A new equine therapy centre is being set up in Britain to help rescued cobs return to health and back into employment.
An initiative of the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association (TGCA) and its welfare arm, Cob Care, the centre is being set up in near Canterbury in Kent. The Cob Care Equine Therapy centre will provide help for people with mental health issues using traditional cobs who have been rescued and rehabilitated by the staff at the centre.
It furthers the association’s goal to “Give a cob a job”, and cobs in need will be rescued and once fully back to good health will have a job to do at the therapy centre.
TGCA founding director Andrea Betteridge has set up the new venture to give more traditional gypsy cobs a job and in doing so, encourage better breeding choices which will result in giving the horses a higher value and a retail market.
The first cob to be rescued by the Cob Care Equine Therapy centre is Colin, a gentle bay cob, who was found abandoned, alone in a field.
“We plan to rescue cobs locally and give them a job at our therapy centre once they are fully rehabilitated. To help highlight this important work, we will tell Colin’s story through his eyes, via a blog, as we go through the process of getting him back on track,” Betteridge said.
Colin’s blog is currently being written by the team at the TGCA, who has looked after him since he was rescued. The blog is intended to give a real insight into his life as a rescued cob including the many unexpected situations and uncertainties that he will encounter.
“When we found Colin he was skinny and frail, covered in lice and riddled with tapeworms. I have been working with him every day and he has already had to overcome so much including relentless itching (which thankfully has now passed), and his fear of someone approaching with a headcollar,” Betteridge said.
“He has slowly started to learn to trust us as we have become familiar to him but he has always been the gentlest soul.”
The TGCA has created many jobs for cobs over the years including the TGCA’s Championship show, Traditional of the Year Show (TOYS), Rescue Cob of the Year and Traditionals Trec. This year is also the first time the SEIB Search for a Star series is holding a class for purebred traditional cobs with a Horse of the Year show championship for solid coloured and piebald and skewbald traditional cobs.
“Everyone involved works tirelessly to provide opportunities for these traditional cobs with the long-term aim of improving their welfare. The story of Colin’s journey from outright neglect to having a key role in the centre will highlight how our Equine Therapy Centre will provide even more important ‘jobs for cobs’,” Betteridge said.
“We hope that plenty of people will support Colin both through sharing his story and supporting his journey financially.”