Today our podcast travels to Indonesia, to the tiny group of the Gili Islands. Indonesia has a few native pony breeds which is unusual for a tropical island nation. Horses have always played an important economic as well as religious role in Indonesia and especially so on the Gili Islands, where all motorised vehicles are banned. So pony carts are the main way of transportation there. At the same time the odds are striking: Hardly any natural sweet water sources, very little grass and few skilled vets or farriers. Add Corona and suddenly the situation gets really bad for most of the ponies and their owners.
I am talking with Tori Taylor, an American who made the Gili Islands her home and as a veterinary technician, is predestined to help the ponies. She has founded the charity Horses of Gili and helps to feed and care for them. Additionally she has started to teach local kids riding on rescue ponies, all in the middle of the Corona pandemic.
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The Ponies of the Gili Islands
The three Gili Islands are found just North of the Island of Lombok/Indonesia. A tropical paradise with white sandy beaches, turquoise sea and ponies. No motorised vehicles are allowed on any of the islands, so goods and people are all transported by pony cart. This means, there is a large number of ponies on the islands.
Horses of Gili is a nonprofit organisation founded by Tori and others and operating under the Gili Eco Trust. Their main aim is to help increasing the welfare of the ponies of the Gili Islands. They provide veterinary care, donate bits and harnesses and educate horse owners about proper horse care. In the ongoing Corona pandemic, they also adopt ponies whose owners cannot feed and keep them any longer and provide fodder to dozens of ponies who would otherwise starve due to lack of work and income.
Since last year, they also provide free riding classes for local children and teach them how to care for the ponies.
If you would like to donate to their cause, please visit their website for further information.
Your Guest today:
Tori Taylor (Indonesia)
Veterinary technician, horse lover & Equestrian Adventuress, working and living on the Gili Islands. She has started the NGO Horses of Gili, trying to feed and care for the ponies of the islands who are out of work due to the Corona pandemic.
Facebook Page of Horses of Gili
Don’t forget to check out the resources section in this article!
- What kind of horse breeds can be found in Indonesia
- What challenges did the ponies face before Corona
- Horse culture of the Gili Islands
- What did Corona mean for the ponies of Gili Islands
- How can you help
Thank you for tuning in and happy trails!
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Do you feel that we are missing out on an important topic? Or maybe you have an interesting story to tell? Contact Heather or Ute!
- Website Horses of Gili
- Article about The Life of a Carriage Horse on Gili Islands
- Article about Volunteering at Horses of Gili
- Horse Riding in every country
- Equestrian tools and resources
- EQA Online Shop