Episode N°3 Arrival in Australia and meeting my new friends

After an extended and interesting stay, I left New Zealand still slightly shocked by this dreadful day in Christchurch, to reach my new destination in Australia at Linda Mira-Bateman’s place, outside Blampied, a small city in Victoria county, North-East from Melbourne.

Linda lives in a large and beautiful estate and decided to convert it into a haven for ill-treated animals – mainly horses saved from the local slaughterhouse – and asked me for some help.

Linda and her family are vegetarians by conviction. She also produces her own bio olive oil. I have an entire house just for myself with a fridge full of vegetables and milk from Tasmania ! I enjoy a superb view over the park, with plenty of kangaroos coming out of the adjacent woods to whish me a nice evening… I think I’m dreaming!

The dark side of this little Eden is the number of horses to be taken care of (but that’s in fact a good thing) and the total lack of appropriate structures to start working… I will have to be pretty much inventive !

Let me first introduce you to the horses which need my help in priority: Chicco, Rosie, Troy and Pixie.

The first pictures have been taken at the slaughterhouse and the second, 10 days later here.On this view, Chicco is left (and Rosie on the right). They are “fed” with old straw only, awaiting their fate.

Here we have Chicco again, shortly before I start my relational work with him. For some 10 years he was left abandoned, then was sold 4 times within a 6 months period with all the resulting stress, and finally used in rodeo shows. After a few months of “service” with the local cowboys, his voyage ended at the slaughterhouse…

Inga, a friend of Linda, eventually went to the slaughterhouse and bought him back as well as Troy, Rosie and a few others. She now expects me to restore their confidence in human beings. Quite a challenge, given their past track history.

This is Rosie, a filly 2 years of age, coming from a breeding farm for racehorses near Melbourne, which is dragging a sulfuric reputation. She had to stay for two weeks at the slaughterhouse due to some machinery breakdown and Inga happened to be there just at the right moment… Rosie suffers from bad treatments and lack of food, skin problems and a wounded leg, but doesn’t limp.

Inga is introducing you to Troy, shortly after arriving at the estate. Troy is a real survivor as he was already in the shooting cage with the butcher aiming at him with his gun. Surprised by the calm behavior of the horse, he thought that he might get a better profit by selling instead of killing it. Saved by its gentle character…

The following picture is quite unbearable. I apologize, but it will give you an idea of what the place looks like. In Australia, they don’t eat horsemeat, so it is used to produce… pet food ! As a result, the sanitary or moral standards in this domain are, let’s say, very loose.

Now a nice picture …

A view of the surrounding landscape and of some donkeys benefiting from Linda’s hospitality.

Our friend’s meadows. Here we have a few other “guests” enjoying a pleasant retirement.

Troy as of today. Still very much cuddly. I am going to work with him as freely as possible.

Pixie, now a 9-year-old pony, was left alone and unattended for years in a park. Her hoofs had grown to reach almost 10 inches ! Pixie is panicking when someone tries to get hold of her feet and it took me a couple of working sessions simply to build up her confidence enough toward me to let me handle her hoofs. The second step was to show the method to the blacksmith…

Current stage of the hoofs. Far from good, but quite some improvement… Just try to add mentally some 7-8 inches !

A friend who proposed to help me shoot some films. Alas, I had to turn the offer down, because he blurred all the views !

A view on Sally’s feet, another horse arriving a couple of weeks ago… the blacksmith will take good care of her.

Combined with my work with the horses and sending my pictures, I am pretty much busy. I have no Internet access, which makes things even a bit more complicated, but I would be ill advised to complain when considering the beauty of this place.

Another busy neighbors !… They are all over the place!!!!

So much for all these presentations ! I look forward to sending more news soon about my work here.

With Troy, we are going to emphasize freedom and play; maybe, he will make a career in the movie industry.

Chicco is THE real problem here (very angry and refusing any kind of contact). The first step will be to establish a proper physical contact with him and try to put on a halter gently, I will work the relationship with him in total freedom, no fences, non ropes, then we will see…

Rosie is presently too weak to work. I will accustom her to be caught, so we can give her some basic health care (hoofs, dentition) and to follow someone by the halter.

Pixie is already on a good path but will need more massages and caressing (petting).

That’s all for the moment ! Thank you for your interest regarding my work. I will get back to you soon.

VB

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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