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The Sandy Hoofs herd.
*UPDATE: Sandy Hoofs is in desperate need of a new home as we have been given notice by our landlord. We are working on acquiring a piece of land for our forever home. Please check out our Go Fund Me campaign.
So we really took a hit with the Coronavirus pandemic without actually getting directly infected! At first the horses were wondering where all the guests disappeared to?!?. For months all tourism businesses shut down, flights were grounded and borders closed. Although the borders opened back up in June, land based tours weren't allowed to open to avoid the spread of COVID. Only a handful of hotels were open and things were still very quiet. At the end of October we got our COVID Certification (YAY!) to be able to safely operate and tours slowly started up again but the number of tourists visiting is no where near the what it used to be. We started up a handful of local lessons with the limited facilities that we have and the kids have been really enjoying it. Now with rising cases St. Lucia is back into a State of Emergency so tours and sporting activities have been stopped. We are back to more expenses and no income since it's impossible to just park up the horses and wait it out. They need daily care and food and water and that cost money and takes manpower. We have been super grateful for the help we have received so far, without it we wouldn't have survived the first COVID lockdown. But we aren't out of the deep water yet!
How can I help? Any donations or sponsoring a horse for a month really helps us keep the horses going until things normalise again. We have 16 horses now, we used to have 21 but were forced to downsize given the situation. We no longer have any horses in Soufriere at our founding stables "Morne Chouval" as we have had to consolidate and close down that location. We worked out an amount that if we get 16 sponsors to cover them then we can feed them, get grass cut for them, make sure they have enough water and clean stalls for a month. This is a goal that I am sure we can accomplish, 16 horses is a lot but with 16 helping hands it makes the financial load a lot easier.
What does it cost? It's $150 USD to sponsor one horse for a month. That's just $5 USD a day! This donation goes towards their daily care. Our team members take turns on a daily basis to feed and water them, clean out their stalls, put them out to pasture, groom them and check for any issues they may have. Every couple of days we cut grass for them as we do not have access to enough pasture space for them all to graze. This is a cost with gas and transport for the grass as we cut a really big load each time. With your sponsorship not only will you be keeping a horse happy and healthy but also keeping a paycheck in our team members pocket.
Can't you just put them in a field with a pond? When you think horses you may think they'd be fine on their own in the right setting, no one feeds wild horses after all right? Well yes no one feeds wild horses but our horses aren't wild and our little island of St. Lucia is limited in wide open grasslands. We are also responsible for keeping them safe, looked after and out of trouble. Any animals that are abandoned or wander are a threat to human life should they walk out into the road in-front of a car. They may get into someone's crops or even end up as horse-meat. We wouldn't want that to happen to any of our herd.
What happens to the horses that don't get sponsorship? Our goal is to getting sponsorship for all our horses but reality is it may not happen. Although you may sponsor one horse we use our resources as wisely as possible to ensure all are being looked after. The more you spread the word the more help we'll get.
I'd like to help but I can't afford $150. Any amount helps and people helping is the only reason we are still here today. You can make a donation for any monetary amount through the same links above. We are truly grateful for all that has been received.
Our gift back to you for your support at this time is that all donations and sponsorship can be used as credit towards rides with us when things get back to normal. We'll be happy to take you or a family member or friend out for a ride as a sign of our appreciation.
The herd and team at Sandy Hoofs St. Lucia Ltd.