1st March was World Horse Day, and what better way to celebrate than with our first equine outreach trip of the year?!
In many parts of Greece, horses are still used for transport (tourism or private), agriculture, carrying goods and working in the forestry service carrying or dragging logs. We have run our unique Equine Programme for more than 20 years now, in order to help as many horses and other working equines all over Greece. On 26th and 27th February, our team visited the area of Thessaly in central Greece and worked in several villages on the mountain Pelion, where they treated 29 working equines (mainly horses), whose owners are lumberjacks and use them for removing the tree trunks from the parts of forest where machinery cannot enter.
Our team worked hard during the visit, especially during the second day when there was heavy rain. The general condition of the animals was good, with none being underweight, nor did any have serious health problems or serious injuries. Almost all needed their hooves trimming by our farrier, Tasos, due to being stabled during the winter time, and dental care from equine dental technician, Alkis, as they had sharp edges and hooks. Their owners were given appropriate instructions for their care, nutrition and general management, with emphasis placed on the benefits of systematic worming, as most owners were not using any antiparasitic treatments. During the visit, the team also treated two donkeys, one of which was suffering with Ballerina Syndrome, a condition which causes contracted tendons in the legs, causing hooves to straighten and look like a ballerina’s pointed feet. This can cause pain and unbalance. The other donkey was was suffering with very long hooves and chronic laminitis. Both were successfully trimmed down by our farrier, helping them to walk naturally again.
The owners were very pleased with our team’s work and we were proud to celebrate this day by being able to offer our services to the working horses, donkeys and mules of Greece.