In November 2015, Dr Kirsten Jackson, her assistant Claire Sykes and 3 veterinary students, Dianne Wood, Simone Mccolgan and Caitlin Hutcheson travelled to Gili Island in Indonesia to run a free veterinary clinic for the working ponies on the island. Over 200 ponies were treated over the course of the clinic. All ponies were wormed, given a multivitamin and their wounds were treated. With more helpers this time they were also able to do dental treatments on around 80 ponies and of course treated any other medical issues that they had such as eye infections, diarrhoea, heat stress and systemic infections.
The team also brought with them around 150kg worth of new and donated gear for the ponies. Most of the injuries are caused by poorly made and fitted equipment so by replacing them with proper equipment, hopefully the wounds can be prevented from occurring in the future.
The ponies that cart the rubbish around the island were a particularly sad case. They work extremely hard, were very underweight and had quite a few wounds from the harnesses (many of the leather straps were held together with nails which were then lacerating their sides). We completely replaced the 3 worst harnesses with donated harnesses and there was also one pony in particular, ‘Oscar’ who we believed was very close to collapse so we removed him and placed him in care. The others still need help so we are working with the Gili Eco Trust to organise more concentrate feed for them and to hopefully move to electric carts in the longer term.
A huge thank you to Oakford Stockfeeds who organised a huge donation of equipment for the ponies, Blue Water Express who took all 5 people and the 6 huge suitcases to luggage to Gili Island free of charge, Trawangan Dive who donated the accommodation for the volunteers on the island during the clinic and to all the amazing donors who donated equipment for the ponies.
[Before and after of Oscar when he came in on the left and 8 days later on the right]