Second clinic round on Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno, Lombok and Sumba Islands for working ponies

A big thank you goes to the Australian and Indonesian volunteer team who gave up their 'paid' work or studies and travelled to Indonesia at their own expense to help the horses that work on Gili Trawangan, Gili Air, Gili Meno, Lombok and Sumba. You heard last week about the 1st week, mostly on Gili Trawangan but the following week we had a mostly new team except for our local vets and Amanda who did both weeks. Thanks also to Dr Kirsten Jackson for her work in helping organise the second-week team. Great work Kirsten!

The very proficient and able team who assisted in the second week included a wonderful group of people with different skills, experience and backgrounds...each adding to a very successful but exhausting week.

Vets [Australia]:

Dr Esther Van Herwaarden

Dr Nathan Noble

Dr Andrew Colson

Equine Dental Vet:

Dr Olivia James

Local Vets:

Dr Peni Wahyu

Dr Misha Ignasia

Dr Diah Purwitasari Sahidu

Dr Dinar Arifianto

Vet students:

Amanda Drought

Mira Lauko

Vet Nurse:

Natalie Palmer

Daniel Thuillier - Horse Whisperer

Elise Lett - Harness maker

Three of our volunteers have provided an account of their experiences: Amanda Drought, a veterinary student from Murdoch University, Dr Esther Van Herwaarden from Melbourne and finally Dr Peni Wahyu from Java. Thank you to each of you for volunteering your time and knowledge and for sharing your experiences with us:

Amanda said:

"The second week started off with a great day on Gili Trawangan where we treated the island’s rubbish collection ponies. A castration was also performed on a privately owned horse.

On Tuesday we set sail for Gili Meno where the lovely Zan from King Stable Horse Riding so kindly allowed us to use his stables for the clinic. Zan takes exceptional care of his riding horses and it seems he has some influence on the other horse owners on the island. He asked if we could leave extra harness pads with him so that he could hand them out to any horses that he might see around in need. We treated 43 horses on Meno and performed one castration.

On Wednesday we headed to Gili Air and treated 35 ponies, which was also well received by the locals. As the location on this island was quite public, we attracted the attention of a few tourists who commended our work and donated some cash to the cause.

Thursday and Friday were spent on Lombok. We had a great introduction to the working horses of Lombok, many thanks are due to Dr Diah for this. We checked and treated around 31 horses, all of which received worming treatment and a vitamin injection, and three of which received a dental. 10 horses also received new bridles with friendlier bits. The horse owners were appreciative and receptive of our help as well as the local vets (who have expressed interest in future collaboration and education).

I think it was a great success considering it was our first time on this large island, and considering the Friday was reasonably quiet due to it being the last holy day before Ramadan. I’m very excited for the future welfare of these horses."

Dr Esther Van Herwaarden said:

"It was such a good week. Everyone did an amazing job and worked really hard. The people on Lombok were really receptive, we did two dentals there so hopefully, those horses can be an example for the rest. Dr Diah was amazing, made us feel really welcome. There were a lot of local vets there who were interested to learn from us. There is quite some work for the village horses there, they were definitely in worse shape than the Gili Trawangan ponies. Looking forward to returning in November to volunteer."

Dr Peni said:

"Dr Olivia James and I headed to Sumba on Thursday and Friday to conduct a dental clinic at the Nihi Resort. While on the island we also checked out some of the working village horses. We gave vitamin injections and checked a total of 10 horses from 4 villages. The horse owners we did meet, were very enthusiastic and interested in our program and the upcoming horse clinic in November. They are very keen to find a place for our Nov clinic and inform everyone of the clinic to other owners of horses. Word is spreading fast about what we do and that help is on its way."

Thank you to all involved in this fantastic project.

Janet Thomas