I’ve had the opportunity to travel to some incredible destinations – England, Portugal, and Romania – each filled with endless exploration. Among the many experiences, working with horses left a significant mark on my journeys. Back in Perth for about 8 years now, immersed in my work with Giving Greens, I’ve found myself yearning to reconnect with these majestic animals. Searching for a place to dedicate my time and energy to horse care, I reached out to a horse rescue organisation in Bullsbrook, but they were already well-staffed. However, I recently stumbled upon another remarkable haven for rescue horses under a charitable foundation – the Calan Horse Sanctuary.

Situated in the quaint town of Highbury, Calan Horse Sanctuary was established in 2005 by Alan Gent, a former carpenter and builder turned caretaker extraordinaire. Alan’s lifelong passion for horses, nurtured since childhood despite not having the opportunity to own one, has driven him to create this sanctuary. Learning more about Alan’s story and his unwavering commitment inspired me further in my mission. He’s personally constructed shelters, yards, feed bins, and water troughs for the horses, utilizing his retirement funds and pension to fund the sanctuary.

Alan’s devotion materialized when he took in his first horse, Rebel, who had deformed teeth. Since then, over 30 horses have found refuge at Calan, with 15 still under their care. Spanning across 100 acres of land, maintaining this sanctuary requires a deep understanding of farming practices. Proper irrigation and vegetation management are crucial to ensure the well-being of both humans and animals. Additionally, the health and wellness of the horses demand meticulous attention, including nutrition, medication, and dental care.

Despite being in his later years, Alan tirelessly tends to the horses, even trimming their hooves at 80 years old. It’s undoubtedly a challenging task that requires immense dedication and hard work. Calan Horse Sanctuary stands as a testament to Alan’s love for these creatures and his determination to provide them with a safe and loving home.

Fortunately, with Alan’s dedication and together with the support of charitable organisations, and volunteers, the sanctuary is surviving as it can. I think this is what hits me the most as I volunteer to provide whatever help I can. Given the fact that I have this deep connection to working with horses, I find Alan’s passion for the equines and his work very inspiring and it just gives me this high amount of motivation to do what I can do to be of help to them and this sanctuary. I don’t really have a set amount of time that I’ll do it. I guess as long as I am able and as long as I feel like I am contributing value. This is what I think makes life worth living. And I hope that more people will be aware of this and be inspired, and eventually stretch out their supportive hands.

To find out more about Calan Horse Sanctuary, just click the name and it will send you to their website. If you are interested in joining me and the other volunteers, you can DM me via Instagram or Facebook. It’ll be wonderful to have additional loving hands in the sanctuary.