Bethan and Charm stopped for a break after having to endure the lovely Welsh Weather... .
Out and about in Swansea
We have been working with some donkey owners, assisting them to with the welfare of their donkeys. We have assisted with castrations, vaccinations and the relinquishment of two lovely boys to the Donkey Sanctuary. The calls we make take more than one visit, we have been working collaboratively with the Donkey Sanctuary to ensure the best outcome for these boys and girls and their owners.
Horses are sentient. This means that they are able to perceive, become aware or feel things; they can be conscious of (something); come to realize or understand, interpret or regard (someone or something). Any and every interaction with horses is a lesson to us both. This is something that we as humans need to remember.
Learned helplessness occurs when the subject endures repeatedly painful or otherwise aversive stimuli, from which there is no escape. After such experiences, the animal learns to accept the painful stimulus and does not even try to escape from or avoid it even when it would have been possible to do so. In other words, the organism learned that it is helpless. Learned helplessness theory is the view that clinical depression and related mental illnesses may result from such real or perceived absence of control over the outcome of a situation. This is something we identify at epidemic levels in the equine world. Have you ever seen adverts for bombproof ponies? Sometimes these are ponies who have been subjected to training that has put them in a state of learned helplessness. This is also likely conditioned suppression - when animals learn to suppress their behaviours. Such animals are sometimes described as 'shut down' as they do not respond to their environment. This is truly heart breaking.
The saying "to break a horse" is very apt - so often horses are trained in a way that literally breaks the spirit and soul of the horse.
At Communities For Horses we engage with owners and advise them how to train their young horses with compassion. Applying learning theory and enabling owners to identify what their horse is trying to tell them. Being able to identify the subtle signs of when a horse is feeling uncomfortable or in pain is vital in order to have a positive relationship of trust with your horse.
Why is our work so vital?
We are extremely fortunate to have a fully qualified, experienced team of staff who are trained to identify and deal with different types of both physical and mental abuse towards equines. Where we can we identify the problems and educate the owners; some people genuinely do not know that what they are doing has a detrimental effect of their horses. Others know that they are causing their animals to suffer but think that they can get away with it - which unfortunately they do, due a lack of enforcement, evidence gathering, legislation and guidance. We are open and welcome collaborative working to better the welfare of equines.
This month we have received some much needed funds from the following amazing supporters:
Liam Millenship - Leah kindly donates to support our phone line. However with an increase in awareness, our costs have increased so not all our costs are covered at the moment.
The regular donations that we receive from Holly Thomas, Sarah Smith and Jenni Nellist, contribute to the transport costs incurred whilst attending welfare call. Without your continued support we would be unable to attend calls.
Daniel Towers, Trudi Dempsey, thank you so much for your donation towards our fuel expenses, every penny goes towards helping horses.
Can you help?
Make someone's summer: We have had requests from the students who spend time with us in school time for a summer school. But this costs £150 a day to run and we'd like to run it weekly during the holidays. Could you sponsor a session? Or part of a session?
Buy from us: We will soon be advertising some items for sale on our social media platforms. These items, include tack, rugs and sundries as well as household items that have been donated to us - please check our updates on Market Place on Facebook.
Could you help with our fuel costs? Each welfare call requires further investigations, via phone calls and visits, some more so than other. We liaise with appropriate authorities and have a zero tolerance for compromised equine welfare, where direct actions are required, the costs increase. Evidence gathering and working partnerships unfortunately cost more. We need your help and support to make a difference. No amount is too small, it's that you care, which makes the difference.