How Harvey became LUKA πŸ’–πŸŽπŸ’–

How Harvey became LUKA πŸ’–πŸŽπŸ’–

Harvey became Luka
In April SOULS AND STARS SANCTUARY was contacted about a horse who needed a new home, and asked if we could let him join our herd of wild ponies.
He was described as difficult in regards to his separation anxiety, but otherwise friendly and sweet, from breed half Thorough bred, half Gypsy horse.
With the request the owner send me a photo of Harvey, the horse, and it was easy to communicateΒ  with him right from the start.
The very first thing he told me was that he would like a new name. Harvey reminded him of his upbringing, a time he didn’t enjoy at all, as it was full of trauma and pain for him.
I was surprised how polite Harvey requested his concern, and when I told the owner about our communication, she confirmed that the description “polite” suits this horse to a t.
When people ask our sanctuary to provide a home for their animals, we normally ask them to first come for a visit, to make sure they feel our environment is suited for the animal’s requirements.
In Harvey’s case this didn’t happen, as his case took a sudden spin of urgency.
Having only one day left to put Harvey on a float and transport him to our sanctuary, the owner ended up in a state where she was unable to float him, and was so overwhelmed with the situation and Harvey’s anxious behaviour, that she ordered the vet to come out and euthanise him.
At this point the Universe send out a rescue angel πŸ‘Ό in the form of an experienced horse lady, who managed to load Harvey and bring him over to us, dropping him of in the middle of 82 curious ponies.
For the first weeks it looked as if he was happy integrating in the herd, but in my conversations with him I felt a sadness, and so I asked him if he would like to stay around the house with our main horses instead. At this point he couldn’t decide, so we agreed to wait two more weeks and see.
It was exactly two weeks later, when we came back from our weekly feed shopping, that I saw Harvey standing at the side of the drive way all by himself. He was looking out for us, and told me that he would now like to meet the other herd.
So Kristin took over the job of leading Harvey from the pony paddocks to the house, and although he was nervous about this change, he slowly eased into his new place amongst our eight horse girls.
The first days Harvey was chased away a lot by the big girls, but especially Coco, our pony, took a liking of him straight away and showed him around in his new environment.
Soon he was allowed to join the girls, from a respectful distance, at feeding time, and even earned a spot as number 5 🐎 in the chain.
Now it was time to attend to his very first request : to find the name that really was him.
Given his heritage, we decided to choose a name common in the Roma culture, and everyone liked the one Kristin found and suggested: LUKA.
It sounded gentle and way more suited for a boy who turned out to be one of the sweetest horses I have ever met πŸ’–.
And yes, we got his ok straight away!
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Velvet decided to stay!!! πŸ’–πŸƒπŸ’–

Velvet decided to stay!!! πŸ’–πŸƒπŸ’–

About a month ago a sweet cow girl named Velvet arrived at SOULS AND STARS SANCTUARY. Her human cared and looked after her for twelve years, buying the then six month old heifer, supposed to be ending as meat, to love 🀎 as a pet instead.
Then the human’s wife died, and the situation became difficult and unpredictable.Β 
So Velvet’s human did the best thing he could to find another loving home for her, and reached out to us.
On a sunny autumn day, Velvet arrived after a two hour ride πŸš›. Having lived in a little yard all her life, we decided this time to give her room to roam.Β 
We unloaded her in excitement on one of our 20ac paddocks, watching her getting out of the trailer hesitantly and exploring the place that now was her home.
And from then on everything went exactly the opposite as I expected. πŸ˜”
When we checked on her the first time after her arrival, bringing her hay for dinner, we found her in the furtherest corner of the paddock, where she nearly jammed herself between the fence and a line of trees. And there she stayed for the next days, obviously recreating her environment she lived in for 12 years, scared of the open vastness we had offered her with the best intention.
And, worst of all, she refused to eat.Β 
So, after a few days, we decided to take her down to the shelter and lock her in a small area, very similar to the one she came from.
Also we asked our vet to come out and examine her to make sure we wouldn’t miss an underlying physical problem.
Nothing was found, and we all agreed that what we are dealing with is a severe form of grief in a very sensitive being.
Days went by, and all that Velvet would eat was a few carrotsπŸ₯•, way too little for a big animal like her to survive on. We tried pears and apples, with mixed success, and hay and grains she ignored completely. Even our dam water she refused to drink, but luckily accepted the rain water.Β 
Then Kristin, who took over Velvet’s care, had the great idea to try fresh grass from the garden. The gentle girl had already lost a lot of weight, and it was a wonder she was still going on barely anything.
If Velvet was grieving, may be it would help her knowing that her owner was still around, and so we asked him to please come up and talk to her before it would be too late.Β 
And – what a relief – it worked! πŸ‘ For half a day he sat with her, and he brought up the hay she was used to, a big box of apples she used to like, and a shirt so he could leave some of his smell for Velvet’s comfort.
For a few days she accepted a bit of hay but mainly the fresh gras, together with carrots, apples and zucchinis, until we finally saw her out of the shelter, on wobbly legs enjoying the sun and the grass around her.
Never in my years rescuing animals have I ever seen a being who nearly gave up living out of free will. I knew that cows are known to be sensitive, but I still can’t believe the extend to which this is true.Β 
Yesterday, five weeks after Velvet arrived, we decided that she is now strong enough (she even loves her grain bucket now πŸ˜€)
to explore all of the area around the house, and that means finally meeting the black boy who was mooing out for her since the start.
More about this meeting in my next post 😊
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Building a new chook pen – Helping hands and donations needed

Building a new chook pen – Helping hands and donations needed

This is really, really hard…….

Since 17 years SOULS AND STARS SANCTUARY is the forever home to abused, unwanted and abandoned animals, and all these years all the funds necessary to feed and care for everyone has come from one source only: our private income.But now we have reached our limit, and we have to do what seems way harder than providing these homes: We have to start to ask for donations πŸ˜”

There is a very concrete idea we are trying to create : we want to build a A NEW CHOOK RUNΒ πŸ“πŸ“πŸ“

And these are the reasons why this project is so important to us:

  • First πŸ“ our old chook run was built out of whatever we had available at the time, as our funds were always stretched, and now is slowly falling apart
  • Second πŸ“ we would like to integrate a water tank into the new pen, so we can add a sprinkler system for our girls and boys for these difficult πŸ₯΅πŸ₯΅πŸ₯΅ over 40Β°C days
  • Third πŸ“πŸƒπŸƒπŸƒ once we have demolished the old chook pen, we can build a new nice set-up for our next project: we are becoming a foster place for “til the cows come home”, which we are very excited about!

So here we go…

We would love you to become involved, either by helping us donating towards our goal to raise the needed πŸ’š $3800 for the building material, guttering for the shed and the watertank, or by dedicating a bit of your time helping us setting it all up. For this I will announce our first busy bee 🐝 in a few weeks time, as soon as we are able to go ahead with purchasing the material.

Ufffff…… trust me, that was a very hard to do post 😣

Needless to say how much we are grateful for every bit of help, with your contribution we can make sure that SOULS AND STARS has a future! πŸ’–

Building a new chook run

$246 of $3,800 raised
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Our wild Ponies Now

Our wild Ponies Now

So now that I have told the story of how we took a herd of wild ponies into our family, it might be also time to tell you really WHY.

It was the day after I saw the herd for the very first time. On my way home from where they were agisted their images didn’t leave my heart, and I decided: I have to go back there tomorrow and tell the farmer that I will rescue one of them!

I had one particular pony in mind, a beautiful painted mare with a two coloured mane who seemed to be leading the herd.

So back I drove the next day, after getting the not-too-enthusiastic ok over the phone from my husband, ready to pick the girl and feel a bit “good” about myself. Off I walked towards the paddock, and there she stood as if she was waiting for me: “my” beautiful girl.

But then something happened that I wasn’t prepared for………. out of the herd walked a very old looking black mare, her fur hanging in pieces and her legs so misformed that walking seemed to be a real challenge for her.

She had a little brown boy at her side, and as I was standing there at the fence, she came straight over to me, looked at me and started ……..to talk.

Not loud though, but I could hear her words so clear in my head that I knew they were not mine.

She said : ” Hello…….. It is very important that you take all of us. And this is not for us. It is for you.”

A little while ago I had started learning about animal communication, but there was a lot of doubt still in my head.

But at this moment, whilst I was standing there listening to the girl I later would name Hannah, there was no room for doubt.

So I drove home again on this Thursday afternoon and still couldn’t really understand what just happened, but I knew I had to act in exactly this way: I had to rescue them all!

And here I am, 17 years later, and finally understanding Hannah’s words. So many people had asked me over the years why we had so many ponies, and most people guessed that we were breeding and selling them as riding horses. They often were surprised to hear that I would never part with one of them and that their purpose was to be loved.

But now I know it is more than that: I am supposed to tell their story, so that other people listen and understand that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING IF YOU BELIEVE IN YOURSELF

It doesn’t matter what your dream is, if you trust your calling you will be lead to make it happen!

This is what I want to share with people how come and visit us, people who will participate in our workshops and retreats and people like you who have read their and my story to the end!

 

ALWAYS BELIEVE IN YOURSELF!

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Part 07 – Balancing the growth

Part 07 – Balancing the growth

When I started to tell the story about our wild ponies and how they came to us, I went back 17 years, and it doesn’t seem like a long time at all.

So…… we had just found out that, despite our best efforts, we had missed a stallion in the herd, had seen the second lot of healthy foals being born, and had organized our vet twice already to do the necessary castration job.

For this we had to go out and feed the ponies in a smaller area fenced off by cattle panels in order to try to lock in as many over night as we could.

The next morning the vet would be turning up with at least four helpers, trying to get pony after pony through the crusher, mares, geldings and weanlings out through the front, stallions anesthetized and operated.

What exactly happened over the next years is hard to recall.

We know that there was at least one occasion where we couldn’t manage to catch them all and had to wait for another season (no way ponies can be lured in with hay when there is fresh green in the paddocks!).

And yes, there also was one of LAST sons, who did jump over the catch pen!

So after a few years and many, many visits from our vet and his team we counted ….. 108 wild ponies 🐎!

And then, on the 22.July 2013 ( I remember because the radio in the vet’s car was talking about the new british prince being born) we finally did it: the last boy in the herd became a gelding!

We couldn’t be sure until at least 11 months later (that’s the gestation period for horses), but it turned out to be right.

Since 17 years our ponies now live with us, and over time we had to say goodbye to nearly all our original 25 and some souls we lost to 🐍.

So when you come visiting us now you will see 84 beautiful 🐎 grazing our property.

And not to forget one πŸƒ, our ELSA. But more about her another time!

So that is the story of our wild ponies!

Whenever people hear about them, their first question is: “And what are you doing with them?”

For a long time my answer was “loving them”. But then it came to me that their purpose is a different one.

I will tell you about it soon πŸ’–

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