All my life I have been privileged to own and work with many amazing horses from all over. In the UK we for the most part treat our animals like part of the family with a minority that mistreat them and even then we have laws in place to deal with the cruelty that can arise.
But here in Egypt it is very different animals such as donkeys and horses are for the most part working animals here to aid the farmer in earning his daily bread. Horses are also used as dancing horses and race horses and most are not treated fairly or humanly. Strangely enough this treatment isn't done out of hatred for the animals but out of uneducation they have not been taught about why you should feed them properly or why tack has to fit correctly or a bit needs to be a certain way.
The way they treat their horses comes down to their traditions and beliefs.
This was one of the reasons I decided to start The Blue Lotus because the horses I use are not full Arabian beauties but the local Baladi horses these amazing animals are seen as cheap and not regarded very highly but to me one Baladi horse is worth 1000 pure breed Arabs!
Mainly small in size most on bigger than 15.2hh these amazing horses have incredibly big hearts and even though most I work with and own have been abused in some way once shown some love and kindness become the most true and honest ride you will ever have!
One such horse was my new addition Gem out riding one day we came across her tied to a lamppost out side the owners house. The owner saw us coming and stopped us and asked if we could take a look at her because she wasn't doing so good.
Jumping off my boy Gazelle I went to check her out and the first thing she did was bury her head in my chest as if to say don't leave me here!
That was it I was taken hook line and sinker
Now it wasn't that the owner was a bad person in reality he hadn't had her long and his other horse looked amazing but he just didn't understand her and thought the only way to get her to do anything was to beat her :-(
So with that myself and my friend who was riding with me at the time made him an offer with the money we luckily had in our pockets that morning and ended up settling on 1500le which to an Englishman is a mere £73! but for here was still lot!!
This I didn't care about she was coming with me come what may and even if she died shortly after wards at least she had a bit of love before she went.
When you see her pictures you will see she is painful thin and at the time we didn't realize she was actually 4 months pregnant!! unfortunately a few weeks after we got her she lost the foal and all the condition we thought we had started to get on her we lost and went back to worse than before :-(
I had her nearly a year and even though she was still skinny we started to take her out to help her gain some much needed muscle only very short walks, lung her I here you cry! well I would but she had no clue what I'm asking and as I don't want to show her a lung whip walking her in circles is kinder for her.
All was going well until last October when she seemed to go down with colic mild at first which after a visit from the vet all seemed to go ok.
The next day she seemed to go down sick again this time a little harder tahn before it was then I knew I was loosing her :-(
The problem was I was due to fly to the UK for work the next morning so had no choice but to leave her in the hands of everyone here that night I craddled her head in my lap and said my goodbyes as I knew deep down I would never see her beautiful face again.
My vet said she would be ok but something told me otherwise.
I left for the UK the next morning and had a call saying Gem was looking much better and not to worry. I still had that sick feeling that all was not well even after they sent me video you see a lot of the time horses will pick up really well and look as though they are back to normal before coming crashing down again and I just felt that this was about to happen.
And as sure as the sky is blue the next morning I had the messages that Gem had in deed gone down and was very sick.
It was then I called my friends at Ace - Animal CAre in Egypt a brilliant charity that provides free medical treatment to the animals of Luxor and asked them to take a look along with my vet.
An hour later I had the call to say she was suffering greatly and that I needed to make a decision on what was best for her.
Some people will tell you that you can't just make a decision like that but trust me I didn't come to this lightly.
I made the decision to put her to sleep and to end her pain and at 1pm that day she crossed the rainbow bridge where I hope to meet her again.
Our vet and Ace did an amazing job and my husband then had her laid to rest in our menage so she will forever be home.
I miss Gem everyday but I take heart in the fact I was able to show her love and let her feel fredoom at least once in her life.
And I know she will be waiting for me so I bst take her her favourite beverage or i'll be in trouble.