I have been helping out at the Trebaluger equine rescue centre in Menorca. Sam, the founder, has been showing me the ropes and explaining why so many horses, mules, donkeys and ponies are in need of a safe and loving home.
The relationship Sam has with all of the rescued animals is astounding. They have all come from different homes and different situations, most suffering with various degrees of trauma but all with a willingness to adapt to their new circumstances. When she can, Sam makes the time to give the volunteers and visitors a little bit of background about the horses, ponies, mules and donkeys. Why and how they ended up there, who they like to spend their time with and what they like or don’t like, so you are fully aware of how to interact with them. Sam makes sure there is mutual respect.
Abandoned, abused and neglected horses and donkeys are unfortunately a reality in Menorca.
It takes time, hard work, love and patience to get to know and understand them, earning their trust again.
Unfortunately, some of them will never return back to their former condition or be able to be rehomed but we will always support and care for them.
Sam is extremely passionate about what she does. She makes absolutely sure that each individual animal that comes to her is given the best home possible.
They have more reason to fear us than we do them.
When you spend time with them and watch them interact with each other their presence is beautifully soulful. For someone who spends time with equines this might be obvious but for someone who hasn’t, it’s a wonderful revelation. I’m realising how ridiculous it is to fear them and with time I have found more confidence in their presence.
So much so that I sat down beside one of the more recent residents; Lad, while he sat down to rest his painful hooves. I attempted to give him some Reiki, to relieve him from some of the pain. Wether it helped I’m not sure but it was a beautifully peaceful moment. We were also accompanied by Lad’s friend ‘Abuela‘, an older horse of about 30 years and one of the oldest residents. Abuela has been by Lad’s side since his arrival to the rescue centre. She took it on herself to take him under her wing as if she were his abuela.
I sat on a turned over box in front of Lad and Abuela stood over me. As I synchronised my breath with Lads slow deep breath I absorbed myself in their loving tranquil presence. I’m not sure who it benefited more, them or me.
I couldn’t imagine myself sitting unsupervised with two horses a month ago and feeling so calm and peaceful in the process. It is obviously very therapeutic. Sam told me from the beginning; there is no need to be scared of horses and I believe her. I think it’s a generational fear. Something my mother, father and their parents carried with them.
They are seriously very high vibrational animals. By sensing their love and strength you can only but feel happy and peaceful. All my worries disappear or appear less problematic when I’m in their company.
Regaining confidence in humans on their own terms
What I have observed is that they are all embodiments of love and strength, regardless of what they have been through. Even Sansón, an enormous brown horse that was trampled on by other horses when he was a baby and literally scared of his own shadow, would never purposely hurt another animal or human being. As, like other animals, they are very forgiving.
Sam has created such a safe and loving environment for them. It’s never forced on them, but when they want they can mingle with visitors, depending if they want the attention or not. When I arrive in the morning it’s usually coffee time, yeah I kind of do that on purpose. It’s such a great way to get to know each other. Among those to welcome me on my first days were Sansón, Abuela, Peter, Brusca and Matilda, to name but a few.
You can find more about the residents here.
A volunteer with Matilda
Volunteer, give a donation and re educate yourself
If you feel the need to interact with animals on a soulful level find out about a local sanctuary where you can help out. Maybe you want to give back, knowing there are many animals that have suffered and are suffering at the hands of humans. Sanctuaries are wonderful places where we can contribute to the well being of animals that have usually had a very tough past.
REMEMBER to always give a donation when you visit. The rescue centre always needs volunteers but money will buy these beautiful horses, mules, donkeys and ponies food, help with repairs around the centre and vet bills.
If you are ever in these parts make time to get down to Trebaluger and visit Sam and the residents at the rescue centre. Here’s the website so you can get in touch.