A quote from Professor Knottenbelt to the H.A.C.K. Education Programme
"this centre is dedicated to the welfare of animals and to the encouragement of empathy and understanding of the needs of the animals who depend upon us and who trust us implicitly. A Horse serves willingly and honestly, he gives his best and deserves to be respected. An understanding of animal welfare cannot be gained from books and magazines - it requires exposure to the animals themselves and in that way the human spirit is uplifted. The bond between a person and a horse is one of the basic sentiments of mankind".
Every lesson learnt on horse welfare is a plus, basic knowledge of care is necessary for the welfare of any animal, and here at H.A.C.K. we have developed different welfare programmes e.g. "So....you want to own a pony" to help those who have horse ownership in mind and want to do their best for the intended purchase of a horse. These are lessons with an exam at the end of the course. Pictured is Professor Derek Knottenbelt OBE BVM&S DVM&S DipECEIM MRCVS awarding certificates to the students who took part. This was also in partnership with the local authorities
There is also a Saturday "Kids" Club where the children are interested in looking after the ponies, grooming, feeding, general care etc all under supervision, this also includes a walk out with the ponies in the safety of the Alyn Waters Park.
We also support students from Chester University who usually come along at weekends to help out and enjoy the connection with the ponies and donkeys plus other animals
H.A.C.K. also does school visits taking little Lenny to give class lessons on taking care of your pet. These lessons are both creative and fun and gives the children a chance to interact with Lenny, which helps them to understand the responsibility of owning any animal. This has been very successful.
Over Christmas and New Year, some of the older participants of the HACK Saturday Kids’ Club were able to come and help during their two-week school holiday – here is a photo of them writing about what they did.
My name is Faith, I help out at HACK because I like looking after animals and learning about them.
Over Christmas and New Year I helped out at HACK – we took the Shetland ponies for a walk, and we also took the yearling ponies for their first walk out from the Sanctuary.
I was also at HACK when the farrier came to check and trim the horses’ feet.
My name is Evie and I help out at HACK, because I want a future career in the veterinary area – which means that I want to look after animals as a career. I’m also going animal care at college.
Over Christmas and New Year, I came to HACK and helped worm the horses. I used a weigh tape to see how much they weighed so that we could knew how much wormer they needed. I actually gave some of the horses the wormer myself.
We also took the young ponies at Pont y Capel field for their first walks.
Whilst we were at HACK the farrier came to trim Izzy’s, Ezzy’s, Ellie’s and Ralph’s feet, and put shoes on Ezzy and Izzy. I also found out that racehorse shoes are lighter than normal horseshoes.
My name is Layla, I help out at HACK because I like looking after and learning about animals. I would like to work with animals when I am older.
At HACK I have a very special bond with a Shetland pony called Betty – she means the world to me and I love her very much.