We have been asked by many people why we don’t buy in horses to stop them going for slaughter, I am sure the question is hypothetical as we never have the spare funds. Over the last 15 years we have rescued hundreds of horses and donkeys that have been abandoned but it has never been our policy to pay to rescue a horse or donkey. Although we have taken them in to stop them going to slaughter in some cases at no cost to ourselves. There are reasons for this stance, as we believe that if you start buying in horses that are destined for slaughter this just creates a false market. We are aware of dealers using this as blackmail as they know they get a much higher price than from the abattoirs they sell too. To put things in prospective we are informed that there could be well over a million horses going into the human and animal food chain in Europe each year! Apart from the horses that are slaughtered from within the EEC there are large amounts of horses coming in from non EEC countries. 42,000 frozen horse carcasses came in from Canada and Australia last year alone to make up the demand. Many dog and cat food manufactures use horse meat, many zoos are using horse meat; and the pet food industry is truly massive. A reality question for many animal lovers is what amount of horse meat goes to feed the animals of a large pound for abandoned dogs and cats each day? Probably someone’s once loved horse!!!
Whilst doing a magazine article in Galicia on the Rapa da Bestas festivals where the crofters take out surplus ponies from the herds to be sold off, many going off to Barcelona and Italy and France for slaughter. Talking with them they are convinced that they were doing no more with their pony’s than anyone raising cattle and explained that their families had been eating and selling pony’s for meat since the Celts had brought the pony herds to Galicia many centuries ago. Even as devout horse lovers it is hard not to see their point.
Apart from taking in abandoned horses and donkeys and trying to find them new homes, we had no doubt prior to us starting SEPE 15 years ago that education was the way forward. That is why we try running as many educational programs as possible with schools and adult training programs but sadly this does not pull on the emotional heart strings to pull in funds.
SEPE has Lucy Rees returning once again to the Laura Golf Equestrian Centre, La Alqueria, Alhaurin de la Torre on the 15th 16th and 17th of October to do yet another natural horsemanship clinic. She has done courses at SEPE’s installations on her clinic tour for the last 3 years and has gained the respect from many Spanish horsemen that were previously very skeptical of her gentle approach of gaining a horse’s trust and how she works with many problem cases and young horses at her clinics. Lucy Rees is well known for her books on riding and equine behavior and she is the author of The Horse’s Mind: still sought after, after 20 years since its first publication and used by many natural horse trainers throughout the world as a bible on basic natural training techniques. After gaining degrees at University College London, in zoology and neuro-physiology, she moved to Snowdonia to a farm mainly working with Welsh ponies and getting them started under saddle. In 1987, there was a film made of her experiences by HTV: To Ride a Wild Horse. This looked at Lucy’s experiences as she went from breaking in horses in Wales, to looking at how the cowboys in Arizona tackled breaking their horse. She first of all moved to Portugal from Wales, where she lived with her Lusitano stallion Iberico and dog Caddi, but for many years she has been based in Spain and made it her home. In1998, she was asked to do demonstrations of her work at SICAB (The Spanish show piece dedicated to the purebred Spanish horse.) She used her demonstrations to “show a natural way of training, which uses the instinct of the horses instead of fighting against it, and accomplished rapid results, without fear or stress.” and got horses to come to her by initially sending them away in a round pen. A method used now by many natural horse trainers worldwide. Lucy has spent lots of her time living with the wild herds studying their behavior and the way she could adapt her teachings to the way horses behave within their herds. Since Lucy has been based in Spain she has become one of the most respected horse trainers here and has also has a huge following throughout South America where she also spends quite a bit of her time running clinics. She has also been a writer for several Spanish language equestrian magazines and is well known and respected throughout the entire Spanish equine community. There are many other natural horse trainers around the globe these days that use a lot of the methods Lucy has been using for many years. USA showman type trainers such as Monty Roberts and Pat Pirelli are better know as they have such massive publicity machines behind them but to those who have been involved with Lucy’s clinics previously know that they have had a chance to spend time with someone extremely gifted. For more information contact Vicky Tel 626677719 www.sepeonline.net o facebook sepeonline y sepeamigos
The cost is 150 euros, for the reservation 50% has to be paid into our account
Banco de Andalucia/Grupo Banco Popular
Titular: SOC ESPAÑOLA PARA LA PROTECCION DE LOS EQUINOS
Número de Identificación Bancária (NIB): 0075 3180 04060617618 3
Internacional Banking Account Number (IBAN): ES22 0075 3180 0406 0617 6183
Bank Identification Code (BIC): POPUESMM
These are the latest two arrivals at our Malaga horse and donkey rescue facilities; they were running loose on a local highway and causing havoc! As an accident was caused by the ponies it would be very doubtful if the ponies will be claimed by their owner. The biggest problem at the moment is that many people are short of money due to the economic situation so their horses are just let loose to fend for themselves where there is free grazing but they often wander onto highways. Many more horses are expected to be either abandoned or end up at slaughter in the coming months. Also there are many charities in Spain who struggle to pay their bills each month like ourselves and they will find it very hard to take in too many extra rescues unless more people are willing to donate a little each month to assist. We truly appreciate those who support our work or sponsor one of the animals in our care this kept us going over the long and costly winter. We would also like to thank those who so kindly put on fund raising events for us and we would like to hear from others who might be willing to do so, we are open to suggestions.
We would like to hear from those who might be interested in doing a farrier course and those who would like to book their places on the next Lucy Rees course in October. We are doing several educational courses at the moment but we are still able to take one or two more schools if they would like to contact us. Further volunteers are always needed at our rescue centre to help care for the animals and for assisting with fundraising activities.
We had our open day and Carriage horse competition at our Malaga centre, which was a successful day and we hope everyone enjoyed themselves! It was especially a very successful day for Jesus Requena Carrasco who won both the 1 horse and the 2 horse carriage events! We would like to thank all the participants who entered the event, which is very much an expanding equine sport.
We would like to thank all our loyal volunteers who help us not only with the care of the horses and donkeys in our care but those who worked so hard getting the centre ready for the event. We plan on doing other fundraising events in the near future by hosting competitions as it is one way of taking advantage and improving our facilities! We also will be doing as many educational courses as possible during the year and would like to hear from those that might be interested in doing a farrier course. Lucy Rees one of the most well known natural horse trainer in Spain will be with us once again from the 15th to the 17th October so please note those dates. We have a couple of other well renowned horse trainers that we are negotiating with at the moment to do exhibitions at our facilities at Lauro Golf Equestrian Centre! We are bringing in schools at the moment for educational courses and we will try to expand on our work with this as well as our dedicated work with the physically and mentally handicapped.
Although we are probably the oldest equine charity in Spain we still always need of loyal volunteers who can not only work with the rescued equines but those who can make sure the facilities are kept in good order. Like many charities we are always in need funds to support our work and we are also grateful to those people who are prepared to host fundraising events so we can maintain our work. For those who would like to follow our work you can do this not only via our web site but facebook as we quickly reached our 5,000 limit at sepeonline in a few weeks we have now set up a group page SEPE AMIGOS.
At this time of the year we need to work doubly hard to see if we can get local authorities to adapt some sort of regulations for the carriages horse taxis prior to the main tourist season. After receiving many welfare reports over the years from different provinces because some horses were literally being worked to they collapsed. We sent our recommendations to central government and to all the regional governments in Spain to implement s some type of regulations.
They of course have put the responsibility on the local authorities who in most cases have not brought in any control for the licensing of the carriages within their towns and cities. We issued our recommendations separately to all the authorities where we had previously received welfare reports and had hoped that they would use this as a framework for the license conditions.
We ask everyone involved within local authorities who are responsible for issuing carriage taxi licenses to consider our recommendations for the coming year as we rely on your support to bring about the improvement in equine welfare which is long overdue and always on view to the general public.
DOWNLOAD THE RECOMMENDATIONS (pdf format 1.7 MB)
The situation of many horses in a terrible state behind Fuengirola, (Malaga), that are along the river bed or tethered or hobbled behind the Miramar shopping centre gets us complaints on a daily basis. There does not appear to be any importance to improve the situation from Mayoress Esperanza Oña and her staff as this situation would have been resolved some years ago. Over the years we have only been asked to collect horses from this area when it has been far too late, some have been without paperwork, worm infested or have lost eyes due infections and lack of care or have over grown hooves or had viral infections. And how come there has not been a serious accident because of the horses and their foals running loose on the road is a miracle in itself. When we have had to pick up an equine there we have had to pick up huge bills and spend our very limited funds on trying to save these horses when it is far too late or have the cost of putting them down.
It is time for the local authorities to get this situation resolved!
Yet another Lucy Rees course was a huge success and well attended; everybody not only enjoyed the 3 day event but hopefully went home with a lot of knowledge knowing that there is a better way of training horses by understanding gentler methods! Lucy was assisted by Toño Hernandez and Raquel Villares and everybody had a great week end. She has a style and rapport with every horse which is very special and we eagerly await her next book, which hopefully will be on the shelves soon. We will of course let you know when we have further details! We are currently negotiating to have other training courses during 2,010 at our Malaga centre and will keep you posted.
The work is well underway at our centre in Malaga to turn one of the former piggeries into an indoor riding school which can be mainly used for the riding for the physically and mentally disadvantaged, which brings a great deal of joy into their lives. It also gives the older horses a real sense of usefulness that is mentally therapeutic to a formally active animal as well as its rider. It will be useful to us when we have training courses also when the weather is not so suitable. So far some of the parents of the physically and mentally disadvantaged have offered us some financial assistance on the work so we can get it underway to carry on classes throughout the year but we still desperately need financial assistance getting this facility up and running early in the new year. Of course once it is up and running we would like to hear from other individuals or organisations that would like to make full use of the new facility.
These are our latest acquisitions, which had to be rounded up after being in collision with a car just outside Alora, in the province of Malaga. Although luckily no one was injured there could have been more serious outcome, one mare was lucky to escape with minor injuries after being hit. The mare had lost the use of its sight in one eye but it was not believed to have been caused due to the collision.
As the Guardia Seville could not locate the owner the horses they were collected and taken to our facilities at Lauro Golf Centro Ecuestre in Alqueria, Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga although the stallion was a little under weight and probably needed worming hopefully they can both be speedily brought back to health!
In 15 years of SEPE attending such incidents it is very unlikely that the owner of the horses will come to claim them as it will mean picking up any bills also!
If the owner does not come forward as with many other equines in our care at our facilities we will need sponsors.
We have Lucy Rees returning to our centre at Alhaurin de la Torre, Malaga to do her popular course one on the last week end in November 27th, 28th, 29th. The course will start with a meeting on the Friday afternoon preparing for a full day on the Saturday and then on most of the Sunday. Lunch will be provided on the Saturday and the cost of the course is 150 Euros and half must be paid as a deposited well in advance to confirm a place as there can only be a limited number.
We are always in need of further volunteer helpers for grooming and experienced riders for schooling, so if anyone can spare just a few hours a week please contact us. You can get further details by contacting Victoria at SEPE on 626677719
We had to say goodbye to our oldest resident Rica, who had been with us for many years. She was 43 years old and although she had quite a problem with arthritis in her later years she had been otherwise quite strong. She was rescued with another horse that had been abandoned on some land next to the American military base at Cadiz . When the people involved were transferred away from the base that had look after them they asked us to take them in. As she was like family we will all miss her very much.
Lucy Rees has informed us that she will be doing another course on Natural Horsemanship for us later in the year, so we need to know who will be taking part this year as early as possible as last year we had many people that were disappointed because they had missed the date, so please let us have your details if you wish to take part.