Sunday, January 26, 2014

The Chestnut and the Grey Part 3

For part 2 click here

This is what makes euthanising Egyptian horses very difficult. Their heart and body are so used to being put under huge amounts of strain and torment that even what would be considered an overdose of a pharmaceutical may not kill them as it would a horse from a Western country. This grey was no exception. Even in his condition, he took a ridiculous dose before he began to fade.

The cart to take him into the desert arrived as he passed away. We waited until we were sure he was gone before turning the cart over sideways and strapping him to it. The large shining bay pulling the carriage turned to look at the grey before meandering his way down the road between the puddles of rank water.

Watching the cart go, the man looked down the street. We talked with him for some time afterwards, and he told us all about the sale of the chestnut in exchange for the grey. He shook his head as he muttered something about being unlikely to get his money. It was hoped that his friend who had taken the grey away would not charge him, but everyone is desperate for money at this time. Our only hope was that he found some work soon so that this whole story was not repeated.

It is easy to criticise the horse owners of Egypt, even whilst living in the same country as them. It is just as easy to forget that they have a family to feed and need to earn money to do so. They do not get benefits from their Government when out of work or disabled. Most live hand to mouth in this area. Sometimes the trade they are in is all they know, and they have not received a high standard of education.

It is easy to suggest that they should give up and sell their animals if they cannot afford to care for them, but in reality it is much harder to do so. The horse market around the Pyramids of Giza is sky-rocketing, with broken down horses available to buy for a pretty penny, and no buyers for them. All the time the price of feed is being inflamed and the medications, tack and stable rent is going up. Very few are earning enough money to sustain and business and sustain themselves.

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