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July 13, 2009



Guess you gotta use what's available. Nice story and great blog! Keep it up.

Otehlia Cassidy

Slightly unrelated, but it reminds me of the home made drumsets that some African bands use. They make their own cymbals, and skin up bass drums, etc. We were watching a documentary last night about the Sierra Leone Refugee All Stars and saw their drumset. Same issue, no money, no resources, so they make their own.


They obviously spent a lot of time and care working on the tack for this horse. I wish I had taken pictures of it, but when I was in Cartagena, Columbia much of the tack used for the horses, donkeys, and mules was hand made and/or cobbled together. The horses and mules used for the tourist carriage rides had "proper tack", although still "cheap" and "junk" by American standards. If the animal wasn't used for tourists, thus the look of the tack wasn't important, most of it was handmade. From what I saw, the more a person's livelihood depended upon the horse, mule, or donkey, the more care was taken in the fit and design of the tack.

I saw one donkey who was rather old. However, his owner, who was older himself, took care of him as best he could. This was pretty much in the middle of a city, and I doubt the Donkey was turned out to pasture often, if ever in it's life, but he was pampered. The harness used was crude, yet extremely well balanced and comfortable. This person couldn't even afford to care for himself well, and literally lived out of the small flat-bed cart the donkey pulled, but he took great care of his animal's needs.

What I found the most interesting however was that he had fashioned himself a crude harness, which was also attached to the cart. When the Donkey tired, he would help haul the load.

When I saw them, he was grooming him, and the donkey was in a state of pure bliss.I really felt for the pair. I pulled out some cash (the equivalent of about $8), got his attention, and gave it to him. After much broken Spanish/English discussion, he realized I was just giving it to him, I didn't expect anything in return. It was then that he cried. He gave me a hug, looked embarrassed, then went and hugged and kissed his donkey. I didn't catch everything he said the him, but it was something to do with "fruit", so I think the donkey latter got a treat :)

It's amazing how even in the worst situations, people will take time to help their equine pals.

Sorry for the long comment; it's just that I'm reminded of that moment from reading this blog. Keep up the good work, this blog is fascinating!

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