by Diane Leverton
Some horses on early morning exercise. (Photos: Diane Leverton)
Abqaiq — During these challenging times, work at the Abqaiq horse stables has not stopped. The Abqaiq Arabian Horse Association (AAHA) team here have had to adapt and learn new skills to keep the horses and the facility in first-class condition.
During the lockdown, the team wasn’t able to get a farrier to tend to the horses’ hooves. One of the grooms learned how to maintain the horse‘s feet until we were able to get a farrier to attend.
And as the heat of summer has been increasing, the team has been shaving the long fur from the ponies to keep them cool. This, along with the fans and water sprays in the stables, keeps the horse comfortable.
The COVID-19 pandemic has meant that all of the riding lessons had to be stopped. However, horses still have to be exercised to stay healthy. Freda de Zoete, the grooms, and Diane Leverton have continued to ride the horses in the early mornings to ensure the horses maintain fitness, and extra time has been dedicated to training the individual horses.
Jahirul Islam Chowdhury shaves long fur from the ponies helping to keep them cool.
Though activities have largely come to a halt, personal care for horses have continued as Naim Sattar trims a horse's hoof.
Maintaining the Stables
As well as these extra duties, the grooms have also kept the horse stables spotlessly clean by regularly washing down all of the walls and floors.
The arena has been cleared of the show jumps, and the surface has been maintained with the harrow and quad bike.
Much appreciation goes out to Abqaiq Recreation Services Unit for the support and financial help provided. This has meant it has been possible to buy food in bulk and supplies before the lockdown commenced, thereby keeping the horses healthy.
Finally, this has been a tough time for the whole community. However, the measures in place have kept everyone safe and healthy, and the horse stables team and the AAHA are looking forward to opening up fully and recommencing horse riding lessons.
But in the meantime, stay safe and healthy.
— The Arabian Sun: July 8, 2020 | Vol. LXXV, No. 27