Costa Rica News – When it comes to people helping people, good hearts and helping hands come from all over the world to Costa Rica. A charity from Britain is working with the Costa Rican Guaymi Indigenous Tribe to improve the care of their horses.
The horses are extremely vital to their communities, as there aren’t roads in their reserve. For centuries they have traveled by horse down steep winding paths to get materials from nearby towns, farm the land, and move goods and food around in the reserve.
The animals face challenges such as being overworked, exposed to fungal infections and sunburns, and being bitten by bats. Their hooves are often cut to short leaving them exposed to the damp environment. They have inadequate nutrition leading to poor physical condition. They also suffer under poorly fitted saddles that are too heavy for them.
Alana Chapman, the International Program Officer for World Horse Welfare, said, “When World Horse Welfare first visited the area to investigate the welfare problems faced by the working horses in the reserve, we realized that a special approach to this program was needed.” This is because the indigenous are suspicious of foreigners and have no form of currency with which to pay for farriery services. The charity plans to slowly build trust and adapt their program to use tools already available in the community. They must teach methods of caring for the animals that are sustainable.
The horse owners don’t know much about horses and they use techniques that are outdated and dangerous, such as using machetes to trim the hooves. The charity aims to help 300 horses by setting up workshops in the country and provide places in the village where the owners can go for help.
They will also provide care packs that include a hoof-pick, brush, remedial pads, and a tick removal device. The owners will be trained in how to use each of these items.
Pictures from the World Horse Welfare Site