. “He’s asking me for molasses water,” I laughed. So we filled him a bucket, and then another one, and Beau head-butted me to show his gratitude.
Kate and I spent many happy hours chatting about Beau and talking ‘horse’ as horsey people do. In the coming months she sent me the occasional photo and it was obvious that Beau, despite all the grass and the best feed possible, was beginning to lose condition. Even so, he was still happy enough and Kate had her new horse, a massive grey Warmblood who quickly became Beau’s mate, and the pair of them hung out together in grand style.
Then finally, two weeks ago, the call came. Beau’s time had come, Kate told me. We’d talked about it a few times, but Kate had not been sure, but this time, she was sure. He wasn’t trotting up to the gate any longer for his feed, she said, and he was losing weight very fast. She didn’t want to run the risk that he might fall in the night or when she was away, and be down for several days, and the vet had agreed that it was a good time to put him to sleep – before he went downhill fast.
So I drove up to Kate’s to be there for Beau’s goodbye, and to give him endless buckets of molasses water for his last huzzah, and let me say, that although, of course it was sad, and both of us cried many tears, that old horse ate mango pieces right up until the very last second, and it was a very peaceful passing. Afterwards the vet told Kate that she had done it at exactly the right time – Beau’s liver had begun to fail and it wouldn’t have been long before he would have been in pain and distress.
There is, as I’ve said, much more to this story – but let me end by saying that what Beau brought me was not just the joy of riding a truly wonderful horse, but also a ‘sister’ friendship, which I know will endure through many other horse – and non-horse – adventures.
One of the great things about Beau – about old horses in general, is their wisdom. They can, if we listen, teach us a lot about life, and it isn’t always in the riding. So one of the things I would like to say as Acting President of SAHA is how precious our Golden Oldies are to us – every bit of sponsorship we receive for them is so welcome, and we thank you for it.
As well as Beau’s passing, I also completed a major house move in the past week – from a rural property into a town house. For the first time in many decades I don’t have horses outside my window – but I do now have 120 horses in my interior window; horses I worry and think about on a daily basis.
We have been so relieved by the wonderful response to our fundraiser, and now we can forge ahead again. But one of the most important things we can do as a charity is to budget, and one of the best ways to do that is to know how much money is coming in regularly, so to any of you out there who might consider a small monthly donation, can I just say that it is the regular donations that allow us to create ongoing plans, so please do consider that as an option, if you haven’t already!
It’s been a busy time at SAHA and this week has also seen some great horse results. Spida, as you all know, has now been officially adopted by Lace Malloch, and will live out his days being cared for and cosseted. Athena has been adopted, and Rupert is going great guns. Our lovely Committee member Rachel, is showing such a talent for Facebook posts and videos, and her heart-warming post about Kaos gained her five new sponsors, so a big thank you to them for coming on board.
We also ran a raffle for our SAHA supporter pack and our $2 Tuesday was a great success.
But of course, our greatest triumph was the startling result of the fundraiser! It was such a fabulous testament to all of you out there and your continuing belief in the work SAHA does. At the time of writing there was $47,150 dollars donated through our Giveeasy campaign, the extraordinarily generous donation of $20,000 from Paul and Lynne White of the Ray White and approximately another $5,000 through the website and other bank deposits. We couldn’t be more thrilled.
Now, even more strongly, we can begin to plan for the future, and to continue to build on Amanda Vella’s vision. We have so many plans and exciting initiatives in the works – thank you for sticking with us!
Candida Baker – Acting President