The Saddle Pad Project

by Hannah Stansfield

Providing much needed relief to the backs of horses, donkeys and camels.

Education Lincoln, United Kingdom
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The aims of this project are to raise money for specially made saddles which will be given out to the working animals in the Gizah pyramids area. As this is set to be a long term project, any money raised over our target will be used to create more pads until demand is met and matched.

The Egypt Horse Project was founded 14th November 2012 after a trip myself and a friend took to Cairo, Egypt. Whilst there, we found all shapes and sizes of working animals in need of relief. 

Imagine being ridden all day and then ridden for most of the night, with little time to feed or rest, and in some cases no time to take off saddles - this is the life some horses and camels find in the pyramids area. Donkeys are the go-to animal for pulling hefty carts as well as carrying heavy loads of rubbish, bedding and food. 

For many animals and people alike, life in Cairo has been difficult, especially those relying on tourism to the area. Since the revolution tourism has been in a lull, with many countries advising against travel to Egypt; this has made an already difficult life for a working animal even worse.

One of the major areas currently affected by a lack of funds is the equipment - or tack - used on these animals, as there is usually little money for proper repair. Egyptians make do with what they have to hand, and often patch saddles up with scraps of material, feed sacks and other items to make their animals lives more comfortable. Unfortunately this does not always work and can often cause more problems than it solves. Horses, camels and donkeys are riddled with saddle sores and abscesses which cannot effectively heal under a pressurised area.

Our aim is to not only help the animals of Egypt, but also to help the people through education and employment. We purchase items - such as bridles, headcollars and pharmaceuticals - from local shops with the aim of helping the economy. With this project, we hope to employ saddle makers and seamstresses from the pyramids area to create saddle pads and repair saddles.

We already have a small amount of funds going towards this project, however we would like to be able to create as many saddle pads as possible. Each saddle pad will cost roughly £10, and will be made to measure for a specific horse. As well as this, the saddle the horse is wearing will be checked over to ensure that it will not damage the pad, and any major breakages tended to. 

Any amount - big or small - that you can put towards this project will be a great help to making a difference in these animals' lives. Please do not forget to share this project with your friends and family. 

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