A Wiltshire-based horse whisperer has started a new charity project to help working horses in Cuba.
Gary Witheford launched Help Cuban Horses earlier this year after witnessing what he called “the appalling condition” of its working equines.
Gary returned from his latest trip to Cuba at the end of February and told H&H of his plans.
“The horses out there don’t have access to vets, medical supplies or enough feed.
“Some are skin and bone and their harnesses are made of rope so they are constantly sore with deep wounds.
Gary, who more famously works with difficult racehorses, has been assisting horses in Holguin and Havana by providing more comfortable tack and equipment.
“The owners are very appreciative for what we are doing.
“They don’t have farriers and they make their own shoes out of reinforced metal, making each nail by hand.”
Gary cited a lack of education as a reason for some of the problems the horses face as well as financial strain.
On his most recent trip, he took fly masks and medical supplies donated by NAF, as well as donations from Farm and Stable Supplies and Wadswick Countrystore.
Gary hopes to return to Cuba in the next six weeks and is looking to buy land as well as horses to set up a loaning scheme. This will allow the working horses to have some much-needed rest and grazing while a loan horse is used.
“I am passionate about doing it now and can’t wait to go back,” he added.
H&H visited Gary at his yard in September last year — see his work with problem horses here