Guess who dropped into our mullingar shop today? Only the ever famous Mary McEvoy aka Biddy from Glenroe. She is a massive lover of animals and we are delighted to have her support.
Ah- the best bit about this, so many beautiful horses and ponies off to their new home. Often in a haze of constant craziness we forget to reflect on the good things. We’re so proud that we consistently rehome the ponies in our care, we are very lucky we don’t usually experience a stagnant period of rehoming and each week we are blessed to rehome between 7-10 ponies through our European rehoming programme, this is vital to enable us to continue helping those who need it. Obviously the more we home, the more we can take in. So this weekend, we said goodbye to Carmel and Bandit Odessa, Bruno, Tara and Kerry, our one eyed boy David Brown, as they continue their journey to their homes we can only be pleased that we were just a small part of their lives, we are very proud of each and every one of them who have experienced an array of difficulties, from starvation, abandonment, to untreated injuries, each one of them leaving it all behind them to start afresh, to be loved dearly, to be a families world. Good bye, safe travels and good luck little friends, we’ll be watching you all!
Foal mania at HHO!!! We think they are falling out of the sky! Here is little Megan with her rescue mummy Gypsy! These pair have quite a unique story, Gypsy came to us only a short while ago, emaciated and clearly close to foaling, the huge surprise was not only one foal came but two, Megan is actually a twin, something we haven’t seen here in all the years of HHO and all the mares we have had foal. Sadly her little brother Harry didnt make it despite all our efforts and around the clock care, he survived only two days and went rapidly down hill. Fortunately Megan and Gypsy are now doing well and are getting stronger every day. We are looking forward to the day they are both strong enough to go to their forever home.
A tale of three princesses
Where does one even start with this incredible story- over the past few years we seem to have accumulated a little herd of elderly grey mare ponies. All the same size, all with big personalities, all with the same story, abandoned for one reason or another.
But these 3 amigos will stay in our minds and our hearts for a lifetime. Introducing- Cassie, Dottie and Faith, three girls from 3 different parts of Ireland, who made their way to us here at HHO, they are older ladies ranging from about 14-17, they were here quite a while but we noticed the three stuck together, where there was one, you would be sure to find the three of them, they happily lived in each others company. When they were not rolling in muck- they had an air of elegance, flowing manes, gentle personalities, almost aging with dignity and a lifetime of stories to tell, with just enough attitude to let us know they were full of their own importance, they affectionately became known as the “princesses” to us here at HHO.
To tell HHO Mystery’s story, we need to step back to the summer of 2014. The summer started the same as every other, watching for the grass to start growing, almost measuring it to see when there was a sufficient amount of fresh grass to allow our ever growing herd out, and the day came! There is nothing quite like the joy when we begin the annual great escape, the fun and frollocks of the ponies when they hit that fresh grass after being confined all winter long, the wet, windy, cold days just a memory.
So each year we come up with a plan, we divide our herd in to groups, our boys in one place, our girls in another, our mares in foal, our yearlings and so on. Day by day we start letting them out to their designated spot.
Whilst checking our cob group one morning, something just doesn’t look right, walking through them, looking at all their little faces, something is puzzling us. We were sure we only had 8 in this field, counting again and again there was 9. This surely warrants a closer examination, standing in the middle of these cobs, a little face lifts from the grass, one we hadn’t seen before. A frail and wobbly little girl, a sad little face, a face that told the tale of a whole winters suffering. Still puzzled by how she got there, who she was, this is the moment when you ask “are we actually losing the plot?, How could we not know this pony?”. Then as the cogs inside our heads start turning we realise she had been put there purposely, for us to find. Thus gave rise to a very fitting name HHO Mystery.
From that day to this, no one ever called us enquiring about her, no one ever reported her missing, no one ever even cared if she lived or died. But she did live- and she blossomed and grew and fitted in to life at HHO with her new found herd. Her character developed, her passion for life shone through and suddenly she wasn’t the mystery cob anymore she was just Mystery.
Mystery stayed with HHO a little over a year, where she was overlooked time and time again, no one seemed to want this beautiful little girl, but lone behold- Mystery’s Miracle happened. A family from Germany fell in love with our girl and asked to bring her home and just like that she left us for her new life.
From unwanted to wow! Look how fantastic she looks now? Loved, this is what dreams are made of, 3 years at home, full of love and security.
From unwanted, abandoned and neglected- to a best friend. This is what it is all about.
So proud of this kind and lovely pony- as always it has been a pleasure!
Orla had the right idea, jump in the pool on a warm sunny day in Germany.
A HHO family reunion in Germany- Molly Dana, Sadie and Murphy all meet again, and they are so happy to be reunited.
We love following their lives after HHO!
Donkeys on the move
Today is a day that will go down in HHO history, a new and exciting adventure, almost weekly we see a transport truck roll in to the yard to bring our ponies and horses to their new homes, it is nothing unusual and has become normal at HHO but this morning a little after 7 am, the very first load of HHO donkeys began their journey to a new life in Scotland and there was actually tears.
To help you fully understand why there is a constant struggle for homes in Ireland, donkeys are often notoriously neglected, taken for granted animals, maybe even seen as less important, we’re faced with hundreds of donkey complaints, donkey problems and donkey neglect annually, we do our utmost for each and every one of them to save their lives, correct the overgrown hooves and put back together the pieces of broken little hearts, the amount of donkeys that come to us far exceed the homes stepping forward. We were reaching a breaking point with them- there was no more room, space just wasn’t there, there was no light at the end of the tunnel for these little pets and we were sweating- what about the next donkey, can we help it? Where will we put it? What is the long-term plan? Can we start a campaign to make all the good people of Ireland aware these donkeys need help and most of all need good families of their own.
In the midst of constant worry about these donkeys and we were quickly clocking up the numbers, we reached out to Donkey Welfare agencies and got a response- yes, we can help, yes, we have homes, already vetted and waiting for the donkey of their dreams and it spiraled.
Today 11 beautiful little boys left us to begin an adventure of a lifetime, crossing to Scotland where they will be placed in loving, secure homes and we couldn’t be happier for them.
We cannot even express how grateful we are to the good people of Scotland for helping our own donkey crisis. To the Donkey Sanctuary in Ireland for supporting when and where they could, Sai Sanctuary for also supporting and advising and taking as many donkeys in as they could, to our farrier who is always on hand to help mend these manmade problems.
So as they travel in comfort, we eagerly await news of their arrival, we’re hopeful it will be the start of something wonderful for these Irish donkeys.
Thank you to everyone who helped and to those considering adopting a donkey or two, please get in touch, there are so many who need help.