Radha is a 12 year old mare who was brought to the sanctuary in April 2013 because she was limping badly. A thorough examination revealed that one of her shoes was broken and half of it was deeply embedded in her hoof. The pain she would have suffered working with this affliction every day would have been unbearable.
She is a shy, docile horse who was weak and lame from many years of work, so the Friendicoes team bought her from her owner and retired her to the sanctuary so that she could escape her life of constant toil.
She has shown considerable improvement since her arrival, and has formed a close bond with another female horse Yamini and her foal Snuggles, although she is still scared of the larger horses and shies away from them.
Update (July 2013)
Radha remains a shy, timid mare. She has recovered fully from her hoof injury and is eating well. Due to her slight build and quiet nature, we were not sure that she would be accepted by the larger horses, but last month she was introduced to the large horse enclosure to socialize and even though she still keeps to herself, she is not being bullied or harassed. We are hoping that slowly, she will become a part of the herd. She already has a friend in Yamini and her foal Snuggles, with whom she shares the stable at night.
Update (February 2014)
Radha is presently being kept separately from the other equines because she recently got into a bit of a squabble with Vayu the mule. Even when she’s not squabbling with other equines, she tends to stay in one corner of the field all day, away from the others. In truth, she prefers the company of humans to the company of other equines, and is really well-behaved with her caretakers. So she is now allowed to exercise in the area in front of the stables, where only the very new rescues are kept for a couple of weeks before being introduced to the others in the main field areas. She was fidgety when our friend Tandrali tried to take this photo, so you’ll notice one of the caretakers’ arms in the corner of the photo, holding her still for a moment to take a photo!
Health-wise Radha is doing very well. She has a good appetite, and as a result, she has put on a lot of weight and her coat is now lovely and shiny and smooth.
Update (September 2014)
Radha remains aggressive towards other equines. All efforts to socialize and introduce her to the equine family and the exercise field has been a failure. She prefers to stand in a corner of the field in front of the stables sharing the space with other new rescues. But sadly she has to be tethered to a pole all the time if no caregiver is around to monitor and mind her. She easily gets into spats with the other horses/mules but is obedient with the caregivers. She has put on some more weight and is in the pink of health.
Update (October 2015)
Look at Radha now! She has come so far since the update we sent you two years ago. We are happy now we did not bow down to pressure and euthanize her.
Radha has gained in weight, health and looks but she stubbornly refuses to socialize. Put her in an enclosure with other horses or donkeys and she will definitely start a riot. So she stands tethered under the shade of a tree in the outer area of the stables. She gets the extra treat of going for a short ride every morning with her caregiver around the village after which she gets a good rub down followed by a healthy breakfast of chara (roughage). Her hoof has healed completely and needs no extra care. She gets regular hoof cleaning along with all the other horses but she is not advised excess exercise. So a sedentary lifestyle standing under the shade of the tree is actually suiting her.
Update (November 2016)
Radha had suffered a lot of abuse in her life before we bought her off her owner about 3 years back in 2013. She was already lame and the visiting team of vets from New Zealand at that time had suggested we put her to sleep. We did not agree and fortunately Radha went from strength to strength and turned into a healthy, beautiful girl. She is now 15.
Unfortunately, Radha suffered a double blow not too long ago. She was one of the horses who suffered the Trypanosomiasis outbreak which left her weak in health. She also lost her only friend Yamini in the outbreak. Ever since she has become quieter and more aloof since her unfortunate loss. She has lost weight; her appetite is low and she looks a shadow of her old self.
Although Radha has been given theall clear by the vets she is still weak and her age is catching up with her. Winter is going to be hard for her old and overworked bones. The vets have warned us that she may not make it through the winter. We have already started preparing a special stable area for her and the other old horses so they will have more warmth and comfort during the cold winter days and the bone chilling nights. Hopefully Radha will be warm and comfortable and once more return to good health.
Update (November 2017)
It makes us extremely happy to write this update on Radha. We had mentioned in our last update that age is catching up with her and she had been left very weak after a bout of illness. The vets had also warned us about winter taking its toll on her and her survival was at stake. Thankfully we had a lean winter and the arrangements made at the sanctuary for the older horses last winter ensured that Radha made it and regained her strength.
She is presently enjoying the sun on her old and much abused bones. She spends a lot of time outdoors, and even enjoys an occasional short canter all on her own. After she was out of her quarantine period following her illness last year, she at last joined the old herd although she stands at the edge and is aloof. Tolerance and social niceties are too much to expect of her at this stage in life. The other horses do not trouble her, and she is leading a quiet, peaceful life on her own terms. Hopefully she will be with us for a few more years.
Currently sponsored by:
1. Bliss Hodgson, QLD ($100)
2. Linda Tostevin, WA ($100)
3. Sirius Com, WA ($100)
4. Alastair Jacob, NSW ($100)
5. Cameron Thang, NSW ($100)
6. Maureen Sladdin, VIC ($100)