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Home » Caring for Our Horses: Dental Health and Funding Updates at Calan Horse Sanctuary

Caring for Our Horses: Dental Health and Funding Updates at Calan Horse Sanctuary

The dentist came by on the 31st of July, on his regular tour of WA to check up on some of the horses. Horse dentistry is a very specialised field and quite a difficult process as you would imagine. The horses have to be sedated to keep them relaxed and still enough to carry out any filing that may be required. The dentist listens to the heart beat of each horse before sedating them to check that they’re in good health.

When he listened to Devon’s heart he noticed a very weak beat, meaning he couldn’t use the sedative and couldn’t carry out any work. We know that Devon is quite old and, in Alan’s words, “we should consider every day a blessing”. It is suspected that Omar has sand in his stomach, the low grumbling sound coming from the stethoscope indicates, which could lead to colic if not treated. For now, psyllium husk and paraffin oil are being added to his hard feed to help move it along. Lakota’s teeth were perfect, remarked the dentist – no work needed there. Gideon has put on 10kg which is a good thing. The dentist will be back early next year to check on the rest of the herd.

Like many things when it comes to domesticated horses, being kept in a paddock away from their natural environment means that horses lose the ability to do their own dental work. In the wild, their diet would be more varied and include coarse forage and minerals, and they’d be grinding their teeth more often, which would help to wear down their teeth as needed. Since most commercially-available horse feed is predominantly softer grains we have to help them out a bit. Leaving their teeth unchecked can negatively impact the horses health and wellbeing.

The feed room is well stocked with the fortnightly cost for feed coming in at a little over $800.

Some of you may have noticed that we have been having some issues with Go Fund me as of late. It turns out that Go Fund Me changed the company they use to process payments. Unfortunately for us, and probably others, we lost the ability to receive donations for a few weeks. Everything is back to normal now though! We apologise if you were impacted by the fumble, we certainly were.

You may notice now that at the top of the page, below the photo of Alan and Irish, that it says “Alan Gent is organising this fundraiser on behalf of Bridging Communities.” Bridging Communities is the charity organisation that makes it possible for Calan to collect donations for the horses. Because Calan Horse Sanctuary is not a charity or a registered not-for-profit, we require a very special relationship with a charity – an auspice agreement – to raise funds.

For the last 2 years, Bridging Communities has been receiving the donations and forwarding 100% of them on to Alan who then reports back with how the money has been spent. This arrangement adds an extra level of complexity but also greater transparency and accountability for the donations that you make. Alan takes this very seriously and can account for every cent spent caring for the horses.

James McDonald, on behalf of Alan Gent and Calan Horse Sanctuary

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