At the beginning of the year, we still had hopes that we will be able to transport the horses to Europe.
Unfortunately, the Corona virus is forcing us to stay in UAE for at least another year.
In a way, I am happy, as this has been my home for the last 15 years and the UAE have been so good to me.
On the other hand, I am sad for the horses and now have to get ready for another dreadful, hot summer.
Our old horses, and especially the Warmbloods, cannot bear the heat at all.
Dhabian Equestrian didn't have AC stables when we moved there in autumn of 2019, but allowed us to transform our stables to AC stables at our own cost.
So we started.
We got extra helpers, paid them salaries, and spend a lot of donations on AC's, new walls, and slowly box by box we built in ACs.
The stable didn't have enough Electricity, so we also needed a generator, which luckily we could borrow from a dear supporter, but it was costing a lot of efforts to keep it going.
In the end though, it was not enough. The heat came and the horses were suffering. The biggest problem was the roof which was just a simple corrugated sheet and the sun kept burning from the top.
The only solution to really cool down the stable would have been a completely new and well isolated roof.
In our darkest moments, when I was watching the horses suffering and breathing heavily every day, looking into their tired eyes, we suddenly got help and had the chance to return to our old stables in Mandara.
We are so incredibly thankful and on the 1st of July 2020 moved all the horses back to Mandara Equestrian Club, a five star home for our oldies - clean and cool, you could see the immediate effect it had on them. A respite from the heat outside, and the chance to still be in the paddocks together at night.
The summer of 2019 was not an easy one.
Ride to Rescue at the time had as many horses as never before - 15 in total.
With hardly any income from riding and horsemanship classes due to the holidays and summer heat, Ride to Rescue got into a situation in July where we could no longer pay the livery bills, and understandably the riding club had to take action and also wanted to help.
They offered to take Yasmin's horses and in return waive her debts.
Yasmin doesn't rescue horses though and then leave them to an uncertain future - she had made a promise to these horses that they will have a good life and can trust her.
She is a person who would rather be in debts than see any of her animals suffer.
So instead, we asked the community for help, and were grateful to receive so many positive responses!
We managed to pay one third of the current debts and have taken out 8 of the Arab Rescue horses. This was done to reduce the monthly livery costs.
At the same time, Tina al Qubaisi opened her arms widely and knowing about the distress situation we were in, she offered a place in her stable for all our horses, a stable which is just around the corner of my house and has been our home through the winter season of 2019 / 2020. Thank you Tina!
A friend generously offered his place to keep these 8 horses temporarily.
In August, we built fences and shades, purchased lots of fans and hay and took the horses out of the riding club. The construction cost was over 15,000 AED.
The Arab horses are better equipped for the heat than the European warmbloods, who would not be able to survive the summer without air conditioning and therefore 7 of them stayed in Mandara Equestrian Club.
Nevertheless, they are all rescued horses, e.g. sick, old and lame horses that were not wanted by their previous owners.
They did not cope with the move as well as we hoped, and although we saved on the livery costs, the costs for veterinary care, medicines and supplements got really high.
The good thing though?
We discovered swimming and meditating with horses as an amazing new way of generating income during the warmer months, without putting a strain on the horses, and by offering the public a unique experience.
As the temporary stable was just next to the beach, we offered a few swimming sessions whilst we had the horses here, and got amazing response!
Also, the time in this place really has helped the horses to bond. Whilst before they spent a lot of time either in their own box or at night in a small paddock, the circumstances here were different and we have managed to get them all out together at night! It is so beautiful to watch how they flourish and change when they have these social interactions.
Horses who were biting before have suddenly become calm and soft!
The weeks in our temporary home have really shown us how important it is to keep horses in a herd setting and give them enough space to move as they need and behave just like a horse...
The above home was always just a temporary solution, and after evaluating and visiting many places across the UAE, Yasmin's friend Tina Al Qubaisi jumped in and generously offered to keep the 8 Arabian Horses at her stable.
The amazing thing?
It is really close from the private place where we started the swimming interactions, and this means that we can continue to offer these courses!
In the winter months, experienced riders can ride the horses to the beach and go for a swim, and for everybody else, we will take them there by trailer. This is an amazing opportunity also for people who are not experienced with horses to have an adventure and create life long memories!
The big break through in October:
We are now an officially recognized charity under the wings of Emirates Animal Welfare Society! This is really big news and means that we can legally accept donations, and our status changes from a "one-crazy-lady" project to a reputed animal rescue charity!
Another major change this month is that we had discussions with Mandara Equestrian again regarding our debts, and they agreed to let our horses go. We will agree on a payment plan for the debts, but not accumulate any new ones.
Since end of October 2019, all the horses are staying together at Dhabian Equestrian Club.