New Hampshire Equine Rehabilitation Centre
We moved to Newhampshire Farm in March 2001, and at last had a permanent base for our horses.
We had, up until now, never been in a position to accommodate more than eight horses, as we had previously rented a small area of land.
We had been contacted by members of the SPCA, or gone of our own accord, to either buy, or just rescue horses. Newhampshire Farm gives us greater scope, as we have 236 acres, and smaller paddocks to accommodate social groupings of horses.
We were contacted in January 2002 by the SPCA in Mthatha, to adopt, and help with rehabilitating 11 horses and ponies. Mthatha is over 300 km’s from our farm, and we eventually found a haulage contractor with a social conscience, who was prepared to charge us for only his fuel and his drivers time .
We duly contacted Mthatha and said we would do what we could; two horses had already died.
The horses arrived on the 11th of January 2002.
The condition of the horses was quite horrifying.
The major damage was not the physical but more physiological damage.
The horses were very aggressive toward both human contact and each other.
We sectioned off a very large field, in the front of the farm, into six smaller paddocks, and attended to the physical conditions with the help of our local vet Jimmy Laing, with whom we were in constant telephone contact.
We named them, and put them into social groupings. We managed to pal them up in two’s, but as we had 9 of them, we were left with an odd one out, Girlie.
She has a story of her own to tell.
Girlie got her name from Georgies’ parents, who were on holiday from the UK when the horses arrived. She was a young filly, and was probably in the worst condition of the group. She fell, rather than walked from the truck.
Jimmy’s advice at the time was if she wasn’t up by that evening we would have to have her euthanized.
We tube fed her with electrolytes, and treated her as best we could. For the first day or two we had her in a sling in our barn, and for 8 days, every morning, we would roll her onto planks and a blanket, and physically pick her up and hold her till she became steady. She would graze till nightfall but once down, did not have the strength to get up.
At the time we had Girlie in our garden, and Georgie’s mum would be out on the verandah with words of encouragement, and always referred to her as Girlie, hence the name.
On the ninth day when we went outside, we found Girlie standing.
Today Girlie is one of our best tempered trail horses, though a little ‘blonde’.
Another absolute classic is a guy called Mteta which in the Xhosa language means ‘to talk’.
He was in a horrendous condition, weight wise.
The damage to his whithers and back from ill fitting tack, and the injuries to his vertebrae were visible as there was no skin covering them.
Mteta is one of our best beginner horses on the trails, he always rides at the back of the group due to his antagonistic attitude.
We always say he is a social degenerate, as even his own social group has to be wary of him.
We think he always had to fight for what he got at his previous homes, and this attitude will never be lost. But for all that, he’s a good guy.
Spice is a big thoroughbred cross who is well into his twenties.
He came to us in very poor condition.
He started coming right over a period of time, but then relapsed. We found his teeth to be in a terrible state, and it was certainly not just a case of floating the teeth.
Jimmy Laing had to level the front teeth before removing the hooks off the molars.
This did wonders for Spice, as he can now graze at his leisure.
Unfortunately Spice has had a lot of problems during rehab and we are still hoping he will come right. His physical condition has improved tremendously. He may be able to go back to the odd hack in the future.
We also have two donkeys adopted from the SPCA.
They have been with us since we started in 1998.
Their names are Stieny and Lang lip, neither of whom are youngsters.
The story behind Dinky. We had rescued some miniature donkeys and found homes for them, amongst them were a couple of very young stallions. Lang lip over did her flirting, and produced the most gorgeous babe, who we named ‘Dinky’, and who is loved by all.
Please feel free to visit us for more stories on our horses.