This is one daughter who has turned rebel and does not get along with her mum any more. So Titli & Chaya have parted ways and Titli is now kept in a separate enclosure from her mother. She has grown a lot in the past year and has blossomed into a beautiful young lady.
She likes to play the field and entice the male horses or any new horse that arrives at the Sanctuary, a behaviour completely opposite to her quiet, aloof mother. She is also a great runner, a throwback to her genes we think, and runs like the wind though she is short and stunted like most of the rescued horses from the abandoned stud farm.
Chaya likes her own company. She is a very easy, laid back girl who gives no one any trouble. She does not mix well with other horses so hangs out all alone in her enclosure or shares it with the other odd horse or two.
In another month or so Chaya will complete three years with us. She has come a long way from the starved and malnourished mare that arrived at Friendicoes Sanctuary. She now has a shiny coat and a glossy mane, and while she is taller than her daughter and of a better pedigree she clearly does not enjoy galloping as Titli does. Which is why she must have been used as a brood mare. Something she no longer should bear the burden of. Life now is just about enjoying the open skies, open field, the freedom of doing whatever she wants and lots of good food. Something made possible by support from Animal Aid Abroad.
Koyna is "Miss Popular" and has maintained this title for as long as she has been with us - almost 5 years! She is hale and hearty and continues to win hearts with her social graces and beautiful looks. Recently she has befriended a new arrival at the sanctuary, another abused old girl who looked lost and bewildered in the first few days. With Koyna's warm company the old girl has started taking a few uncertain steps towards a new life although she has years of bad memories to get over.
Koyna would be the best candidate for a "therapy donkey", she is patient, good natured and full of life. We are so happy that her mum could be rescued in time on that cold evening in 2012 though for some time there, we almost thought we had lost both during delivery. Everything is well that ends well so instead of thinking of past sadness that we cannot change we look forward to helping more animals in need like Tapi & Koyna.
There is not a lot to say about Tapi except that she is enjoying her retirement life. She is a placid old girl who does not react to anything around her, nothing excites her nor upsets her. She continues her own sedate pace whether it is eating or walking or living life. Her interaction with Koyna is also minimal with the latter being the social butterfly while Tapi is a social recluse.
We are just happy that we found her as she isn't very young and the alternative for her would be to work to the ground. A few happy years without carrying loads is what she deserves.
Vayu is hale & hearty and still going strong. His coat is shining and he has grown a cute forelock that gives him a whacky look. While he may not have, any vision left he manages well with his other faculties. The only thing that has not changed in Vayu is his less than stellar temperament. While he has mellowed down from when he first arrived, 4 years ago his demeanour still needs some work.
But we guess it is too late in life to expect him to change his ways, especially after he has been kicked around himself for so many years before he came to us. Last year for a short period we thought we were going to lose him as he went through a lean phase but he proved us all wrong and made a full recovery and has had a good year. We hope and pray he has many more years with us.
Sundari and Meethi
Sundari & Meethi have always been best buddies with Yamini & Truffles. But early this year we had separated them so that Yamini and Truffles socialized more with other animals. After the outbreak, they, with all the other animals were put in quarantine which they did not enjoy for one minute. The confinement, restrictions and the change from their usual routine made them unhappy and fidgety. Thankfully the quarantine ended and both Sundari & Meethi are back under the open sky, doing what they like best - running, hanging out with other equine friends and greeting visitors.
Six months back Sundari developed lameness due to putting on too much weight during the winter months. It was a result of group feeding in enclosures so this was immediately stopped and all horses are now fed separately and Sundari put on a diet immediately. She could hardly move initially as she had joint inflammation due to too much weight too suddenly. But Sundari is now back to her old energetic self, her lameness has disappeared and she is galloping across the fields thanks to the hard work of her caretaker and our equine team who took excellent care of her.
Meethi on the other hand has kept Sundari company all through the hard times and is a gorgeous 3-year-old filly. She is everyone's favourite like Sundari and is a most social and friendly horse at the Sanctuary.
[Left: Sundari, Right: Meethi]
Truffles also survived the outbreak that claimed her mother and 5 others. She has been in quarantine and closely monitored for the last 2 months. Sensitive creatures that they are, Truffles has been hugely impacted by the recent happenings. She has gone into a shell and hardly interacts with anyone including her caretaker.
The vets have given her an all clear but emotionally she is not her old self. Three weeks back she started mingling amongst the other horses but keeps her distance too. She clearly misses her mother whom she used to follow around a lot and although the attachment had reduced as she grew older she never went too far from her mum. We are hoping that with time her grief will reduce and we will have the old, curious and frisky girl back with us.
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.
Noori is not keeping very well of late. She suffered a bad kick from a newly rescued mule while being shifted from the enclosures to the stables. It caught her off guard and she took the brunt on her side. And a very hard kick it was!
While there was no surface injury and the vets declared no lasting damage, Noori has become quiet and is eating considerably less. Though it has been 3 weeks since the incident, we all can notice a change in her. The vets feel it may be the shock more than any physical pain or hurt that has led to this.
She is getting all the extra attention possible to help her come out of this unpleasant experience. She has always been a very sensitive one, owing to her muzzle injury at the time of her arrival at the Sanctuary. She had to be kept on a liquid diet for months and her caregivers developed a special spot for her. We know she is in the best hands and will soon revert to her old self.
Ila's wound has at last healed!
That is mainly due to her staying inside the stables the whole of summer except in the nights when she joins her friends out in the fields. Having been confined to the interior of the stables most of the time due to her wound, Ila enjoys being inside more than outside. But a girl needs her exercise to keep in shape and Ila is no different so with a little push and shove from the caretakers Ila goes out into the enclosures to socialize a bit, breathe a little fresh air and take a few rounds of the grounds.
This last year has seen Mudra flower into a bold, confident girl. She is much more interested, inquisitive and curious about everything around her than she was earlier. She is part of the group who greets all visitors into the donkey enclosure. Of late she has developed this new habit of sneaking up on unsuspecting people and nipping them from the back to gain their attention. So, the caretakers must keep an extra eye on her when there are visitors around. She is also glowing and in the pink of health. She is perkier, more sprightly and full of beans. The loss of her child Pakhi does not seem to have left any lasting impact on her and we are grateful for that.