When I went to the gipsy camp, there were about 5 big families and they were all friendly because I was trying to help. I gave them advice on treating wounds, treating their horses, and the advantages of deworming.
We managed to close another deal with the gipsies, he was called Heroi, a small stallion with very swollen legs and deep wounds on his neck and belly. He could not stand up the day before we got him, we managed to give him medication so we could transport him.
2 days after, still no action was taken by authorities. As I had seen the state of the horses, I definitely could not close my eyes. There was another horse unable to get up, and walk. But by hitting hard enough, he was still pulling carts.
The gipsies felt the pressure and were getting scared. They decided they were moving to other cities, to avoid problems. This was one of my worse night mares, as if they left, I would not be able to help any of the horses anymore.
The problem was, some of the gipsies were going to Beja, which is 170 km from us. For sure the weak horses, would not make it.
On the night before they left, me and my friend went over to the gipsy camp at 11PM and saved a 5 day old foal and her mother, “Iona” and “Soltão”, as they wanted to take the foal on the 170km journey running after his mum, or take the foal from the mother, and sell the mother in Beja. This was a journey I fear they would never have survived. I knew I would feel guilty forever if I hadn’t saved them.
On the same night, we also rescued a ginger stallion, “Sky”. His legs were in a very bad condition. Walking in front of a cart or even walking just a few meters would have been too cruel for words.
Basically, my first rescue experience started here, and now, knowing about it, I can’t close my eyes, and I am not willing to close my eyes.
Esperança is still getting stronger at my home, but already has a forever loving home.
Heroi is getting less swollen every day, but probably he will only serve as companion horse, he is only 6 years old but will be unable to carry people for the rest of his life. But at least, he will be able to live without pain. We have found a lovely home for him.
Iona and Soltão, are also staying at our rescue center, and Soltão is growing into an amazing stallion. Iona, the mother is very afraid, and sometimes aggressive, as she is still very scared she or her foal will be hurt. This will take a long time to get her used people again, but hopefully she will get there.
Sky, after seeing 3 different vets, and medication not freeing him from pain, we decided it would not be fair to keep him alive. His legs were too damaged. There was nothing we could do. We came late for him, but at least he had almost 3 weeks with plenty of food, water, pain killers and love.
From then on, I knew my life was about to transform into a rollercoaster, helping horses is amazing, but it hurts a lot, I had many sleepless nights…
The government did not help us at all, not even to bury Sky.
The majority of the donation goes to buy “future” rescue horses, food and medication for the first months.