Tsamadhi Riding School started from an informal association, with two horses on rented land in 2000.
Slowly the school expanded and a few more horses were purch...ased over the years.
Tsamadhi was registered and we started the battle of seeking our own land, to be able to secure the future of the riding school as well as to be able to grow. It was a long struggle, with many learning curves and money lost.
Eventually, we were attributed land and the project approved by the Municipality, and the next struggle started to finance the fee’s required legally by the municipality.
With the amazing support of students and friends, we managed to pay the fees and legalize the land.
It wasn’t an easy move, the road was nonexistent, money was required to start from scratch, and an ambient study needed which took years to finally get approved. Apart from this, the daily struggles with sand and stones and trucks for students to even reach Tsamadhi.
I applaud and admire the people who had lessons with us, cause the conditions was not always easy ( at times nonexistent) , and always took this as a compliment to the lessons we provided, cause everyone that came must have come cause they truly wanted to and appreciated our approach and teaching to horses.
We wanted to not only teach, but give the horses a natural life where confinement in boxes would be reduced to as little as possible, where people learnt not only to ride, but horse sense, and to be able to be around happy horses with sparks in their eyes.
Tsamadhi was a happy place, where we had a lot of fun offering different disciplines and 6-10 competitions per year.
Finally the road construction was started in 2014, and we knew that shortly, we would no longer need to maintain roads, transport water or guide students thru rivers where one could ( and would) get stuck on driving.
And then, everything was placed on a complete halt. Horses suffered endless amount of colic’s (which I later on learnt were mini heart attacks), lost weight, had ataxia, depression and one horse went down and never got up again. And eventually died.
This is when our idyllic dream realizing itself in front of us, fell apart.
It took us 6 weeks to realize what it was. It was the worst few weeks of my life as I really didn’t know what was wrong, and yet you could see the spark in the eyes disappearing, the horses suffering, and yet I was left completely helpless not capable of figuring out what was wrong.
That was when we saw the small pellets (the normal food was also inside and the pellets bigger) inside the bag of food which CIM ( Compania industrial da Matola) had sold to us.
It turned out that there had been a machine error and they had by accident sold and delivered us contaminated food. Another yard was affected, and when the specialist from CIM compared batch numbers it was the same food Tsamadhi’s horses had consumed and finished, that made horses drop and not stand up at the other stables. The results concluded it was contaminated with salinomycin as well as monensin.
Not only was it the one batch, the batch we received in Feb as well tested positive for monensin only.
To my horror I realized my horses had eaten this food for at least 5 weeks, without us figuring out what was wrong.
It was a long battle, we were forced to stop all activities as horses needed complete box rest as the specialist of CIM stated in writing it would be animal cruelty to exercise them. We were left with 38 horses, no income and no certain future.
CIM took responsibility for their error and promised they would place us where we were prior to the incident. Cause that would be the right thing to do I was told.
2 full vet evaluations were schedule, ECG, sonar and blood works to be done to evaluate the potential damages of the horses. The final test would be done end of May, 3 months and 3 weeks after the last contaminated food was consumed.
On the final tests end of May about 1/3 of the horses passed, 1/3 failed and 1/3 were scheduled to be retested again in Sept some time.
Unfortunately my horses reacted so badly to the ahs vaccine that we were forced to close our doors once more and rest the horses completely, and a new date was set, beg of Jan. That ‘’new” final test scheduled never happened.
Throughout this process, we have patiently followed the recommendations, as we were told by CIM’s insurance, Global alliance , which stated they wanted an amicable solution, despite early from the start stating Tsamadhi wanting to close the case straight away.
Unfortunately, Tsamadhi is still without an offer which can restore all the damaged caused by the contaminated food sold to us by CIM.
Not only do we have a responsibility towards our horses, but also to Tsamadhi’s staff, as well as a social responsibility which is teaching orphaned children how to ride (which were stopped due to lack of healthy horses). As well as the yearly events we offer to less privileged children.
CIM has been and continue to be kind and are bringing us hay and food, which we are extremely thankful for as without this the horses would have had to be put down due to lack of finances to feed them throughout this process.
We won’t give up on Tsamadhi despite having to now rely on our own hard work to get Tsamadhi back on their feet. Tsamadhi is a tight team who have been thru it all together, and we know we will do it once more.
We want to thank everyone who has supported us, and continue to stay loyal and supportive towards the situation we ended up in due to the contaminated food sold to us.
There will be a lot of work ahead of us, but we will get there.
We managed once, we will manage to recover Tsamadhi and one day, be where we used to be.
EVen though we are far away, all the way in Maputo, Mozambique, welcome everyone to come visit Tsamadhi. Our doors are open despite in a very little scale in comparison to prior to the contamination.