Horse Alarm

Elena Semler read about the Algarve Horse Alarm in the November edition of Tomorrow and decided to volunteer. She now explains how the plight of horses in the Algarve is worsening and what you can do to help.

I have lived in the Algarve for six years, working as a private chef. I grew up with horses and always felt they were amazing animals. After COVID, I began looking for something to bring meaning to my life and found the story in Tomorrow about Algarve Horse Alarm. I contacted the association and asked to become involved as a volunteer.

I have now been volunteering for one and a half years and it’s been an amazing life experience. It’s a commitment but gives back a huge variety of experiences. You can build fences or help with horse training. You regularly feed the horses and connect with them. Horses are mirrors of ourselves; the amount I am learning through these animals is endless.

Our mission is not only to rescue horses but also to educate owners. If a horse is skinny, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is mistreated. Sometimes the horse may have a dental issue; sometimes, it is very old so the owner needs support from a dentist or special food. 

Anouk (left ) Angie (right)

We can’t rescue every horse, but we can try to decrease the suffering of working horses, especially by teaching and guiding the owners. 

Now with the war in Ukraine, horse food has doubled in price and the lack of rain means that hay is very scarce. The situation is worsening, so we are receiving daily calls of starving, skinny, dehydrated horses.

Trina, our latest rescue horse, came to us two weeks ago. She was completely dehydrated, malnourished, and beaten up. She didn’t allow me to touch her at first. Then she started to trust us; now she loves to receive cuddles.

In the safe environment of AHA, the horses are learning that they are allowed to have their own will and some of them become scared, aggressive or very suspicious. A big part of our volunteer work is to show these horses that they can trust humans. It touches me deeply to see the change of a horse and how much these animals give back. 

So far, Algarve Horse Alarm has rescued over 100 horses and found new homes for them. Please help us to save more.

How to help us:

  • Donation or sponsorship for one of the rescue horses to feed our rescues and take care of them. Many need medical attention. All of them need a farrier and a dentist.
  • We need committed volunteers to feed the horses at the different locations, build fences or train the horses. There is always something to do and help is always needed. 
  • Adoption or foster. We have beautiful horses who are looking for new homes. 
  • Fields or Land around Baráo Sao Joao or around Luz / Lagos, which has good pasture and where we could put some of our horses. It has to have access to water.

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