Monday, 14 June 2010

Writing for charity: HorseWorld 2. Writing for children.

Animal histories, children's versions. Written for HorseWorld, Oct 2008 - Feb 2009.


I’m Bambino and I was eighteen months old when I came to HorseWorld. I had escaped from my owners with four of my friends. We were caught and brought to HorseWorld, where we could be cared for properly, and nursed back to the health that our owners refused us.
My owners used to make us take part in trotting races. We would be forced to trot on open roads with cars and other vehicles, which we could have easily had an accident with and hurt ourselves badly. We pulled our owners behind us in a carriage, which they attached by any harness they could find. My owners didn’t care about using one that fitted, so my body and mouth is now scarred from harsh use of the harness, bit and reins.
Owners like the ones I escaped from make us race so that they can make money; sometimes they can get thousands of pounds if we win a race. None of us horses ever benefit from this money, though, and our owners continue to treat us cruelly.
Such brutal racing on hard concrete roads damages our joints and bones. Even though I am still growing, I already suffer from arthritis and deformed, sore joints, which a much older horse might experience. I now need expert care for the rest of my life. The staff here in my new home provide that care, as well as lots of love and cuddles! I am still very nervous of people, though, because the grooms at HorseWorld are the only humans I have known to treat me kindly and with the respect that all animals deserve. I know that they are here to help me, however, and I am slowly learning to trust them.
Three of my four friends that escaped with me had to be returned to our old owners. Although our injuries were distressing and inexcusable, they meant that Vera and I were lucky enough to be left at HorseWorld because we would no longer be able to win any races. If HorseWorld hadn’t rescued us, we would probably have been abandoned with no food or water. You have stopped this from happening to me by choosing to sponsor me, creating a bright and healthy future. Now I am enjoying a new life with my friends at HorseWorld, both human and equine!


My name is Beauty, and I am lucky enough to be living out my retirement here at HorseWorld. I’m 34, an old woman in horse terms, but that doesn’t stop me having fun! There’s nothing better than chasing around with my friend Paco, a maturing gentleman who I am sharing my retirement with.
I’ve been at HorseWorld since 2008, but this isn’t my first time here. Eight years before, in 2000, I was brought to HorseWorld because the family that owned me could no longer keep me. Horses are expensive to keep and maintain and I’m no different. My owners decided that they could no longer afford to keep me, and gave me to HorseWorld. Although my owners had to give me up, I’m glad that they chose HorseWorld, rather than abandoning me like the owners of some of my other friends. Fortunately, the staff here at HorseWorld found them and nursed them back to health.
After my first visit to HorseWorld, a new owner found me and decided to loan me from HorseWorld. I went to stay with her and had a lovely time, being cared for as well as I had ever been. I spent several happy years with my new owner, until she passed away in 2008. I was devastated. I moved back to HorseWorld after my owner’s sad death, and this is where I am going to stay.
Due to my old age, not many people will want to loan me from HorseWorld again. I’m not as fit as I used to be, and lots of work would be too stressful and bad for my health; I wouldn’t be able to keep up with my owner.
With your help, though, I don’t have to worry about being overworked or abandoned, and I can live out my retirement happily with my friends at HorseWorld.


I’m a chestnut Arab and I love the company of people. I used to help children learn to ride in my first home, which was a riding stable. I had lots of friends there, some owned by the owner of the riding stable, like me, others owned by riders who chose to keep their horses there. Unknown to any of us, this riding stable was nowhere near as safe and friendly as we all first thought.
In 2003, we started getting attacked; we were regularly stabbed and slashed with a knife. My owner reported the incidents to the police, who started an investigation, and she even appeared on BBC television with an appeal to find our attacker. If only we could have told the police the truth: that she was our attacker.
The attention she gained from media appeals and the police encouraged her to continue harming us. Riding lessons were the only times that I knew I was safe. I had fun with the children, who were nice to me; I could escape the cruelty I had to suffer outside of the school. I dreaded returning to the yard or the field.
The police managed to discover the truth, and my owner has been banned from keeping animals for life, so no other animal will have to suffer at her hands like we did.
When we were rescued, I found a home with a kind, caring family. They treated me well and their daughter rode me like children used to in my old home. Sadly, their daughter outgrew me, so they found me another home here at HorseWorld.
I can no longer be ridden because of injuries caused by the riding school owner, so I am going to stay here, where the long-term care I need can be provided. The grooms treat me as well as my old family did, and my first owner seems a world away, even though what she did to me has caused lasting damage to my body. I know that she is an unfortunate exception to human kindness, though, which is plentiful at HorseWorld. Your sponsorship means that I can stay here with my lovely friends, and be cared for properly. Thank you!


I’m Jumble and I’m nearly three years old. I arrived at HorseWorld in spring 2008, when I was two, because my owner didn’t want to care for me anymore and had abandoned me in my field. I had no food, water, shelter or love. Lice and mites lived in my fur, and without a farrier, my hooves had been allowed to overgrow, making standing and walking painful. Since I’ve been at HorseWorld I have been nursed back to health; my hooves have been trimmed and the lice and mites are gone. Now I get plenty of care and attention, as well as food – but not too much!
I was probably neglected because my owners couldn’t ride me, as I was born with deformities that make my back and body an unusual shape. Luckily, it doesn’t hurt me at the moment, but the staff at HorseWorld want to make sure that as I grow, my deformity doesn’t become painful for me. Even though I look different than the rest of the horses, I get on well with the others here; Bambino came to HorseWorld at the same time as me, so we explored our new home and settled in together. We have become great friends!
When I first arrived at HorseWorld, I was shy and scared of humans because I’d had so little contact with them before. The grooms at HorseWorld spent months gaining my trust and now we’re firm friends. I let new grooms train with me before they help other horses who are more nervous than me, so that the staff can then rescue and care for horses from the cruellest of homes.
By sponsoring me, you have given me a second chance to have a comfortable, bright and happy future at HorseWorld. Thank you!


I’m Paco and I’m 24. I’ve been here at HorseWorld since 2006, and I am going to spend the rest of my retirement here. I haven’t always lived in the UK; before I came here, I lived in Athens in Greece. There, I was kept at a riding stable with lots of other horses. Our owner didn’t take care of us though, and we weren’t fed properly. When our rescuers first saw us, we were thin, bony and hungry. We weren’t used to human contact, because our owner spent so little time with us, so we were frightened because we felt threatened by people. One of my friends from Greece came to the UK with me, and the staff at HorseWorld wanted to feed us up and get us healthy, but my friend died of colic.
Due to how I was treated in my old home, I now have lots of health problems, which HorseWorld are helping me with. Putting on weight and keeping it on is very difficult for me. I am fed twice a day, even if I’ve been out grazing. Even during the summer, I am often fed in addition to grazing during the day. Good company also helps; when I spend time with my best friend Beauty, I put much more weight on! That’s probably how I find so much energy to get into all sorts of trouble with her!
Another problem of mine is that I have no front teeth. Grazing is very difficult as I can only eat long grass, so the two meals I get fed by the grooms have to be made up of special soft food that they know I can eat.
My time at HorseWorld has showed me that not all people are as cruel and careless as my previous owner. I now enjoy human company and I am glad to know that I am going to be spending the rest of life with such kind people and good friends. Without your sponsorship, I would still be at my old home, where my health problems and I would have been ignored. Thank you.

Published updates to follow.

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