THE GAWF EQUINE TEAM REACHES OUT SENSITIVELY INTO A NEW COMMUNITY
The wooded slopes of Mount Pelion curve out into the Aegean in a hook-shaped peninsula on the east side of the Greek mainland. Although the pretty villages are popular with tourists, the mountain also supports a thriving logging industry, so there are many working horses and mules in the area. We hadn’t offered our support to this group of muleteers on Pelion before, so when at the end of June a local vet helpfully presented our Equine Team with an opportunity to make new contacts, we took it gladly, knowing that a first visit can be crucial to building trust among a group of owners. (It only takes one, respected member of a community to spread the word)!
At this time of year, most of the working animals are inaccessible – up on the mountain where they can’t be reached by road – but we were able to examine and treat a number of youngsters that were in training for next season, as well as some nursing mares accompanied closely by their slightly anxious foals. We were very pleased to find all the animals in good body condition without any really serious issues that needed attention. Under the guidance of the local vet, the owners had wormed them too, which is rare and most welcome, but they weren’t aware of the importance of giving them a tetanus jab as well, and unfortunately they are still using the type of shoe that covers the whole of the underside of the hoof. These traditional shoes have a number of disadvantages, not least the serious bacterial infections that they can cause, but it’s still a REAL STRUGGLE to persuade people to stop fitting them. (GRRrrrrrr).
However, to our delight, the owners are now all keen for the team to return in the new year for some more preventative and troubleshooting treatment and they’ve even agreed to have a few animals shod with an open shoe… as a ‘road test’! We’ll depend on their practical, good sense to see for themselves how making this change can improve the welfare and performance of their teams.
We’re quite ridiculously proud of the work our Equine Team does, as it’s completely unique in Greece. But getting a team of professionals into areas that can either be far from base or difficult to reach is a resource-intensive undertaking. Can you help us to go on providing care to the hard-working equids of Greece by making a donation today?
Thank you for caring, and for everything you do.