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March 2007

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EQUINES ATTENDED TO IN MARCH: 28 horses, 4 ponies, 64 donkeys and 10 donkey foals.
SCOREBOARD:  Donkeys 6, Megan 5, Patrick 1
 
When last we spoke, the NMMM area was experiencing freakish weather which so when we received a donation of 9 bales of lucerne from Addo, we were so grateful.    Currently grazing in the townships is not good, not that it ever is, with the drought and all, but then we received high winds and a humungous amount of rain.   I was able to alleviate some of the problem by delivering the rather weighty bales of lucerne to the donkey owners, who were so grateful.  I am also absolutely mortified at my blase behaviour over the years when I think of all those lucerne leftovers/leavings that I allowed to be thrown onto the manure pit, or burned, I want to cry!   There are donkeys out there who would have had a real beanfeast.  
 
A donation of leavings was used for horses that are currently visiting us and a generous 15 bales of lucerne and teff was so welcome.  In fact, the donations of feed being received from people I do not even know, has been heartwarming - people just do not want to waste that precious feed and want it to go to the 'right' place - thank you one and all - you bring tears to my eyes!  It also helps me keep the running costs to a minimum.
 
Part of why last months newsletter was late was because of lack of sleep!    On Friday night (2nd March) there I was, standing in Heugh Road at midnight, having been called by Mark Marshall and friends to a donkey mare who had just given birth on the main road!    Our intention was to wait until the foal was stronger and then 'guide' them down 5th Avenue so that they were closer to the township.    The mare was not having any of it!!   In the end, I asked Mark to drive the bakkie and I grabbed the foal in my arms, launched myself onto the open bakkie tailgate and Mark took off down 5th Avenue, the mare in hot pursuit.   As I had both hands full (of foal) and we seemed to be going at one hell of a lick, the only way I could stay on the bakkie, was to put my right foot on the galloping mare's shoulder.  She settled down the minute I shot off the bakkie and put the foal on the grass verge, luckily for me, once Mark had found the brake pedal.     The evening ended when I went to Walmer Police Station and asked them (now 2am) to just keep an eye on mare and foal on their patrols till morning.   Mare and foal waited for me to bring the owner at 7am, and then I did to the owner what Mark had done to me but at a much sedate pace, which was drive into the township with Robert holding the foal on the bakkie, and the mare trotting along quite happily.
 
I am being faced with a number of horses that had been left with new landowners - you know, wow, you have bought this property and guess what, you get the horses/donkey as well in the deal.    This has led to, at the beginning of March, a landowner begging me to please come and take the horse away.    He could see that the horse was getting thinner and thinner, and although the next door neighbours had done what they could, he just wanted the horse gone.    I think we have found him and his friend good homes, but only once their sponsored geldings have been done.
 
Because some of you might be wondering 'which bus did this woman get off' I thought now would be a good time to establish my credentials:
Rode farm horses as a child/teenager
Had riding lessons and outrides as an adult with Karen and Rick Minett of Burren Junction
Had Stable Management and Horse Care lessons by Claire Webb (who I am sure never thought her lessons would be used to assist donkey owners in the townships!).
Ran a livery yard of 20 odd horses.
First Glimpse (retired SA Eventing champion) and Flying Regent (my heart!) were sent to retire at my stables.
Took three children through Children and Junior Classes to Provincial Colours (and lots of away shows involving trucking)
1993 - Set up and ran for 10 years the Sardinia Conservancy
1999 - Won the Environmental Conservation 'Citizen of the Year Award' for work done with the Sardinia Conservancy.
Spent at least 5 years in the Rescuing, Rearing, and Rehabilitating of wildlife, concentrating on buck species but with the odd bird thrown in.
Over 20 years assimilated/absorbed veterinary information that two years ago I never thought I would use again!  But now find that it is in constant use (i.e. when to panic and yell for help, and when not!).
2 months working at the Swan Lifeline it Eton, UK, with the rescue, repair and rehabilitation of protected Royal game.
A cancer survivor who has been given 'extra time' and having a great adventure.
 
I made a startling discovery the other day and it means, I think, that I am making headway.   After my township calls on a Monday and Wednesday, I always seemed to be exhausted and filthy, and covered from fingernails to shoulders and my entire shirt with 'purple spray'.    I am not nearly so 'purple' these days, and it is true that I am not seeing as many wounds requiring Necrospray as I used to - does this mean that the carters are taking more care?  I like to think so.   Either that or I am becoming more adept at application of said spray!  I certainly am not seeing a quarter of the galls I used to, which is of course a pleasure.
 
Cheers till next month,
Megan
(or Morgan, or Monique, or Miggi, depending on what part of the NMM Metro you are in)

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