Thursday, 14 July 2011

Putting things into perspective

Hello all, quite a quiet day on the home front. Had a nice day at HFD (Holden Fold Dressage and Stud),  The Big Guy was not to amused at having to do some hard work but we finished with some fantastic results. Barinka ( a 5yr old stunning grey mare) who has a slightly poorly shoulder enjoyed a nice hack down the lane (after nearly diving through the fence and a bird flying off from the field). The main man Spyder HFD spent some quality time with his adopted mummy (me) having a good grass munch. 
I then put myself through an hour of personal training ( No pain no gain I keep telling myself), then came home and straight on the laptop to have a nosey at the magnificent Prince Fluffy Kareem's face book. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of meeting PFK yet let me tell you a bit about him. 
Kareem is a horse from Cairo Egypt, who was noticed a few weeks ago as going downhill fast at one of ESMA's ( Egyptian Society for Mercy to Animals) weekly horse feeds and lots of us who support this cause were keeping an eye out for him. Sadly, ESMA do not have the funding to be able to buy these horses to save them, but luckily a young student, Marte, who had already rescued a tragic bay mare Na3Na3 (with malaria and other terrible issues) stepped in and saved Kareem from certain death, he was in such a pitiful state that we cannot belive he even made it to the feed site that day - 4th June 2011. With Martes actions, a few of us around the world promised to help, when we could, with finances so that this gentle horse could, hopefully, be nursed back to good health again. I am so happy that this little horse with a HUGE heart is showing us all he was worth it, he is improving daily. He is fast becoming the face of the pyramid horses of Cairo and has a worldwide following on facebook. I am one of those avid followers who eagerly awaits the latest pictures and follows the story of this brave horse. 
It really does put things into perspective for me seeing this story. I see every day the luxury we (respectable people) choose to give the horses we own and care for, as we have respect for there being on this earth. They allow us to ride and work them when they could very easily tell us to "do one", they have teeth and hooves which they could use against us. Yet the horses I work with every day do not use these natural attributes against me or anyone who cares for them as they are shown respect. Is it really too much to ask for people to show an animal who works so hard to please you some respect (i.e Feed it). In the case of PFK I really find my feelings torn. As it is due to a lack of tourism following the recent revolution in Egypt that his previous owner, like many others there find themselves with out the funds to feed the animals they continue to ask to work. It breaks my heart when the new pictures come up of the weekly ESMA horse feeds, walking skeletons is the only way I can describe it. These poor horses know no different, they are starved, beaten when they fall due to lack of energy. Many have given up and chosen to pass into what they can only hope is a better life, and even then they are shown no respect. Mass horses graves are clear for all to see around the city, bodies left in the open for scavengers. Not even given ten minuets to dig a grave from the man they earn't a living for. PFK is one of the lucky ones, he made it (practically on his death bed) that day 4th June 2011 to the horse feed. He felt the love and respect he had worked so hard for from ONE human  (Marte), and that was all that was needed........He chose to fight to live. He was shown the life he deserved (that all animals/humans deserve), a life of love and respect. 

I hope that some of you horsey readers will join me in following this brave little horses journey. It really does show that showing a little love and respect to the animal you ask so much from means a hell of allot.  


  1. What a wonderful blog. PFK is a very lucky horse. But I feel the need to clarify something.

    Yes it is true that Egypt's tourism has suffered, and if protests continue it is unsure how much of a hit it will take! But many of the horses that are showing up at ESMA feeds these days are not victims of tourism.

    They are victims of neglect and a lack of education. Many of the owners are themselves evidently well fed,they simply do not care about their animals. It is a very sad reality to see.

    What needs to be embarked upon is a process of education. While feeds are great, they provide a band-aid solution to a wide-scale problem. I would be willing to put money on the fact that many of the stable owners see the weekly feeds as an excuse not to have to pay money for their animals.

    Therefore I urge anyone who may read this comment and plans to visit Egypt, that if you do see an emaciated horse that is meant to cart you around the pyramids, think twice.

    There are owners who know how to take care of their animals here, and maintained at least some semblance of a healthy stable during the Revolution. Only through long-term education, of both the local public and the tourists that will actually ride these skeletal beasts, can we hope to change the situation.

    PFK and Na3na3 are special cases that show just how much of a difference a few kind words and love can have in the life of a horse.

    Thanks again, for more info on Egypt you can check my blog at:

  2. Hi Lucy, thanks for all your fab words, with regard to the comment above we on PFK's page agree with most of this and thats why at the horse feeds they do constantly tru=y and educate and teach respect for these wonderful horses. A petiton has also been started to lobby the government and tourist board as we feel that long term it is only welfare reforms and legislation and licensing of stables that will finally make a difference to the lives of working horse throughout Egypt. We have been told, time and time agin, by people on the ground near Giza that the tourists rarely ride the skinny horses, it is mostly the locals and asudis that ride them, but moves are also afoot to ask the travel companies and airlines to make a clearer statement regarding riding emciated horses. The prblem we have is that do we turn away from these horses just because we feel therir owners are not caring enough, isn't that usually the basis of all charity and shelter, to help them that are unable to change their terrible circumstances for themselves. Would you turn away from a starving or beaten dog because the dog has an uncaring owner, of course not, so then why would we turn away from these horses? The sticking plaster will have to do until the time that welfare or licensing start to be implemented and these horses are not sentenced to a life of pure hell. Kind regards, Wendy