Dubai to Devon
Well, we’ve been in Devon for nearly 11 months now and I am so proud of how well the horses have settled in.
Before leaving Dubai, I was really worried about how they would get on, I would hear all sorts of horror stories about horses moving from overseas and dying within a week, due to gorging on too much grass. Something which mine would be particularly prone to, being that they had all been in Dubai for so long!
I remember being so stressed seeing the lush green grass in the Devon fields and feeling at the time, that it represented danger, ridiculous now that I look back! However, after a few sleepless nights and easing them into it gently, they took to the grass like ducks to water and we have not looked back since.
It’s so interesting to see the difference in them all, the biggest worry when owning horses in Dubai is the risk of colic or ulcers, which is down to the amount of time the horses are stabled over there. Obviously, like anything else, some are more prone than others and of course, it can happen in any country but over there, I really worried about it.
Having had Tita for five years before we moved back to UK, I had always watched her like a hawk, luckily, she had always seemed very hardy and coped with the environment really well.
Not long before we left Dubai, I went to see Tita in the paddock and I knew instantly she wasn’t right. I rang the vet, who thankfully happened to be driving over to visit another horse. By the time the vet arrived, Tita was lethargic and looking uncomfortable, so I asked for her to be taken to hospital which it turned out, was the right decision, as she went from bad to worse that evening. It was one of the scariest weeks, I spent hours sitting in her stable in the hospital with her linked up to a drip and her head hanging so low, it was almost touching the ground. She would still muster up a quiet whicker when I arrived but she was so lacking in energy and lost so much weight in a really short period of time. Initially, they didn’t seem to know what it was, at first they thought it was a colic and then a virus but in the end, they carried out a scope investigation and discovered she had gastric ulcers. Tita was quickly treated and a couple of days later, she was out of hospital and right as rain, which was the biggest relief! Below is a photo of Tita the day she got out of hospital, I was so happy to have her home!
Tita was the first horse I had ever owned and so I had to adapt to keeping a horse in the Dubai climate. I now realise how much more natural it is for horses to be outside and moving around constantly, which in turn keeps their guts healthier. Also, how good the natural green grass is for their digestion and what they were missing out on, not having it as part of their daily diet previously. I may not have sunshine every day anymore (which admittedly I really miss!) but I’m enjoying experiencing the seasons through my horses’ eyes.
It’s funny, now we’re living in Devon, I have gone from worrying about colic or ulcers, to worrying if the horses are warm enough! How things change but it makes me so happy to see them all in the fields, munching happily on the green grass. If they want to run, they can and if they simply want to snooze under the shade of a tree, then that’s fine too!