Sunday, 29 April 2012

Lucas - The World’s Smartest Horse!

Lucas - The World’s Smartest Horse!

Lukas is a 17 year old Thoroughbred who failed at the track, was found starving in a yard and who Karen bought as a "green project horse" at the age of nine.  Lukas has since become one of the top liberty performers in the country and he has attracted world-wide acclaim for his cognitive tasks. Lukas:
  • Freely performs the Spanish Walk, Passage, curtsey, bow, rear, sit, jambette and much more without any force (Karen doesn't own a whip). 
  • Can identify letters, numbers and shapes, discriminate colours.
  • Understands the concepts of object permanence, spatial relationships, proportion, same/different and absentness.    

Above all, Lukas and Karen's bond is their greatest joy - trust, love and harmony are evident to all who see them together. Find out more at

Thursday, 26 April 2012

Safe Haven for Horses

Horse World -

HorseWorld is the leading UK charity caring primarily for horses, ponies and donkeys.
They rescue, rehabilitate and re-home animals who have been abandoned, neglected or ill-treated.

HorseWorld was set up in 1952 as "The Friends of Bristol Horses Society" in a campaign to save the lives of working horses who were rapidly being replaced by motorised vehicles in industry. 

Under the banner of “Retirement Not Slaughter” - for many were destined for the abattoir - it offered a safe haven in Bristol for the big-hearted horses, ponies and donkeys that had worked all of their lives on the railways, in the dockyards, the coal mines, the armed forces and on the roads.

It works closely with partner organisations and equine welfare charities to rescue equines-in-need, putting together a tailored programme of rehabilitation before seeking, wherever possible, to re-home every horse with experienced & loving loaners.

HorseWorld retains legal ownership of every horse, pony or donkey to ensure their continued welfare after they have been re-homed and the Team are always on hand to provide any advice and support to the Loaner.

Rescued horses and ponies have often suffered neglect or abuse and many show signs of psychological or physical trauma. Because of this, each animal needs an individual programme of rehabilitation which often includes veterinary care, dentistry and farriery, as well as handling and training, to improve their chances of eventually being rehomed.

HorseWorld also works with:
  • Probation Service to provide hundreds of placements for adults carrying out community service orders. 
  • Groups of youth offenders regularly helping out at the charity’s equine yard. 
  • South Bristol CAF team in using a course in equine care to help teenagers from disadvantaged backgrounds and those excluded from school. 

Discovery Courses at HorseWorld
The horse is a unique, ideal tool to promote emotional growth and learning in young people. Bringing horses together with young people can have staggering results. The experience of Discovery Course tutors working with young people shows:
  • Those who struggle to communicate can find working with horses helps them learn about themselves, enabling them to interact more positively with others
  • Those who find it hard to concentrate or to control their impulses can focus on a horse for long periods while grooming or leading the animal
  • Withdrawn students often begin to express themselves, developing words or gestures they haven’t previously used.
The positive influence gained through contact with the horses is recognised by the many different organisations and referral schemes seeking to place individual clients with HorseWorld - clients with a range of special needs, learning difficulties, mental health problems and those recovering from addiction

Monday, 16 April 2012

ANZAC Day remembers solders 4 legged friends

Simpson’s Donkey - ‘Duffy the Donkey’ transported injured soldiers to safety at Gallipoli, with his owner John Simpson. 

The now famous pair ‘Simpson and his Donkey’ became the epitome of sacrifice and courage in the Anzac spirit.

‘Jim the Donkey’ is a well known character at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.

For many years Jim has attended the traditional ANZAC Day Service in the Remembrance Garden at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital.  

He symbolises the care and compassion shown by Simpson and his Donkey at Gallipoli. 

Donkey Shelter ANZAC Program -

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Welcome to Extraordinary Horses

I am interested raising awareness of and researching into the unique partnerships of horses and people - horses that can assist, provide therapy and help people. This website will explore the working partnerships of these extraordinary equines. Contribute with your ideas and personal stories.


Alleviating Poverty through Working Equine Welfare

There are an estimated 100 million working equine animals in the developing world. 

The Brooke is an international animal welfare organisation dedicated to improving the lives of working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest communities. 

The Brooke recognises that while working equine animals play a key role in poor households, both for rural smallholders and for families running small urban transport businesses, they are largely invisible in international development policy and plans. 

They are not included with other livestock in agricultural and food security discussions, nor do they feature in transport policy because they do not have a positive, powerful, modern image.

Their economic value is hard to articulate and they are not part of export or trade debates like cattle and small ruminants. Where working animals do appear in government statistics, the information provided is often unreliable, and research into working animals is not well funded. 

The Brooke wants to ensure that working horses, donkeys and mules are recognised for the indispensable role they play in the lives of poor people, contributing to the alleviation of human poverty. 

The Brooke hosted conference with organisations from international development, animal welfare sectors, policy making bodies, and animal welfare researchers. 

Download full report ‘Alleviating Poverty through Working Equine Welfare’:

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