Our morning began with coffee on the roof terrace looking out over church cupolas, mist and mountains.
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After breakfast, we returned to the village of San Andres Itzapa and were welcomed by the sight of over 30 working
horses awaiting us on and around the soccer (futbol) field. We quickly unloaded our gear and got to work.
We were joined by veterinarian Roly Owers who leads our partner organization, World Horse Welfare,
and Guatemalan veterinarian, Dr. Jorge Caballeros. We saw a
wider range of problems today including
two horses with vampire bat bites on their neck, some wounds, more lamenesses and two horses with
Vampire bat bite two nights ago
A number of horses had weak rear suspensories, yet this condition was not perceived as a fault by their
owners who were proudly choosing to breed them. At times we had more than one stallion misbehaving,
a few of which needed to be sedated for us or the farriers to be able to work on them. We were grateful to
have goal posts that
we could snub them to! Towards the afternoon, curious children surrounded us, eager
to learn what the veterinarians and farriers were doing.
The local press came by to investigate and interviewed both the World Horse Welfare and Equitarian leaders.
A number of the horse owners today were incredibly courteous as well as grateful. One gentleman went so
far as to say that on behalf of all the owners, he wanted to thank us for the help we were giving their horses.
Another highlight was a young fellow who also brought along the family goat. We gave in to his plea to vaccinate
and deworm her as well. By the end of day, we had provided services to 55 horses ranging in age from suckling
foals to 20 years of age.
Our oldest patient today who will hopefully benefit from the dental work that was performed.
The farriers and saddlers were incredible, taking care of the feet on almost all of the horses
and tending to galls on backs and girths. Although it was a full day, not all of the work horses
in the community were able to come, as it is corn harvest time.
The day ended with a jovial dinner at a local restaurant and a new round of nick names for many of us.
Tomorrow we head to a new village where an even larger number of horses are expected.
Blog by JW for the Equitarian Team, Photos by Equitarian Team Member Dr. Tammy Vretis