Early July 2012 there was a big storm 300 kms north of our base in Lot et Garonne.
2 Stallions broke out of their field, yet again. Partly in panic, partly as there was
no grass for them & the neighbours field was definitely greener.
Despite repeated requests to the owner to retrieve his horses nothing was done, the owner had previously had problems as the 2 horses hadn’t been handled, much & perhaps he had some health issues.
The farmer finally called the Maire of the commune, the Gendarmerie & one of our Farriers .
After checking out the horses Gareth contacted ASHA to see if we could help as
they were young & healthy & likely to be disposed of.
As luck would have it, Jolly & Frankie were being prepared for their new life with a family, so we had space coming up.
ASHA agreed to take the horses & all the formalities were eventuallydealt with, including the Maire arranging to keep the horses until we could accept them one month later.
Gareth started to prepare the stallions by handling them, trimmed their feet
(which had been neglected) & arranged transport.
They duly arrived on August 20th. Their papers show that they were born in 2007, so are a little older than we thought, but healthy handsome boys settling in.
Helen and volunteer Anne working with Nemo preparing
him for the farrier.
Nemo and Apache are colts no longer! We believe it is easier to find homes for geldings rather than colts and therefore they were recently castrated. The procedure went well and both boys are on the road to recovery.
Nemo and best pal Apache are well settled in at HQ. They are being handled regularly by ASHA carers. They will be castrated towards the end of November unless the right person comes forward for them before then who would like and is capable of keeping stallions.
The 2 horses arrived on August 20th after several hours in the lorry on a very hot day. Despite our worries they were calm when they entered the field but very thirsty.
Unfortunately we haven’t been able to put them in the field with our new shelter as its not secure enough for them. They will go there when they have been castrated next month. Its too hot here at the moment to carry out the procedure due to flies & risk of infection.
They seem content and don’t worry about helpers going in to feed them and poo pick the field. Only experienced helpers are doing this for now and all are very safety aware, hats on etc. We are using this time to let them get used to us & for us to observe them & get to know their
characters. So far so good.
As the names on their papers were not easy to use we’ve had a competition to name the boys. And the name chosen for our new beautiful bay colt is NEMO!
We had some snow in February but the 'boys' are well and happy
in their field at Cantermerle.
Insert body text here ...
July 2013 - this report from Joan Skelton of the ASHA carers team.
Nemo has started his training and responds to pressure release, moving backwards and forwards, plus transition from walk to trot to walk and stop.
He can be groomed, saddled and bridled.
He has worked in the school, in hand, with other horses present and completed a desensitising and obstacle course session. He has also experienced a ‘reach out’ course in the round pen.
January 2014 - Jan, our ASHA carer writes about her experiences preparing Nemo for starting:
My time with Nemo
To say he has stolen my heart would be an understatement.
Nemo was getting ready to be started for the very first time, his training was not as advanced as that of his field mate Apaché and so I offered to work with him on a daily basis, for one month, in order to get him ready for his big day.
He is high spirited and can be a bit cheeky at times but it soon became apparent that a lot of his bravado was actually a cover for his insecurities. His constant willingness to please was totally endearing (but he never lost his character), he was quick to learn, once he truly understood what was being asked of him. He is also a really honest character, he would question 'is this what you want me to do' and when confirmed he would do it. He loves to work and often protested when it was time to return to his field.
As he became more secure his face, eyes and whole demeanour softened. I could walk into his field and call him and he would often follow me without the need of a head collar, he enjoyed being fussed and the one to one attention.
Our month is now at an end and I have to return to the UK and although we didn't quite meet our goal, he is not far away from it. He certainly tugged at my heart strings and I already miss my daily rendezvous with my special boy. If only he was a little bit bigger he'd be coming home with me.
February 2014 - this report from Joan Skelton of the ASHA carers team.
Nemo's training is progressing as follows:
He has walked out with other horses, both male and female,and has coped well with passing lorries, tractors and cars with horns blowing ,doors opening and closing and lights flashing.
He is happy to be stabled alone or with a horse next to him.
He can also be wall tied.
He has been saddled and bridled and had a very heavy dummy on him.
At the moment he is having training to stand at the mounting block with some one standing on it, jumping up and down and off it, putting weight on the saddle and in the near side stirrup.
The next report, hopefully will be to say he is being ridden out.
January and February 2014 - Nemo in training - preparation for being started.
Nemo has been ridden for the first time.
He was a lovely sight, nice & calm due to all the preparation.
Nemo has been through the tassels before but the water & noodles were new to him, with Janet's clear coaching he went through both obstacles quietly & calmly & then stood in the box for her - clever boy & well done Janet..
Nemo saying hello to the mares before joining their herd. He has never lived with mares before. He was very gentle and also very interested
Nemo went to Les Ecuries St Martin in November where Pierre-Yves Girard worked with him. He was ridden in the school, taken out with groups & on several occasions ridden out on his own.
Sadly the girl who hoped to take him on after he was backed decided that her school work meant she couldn’t commit to him. So he is back at Cantemerle where Helen & the ASHA volunteers are working with him. Photo is of Jason riding him in the school with other horses. We hope he will soon find his forever home.