A lot has happened at Calan over the last 6-months, since our last update.
Perhaps the biggest news is that Kaylee, the farm dog and Alan’s loyal companion passed away. It is suspected that one of the horses has inadvertently stepped on, or otherwise come into fatal contact with Kaylee. A humbling reminder of the need to always be mindful of working with and moving around horses, even when you do it every day. Kaylee has been sent off and a memorial has been erected to keep her memory and contribution to Calan alive.
Here are some words from Jaz for Kaylee.
KAYLEE the INCREDIBLE Kelpie
Started her working life after arriving at Calan horse Sanctuary in Nov 2014 at 5 months old , she had been the runt of her litter and the last pup to be wanting a home so Alan picked her up , fortunately she liked horse’s. As her skills came naturally following Alan’s routine with the early morning feeds around the 22 stables Kaylee quickly learnt who was to go where moving them along if not at their right gate , her satisfaction was obvious too which earnt her the title of Supervisor.
As number one supporter to Alan at the sanctuary she also kept her eager eyes on the alpaca’s & sheep, also the cats being feed and whoever else came & went … barking the alert / welcome.
Unexpectedly this morning at the stables she laid down and was unable to stand up again a vet was called but shortly afterwards Kaylee quietly & quickly passed away aged 8.5 years old.
Tragic loss to Alan and all of her friends with 2 or 4 feet . It’s going to be such a huge difference for all now.
We have well and truly left the dry dead paddocks behind making space for lush green forage for the horses. The herd still have their one head-meal a day but the quantities change to incorporate the abundance of fresh greens. As the days shorten, and the sun rises later, feeding time moves with it and the horses adapt along with it.
As humans, it is hard to imagine that anything happens without our clock-time but a horse’s sense of time comes from the sky. The movement of feeding time is less for our benefit of feeding in the light but more so because the horses come to recognise dawn as feeding time. A phenomenon that changes throughout the year as you well know. For the most part, our own schedules and routines adhere, religiously, to clock-time irrespective of the seasons and the movement of celestial bodies. Calan, though, doesn’t run on clock-time, it runs on horse-time.
Overall the herd is in good health with nothing major to report on the health-front. Lakota had a suspected abscess which was treated by Alan with twice-daily magnesium-salt bath for the affected hoof. After a few days the abscess appeared to move on and Lakota as back to her usual self.
The crucial task of hoof trimming continues at Calan on a 6-week cycle. Having never trimmed a hoof prior to, approximately, this time last year, I have learnt a lot over the past year. Nothing beats the hands-on experience and being able to absorb everything that Alan has learnt as well as drawing on the expertise of practitioners from around the world. Hoof health is crucial for the overall health of the horse and I am determined to continue my education to ensure I can provide this much needed care for the horses at Calan and elsewhere as needed.
A massive shoutout is well deserved by the team at Oakford Stockfeeds for always looking after Calan. Every fortnight, Alan orders a load of feed for the horses making sure that the feed room is well-stocked with everything they need to keep them healthy. Oakford Stockfeeds is a crucial part of Calan Horse Sanctuary and we are all immensely grateful for their support. Each visit, Calan spends $500-$800 on feed to keep the herd well fed and in good shape.
We purchased two new rugs for $300 to replace some that were beyond repair. The new rugs from Caribu are for Lakota and Devon to help keep them warm and dry through the cooler months. Lakota and Devon are both quite old so they require a bit of extra help with protection from the elements. Devon in particular is one of the oldest at Calan and, despite thoroughly enjoying every last morsel of his specially prepared meals, struggles to put on weight. The rug helps to provide that layer of protection that a healthy layer of fat and muscle may otherwise provide to a younger horse.
We have turned Go Fund Me back on, realising the importance and the need for your generous donations and support. Providing these majestic beings with a forever home does have its costs and we wouldn’t be able to continue to provide such incredible care for these horses without your support and the auspicing support of Bridging Communities.
I’ll sign off with a welcome to Calan for Kaylan. A 12-month old suspected Dingo-cross that Alan has brought home from Narrogin pound. This little guy is full of beans and enthusiasm for his new life and is keeping Alan on his toes. Kaylan has already been introduced to the herd and appears to be accepted, at the very least tolerated. As time goes by I have no doubt he will become a loyal and crucial part of Calan that will provide Alan with an extra set of eyes and ears when needed.
James McDonald, on behalf of Alan Gent and Calan Horse Sanctuary.