From Rick Veaney, a loyal supporter who donates regularly, most recently December 2020
Thank you so much for your reply. I'm so very saddened by the news about
Tex. Again, your heart must be broken to lose such a very loved member
of your equine family.
I cannot imagine how hard it must be for you. I had to put down my
beloved German Shepherd dog about 12 years ago. It took me 7 years to
get over it before I could welcome another dog into our family. It is
heart-breaking and for a man like you who is devoting his life to caring
and loving these beautiful animals, it must be the most hollow feeling
to have to again put one to sleep.
Mate, for what it is worth, I truly believe in the Rainbow Bridge for
these majestical creatures and I believe in fate. As hard as it is for
you now, just stop and think for a moment what life Tex would have had
without Alan Gent. You have been a saviour to so many of these beautiful
horses and I have no doubt they all feel the love you have for them.
If I was to die tomorrow having achieved 10% of what you have achieved
in your life, I would be a happy man. But grief doesn't diminish quickly
and I can only pray that you try to see what a massive influence you
have been on Tex and the other lucky horses at Calan. He would be
looking down on you now and thanking you for all your love and care.
I tell a lot of people about you and they are all amazed. You are a
truly unsung hero and in my eyes, a true Australian of the Year - for
Stay strong my friend. After 41 years as a police officer, you wouldn't
think I could still be inspired by people, but you are a true
inspiration to me. I truly mean that.
Hoping you can still find some joy in Xmas, Alan despite this terrible
I'll be thinking about you and Tex on Xmas Day.
I am truly grateful for people like you who look after our precious animals, particularly those in desperate need.
I cannot imagine how difficult it was to find your beloved horse so poorly. We all tend to resort to the 'if' game when we face certain situations but I would like to think that you gave many, many years of your love (and still ongoing love) to this beautiful horse and without you your horse would never experienced love and protection. The morning you found him and doing what you had to do was extremely courageous and shows how much you actually loved him by setting him free.
You wouldn't be doing what you do if you didn't miss him, you are a special type of person, people who work with animals are special in my opinion. Adapting your life without your horse will not be easy, why should it be easy? You very much loved your horse and losing him the way you did will take some time to grieve.
I will see if there is a horse sanctuary a bit closer to where I am but if I am ever in your area I will be sure to drop by and say hello.
Thank for you for looking after our beautiful horses.
Take care, Karen
Just checked it Alan. Fantastic. Will tell Marty to add a link on our facebook page. If you have not done so, have a look at it and click like if you do. Lots of pics from Ireland too. I am honoured and humbled to mention my name and influence to your approach.
With kind gratitude.
Carlos Tabernaberri June 2012
Animal Actionist Ltd (ABN: 55167547346) is a registered non-profit/charity with ACNC
Sent: Wednesday, May 11, 2016 6:11 PM
To: Alan Gent
Subject: Re: Calan Horse Sanctuary
Music to my ears (or eyes?) to read this. Thank you so much Alan for taking him in and giving him (CHS note re: Eddy aka Phoenix) a future so full of love, FREEDOM!, respect, and promise!
Now if I could just figure out how to clone you...
Last year after the death of two horses in the Melbourne Cup. I succumbed to a nagging feeling that I had for some time and decided I didn't want to support horse racing. I loved dressing up for the races and so I decided I had to come up with a way to celebrate in style in a way that supported horses.
I looked at a few websites and loved the Calan site. I decided I would hold a high tea on August 1st, horses' birthday. I originally planned to register this charity event and have lots of fun activities during the day for people to win prizes. However, it was postponed and a lot smaller than I had wanted but I thought small is better than nothing and I was determined to go ahead.
Therefore, yesterday I had 16 friends around for high tea at the cost of $30 a head. I had a door prize of a horse painting that was donated, and I had a bottle of port and a bottle of whiskey as prizes, as well as a painting donated by a 14 year old student. I catered for the event at my home and we raised $600. We also had a fantastic time and lots of laughs and I couldn't wait to ring Alan and tell him as he didn't know it was on. I feel happy knowing we did something positive for the horses this year, oh, and we all wore racing attire.
Clancy Fiona September 2015
Freelance Writer/Artist Jeanette Woolerton
It is with great empathy and compassion that I offer my condolences to you for the passing of your beloved Topaz. I feel your pain keenly as the journey with our equine soul mates is excruciating at this point. It is never easy. I have a rescue herd of my own (as you are aware) and have been at that crossroads myself, so I understand the process all too well.
However, at the risk of sounding presumptuous (which is never my intention) I can assure you Topaz's passing resulted in an eternally peaceful, blissful existence - and that his kidneys were causing him a tremendous amount of pain at the final stage of life on earth. You have granted him the most compassionate, heartfelt gift in relieving him of that burden. I have no doubt that his gratitude to you knows no bounds and that he felt extraordinary love and compassion in your presence.
You are one the earth's most precious people - you are the epitome of life, love and light. Thank you for caring for him and all the others with the level of compassion and respect in which you do. You restore faith in humanity and every being blessed to have met you is instantly (and irrevocably) changed by your presence. They know it too and feel extraordinary gratitude to you, of that I have no doubt.
We appear to share many commonalities in our care for horses (according to Mae Lee) and one of the first things I noticed when opening your website was that the first page I viewed was striking similar to a page on my own illustrative website. It was synchronicity ;)
I am humbled by your generous spirit and dedication to the horses, it strikes a deep chord within me and I cannot wait to meet you and your magnificent beings.
You are a tower of strength and a lighthouse to so many souls adrift. Shine on and please never underestimate how much the horses appreciate and love you. I can feel it from here ;)
With deep gratitude and respect,
Mae Lee Sun, Freelance Writer /Co-author of Brumby: A celebration of Australia's wild horses
Alan I hope this will suffice. It is true and how I feel:
To have led a life that would lead to meeting Alan Gent and the horse residents at Calan Horse Sanctuary is one of the highest blessings of this existence. A humble man with an unconditional heart and serene, yet purposeful presence falls short of accurately describing him and leaves me searching for naming that which can only be seen and felt through the horses in his care. They alone are the testimony of who this man is and they alone are the reflection of both the suffering and limitations of humankind and all that is wrong with our priorities and values as well as all that is right by those like Alan willing to be upright against the belief of domination of the most evolved, intelligent and ancient species on earth on which all of our lives were built and whom we owe the most gratitude and protection.
You have my commitment Alan to support you in making sure your legacy lives on and that those horses have a bright future. I encourage all to not let your support end at nice words- but to make a stand and take action when you bear witness to such suffering in your own communities, and / or to volunteer your time, donate financially or if you're an equine specialist, offer your services pro-bono to Calan Horse Sanctuary for doing the right thing and seeing through the eyes of those horses.
For all sentient beings,
Mae Lee Sun
I just had a look on the webpage and what you have written is absolutely beautiful, brought grateful tears to my eyes. Thank you, it describes everything so perfectly and honestly in a touching way. It's just perfect. I couldn't be more grateful. And I think Gideon is a lovely name, brave and a warrior at heart describes him so perfectly.
I hope all is well at Calan Horse Sanctuary with all the beautiful horses and your wonderful family.
Dear Mr Gent,
Thank you for being such a great farrier for Presto. We've really appreciated it.
All the best for you and your horses.
ABC Reporter, Chloe Papas
Thank you so much again for letting me come by and meet you, Nathan and your gorgeous horses. After a rough week, it really was somehow therapeutic to be out there with the horses - you should be very proud with what you have done at Calan!
The story is here: http://www.abc.net.au/local/photos/2013/11/12/3889189.htm?site=southcoast and the interview with yourself will be played on ABC Great Southern radio (frequency is 620AM) at around 1145am this morning.
Thanks again, and I hope to see you sometime down the track! Say hi to the horses from me.
Thank you so much for your 2+1/2 plus hours at your wonderful sanctuary for horses. Not only was it a delight to see you again, but to be given a guided tour around your wonderful facility, introduced personally to each horse, and feel the love and warmth of both your home and your horses homes was a real privilege. Thank you!
I enjoyed meeting up with Clare again and meeting your humble assistant Nathan whose admiration for the horses (and the lamb!) are greatly evident. It was
really brilliant to read how Honner was welcomed into your wonderful herd by the horses and I LOVE!!!! the photo's. You have a truly special heart for these special animals and I'm sure you feel as lucky to have them as they are to have you.
All the best for the future, and I'm sure our paths will cross again soon.
Karen, September 2013
Just wanted to say I have read your website on horse care and the stories behind your beautiful horses. You write with a warm heart. It is so lovely to know that there are people like you working to make the life of our horse friends a happy natural life and not asking anything in return from them...
We need far more people like you. I don't need to say (i think) keep up the good work, because for you it would be mostly joyful, just observing them finding peace and happiness. Have you written any books on your life with horses? Have a great christmas.
Gillian Murray Dec 2013
I have just found out about the wonderful work you do with the horses! I am a long time horse owner/lover. I was wondering if you agist retired horses on your sanctuary? I have a 22 yr old t/b mare who I have owned for 14 years, I wish to retain ownership. I am simply looking for somewhere with lots of room and company for her to enjoy her last years. I would also be interested in volunteering my time next year (once my youngest child goes off to school) to help you with the wonderful job you are doing. Please email me back if you cater for retired horses.
Thank you for your time
Emma Sept 2013
My name is kylie. I emailed you a while ago about two horses that i have adopted , i work at hillside with Nathan, Nathan told me you got some more horses, its great to see that they have a wonderful home to go to,my two are going good, hope you have plenty of help out there , do people come and help you or donate feed or other things, i hope so, i remember when i was a kid my dream was to have a whole paddock of horses ha ha, you are lucky to spend your time with what i think is the worlds most beautiful creatures, anyway you are doing a wonderful thing and there should be more people like you. See ya
Kylie Aug 2013
I just finished browsing your site and I think it is wonderful! It was so nice for me to see the horses that match the names of your tattoo's...very, very nice. You are doing a wonderful thing and I commend you on both your work and your web site.
Karen July 2013
Your horses are lucky to have you, iv been talking to Nathan about your sanctuary and the horses, i work at hillside with him, You’re doing a great job, i received a phone call last week in the office asking if we slaughter horses, well me being me got his number and I’m now going to go meet them and try and save them i don’t know how someone could do that, good luck with everything your doing an amazing thing.
Kylie Schinzig April 2013
What a wonderful job you are doing, looking after these much deserving horses I have seen on your web site. I hope, if you have the time, you may be able to offer some advice on how I can help some very sad, skinny and neglected horses. In the past, I managed to get RSPCA to talk to one horse owner about his poor neglected horse and I am taking my farrier to a local donkey regularly, as she never had her feet trimmed. Well, here is the story:
2 weeks ago I went to Bridgetown to look at a horse that I had seen on Cavalletti. In the paddock behind his enclosure were 9 other horses. This horse and 4 other young horses had never had their feet done or much handling, so I could not pick up their feet or really check them out. I offered to take two of them to do some handling and training, feet and teeth sorted, so they could find good homes, but owner refused, though I said they could remain for sale and I would not charge anything for my time. The horses have been for sale for 18 months. I do not feel I could afford to pay their sale price, treatments, maintenance while training them and then hoping to sell them, as I am on a pension.
Owner also had 4-5 older horses, 18-26 years old, were not much different to walking skeletons. They may just need teeth checked and worming. I mentioned this to the owner, who said that she did not have the means to deal with it, but she had taken my remarks on board and was going to try and handle the younger horses for the next week. She would put the older down, if she could afford it. She said she was getting too old to do the work and just wanted to sell up. The horses were not maliciously treated, just not treated at all. There were also a 13 year old Arabian stallion.
I am still considering buying two of her horses, but am just so concerned about the rest, and worried about ending up with paddocks of sickly horses that I do not have the money to keep after spending thousands buying them. I already have a horse, who need special care, only 7 acres of land and limited funds. I am a member of Second Chance Horse Rescue and they said that RSPCA may not act, as the horses had food and water. They may also put the horses down.
As I live in Mt Barker, it is too far to travel to give the owner practical help. It just feels overwhelming, however I do not want to turn my back on the horses. Would you have any idea how I could tackle this or where there may be assistance? Any ideas or advice would be much appreciated.
Lise March 2013
From Cynthia's (Natural Horse World) blog ( 27th Feb 2012 ) Read Full article here
Giving your horses a forever home...
Involve them in life around the other horses as much as possible – if they can live alongside the main herd, even better. Taking them for in-hand walks when their riding days are over keeps them fitter and mentally stimulated. Older horses make wonderful teachers for small children or fearful adults to learn ground skills. Some can even play a role in Equine Assisted Therapy providing it is not too demanding. Like wise old people, older horses can have a role to play in our lives if we allow them to.
All is well here and its lovely to see you're able to help another horse. You must have quite a herd now! Good to see you have a helpful horse dentist - I think many horses are suffering due to lack of dental care. I've got it on my list of blog topics to write about in the near future. Keep well and enjoy those horses.
Natural Horse World Pty Ltd
46 Wattle Lea Lane,
Golden Valley. 7304,
Featured in Natural Horse Worlds Blog
“Hey mate its James, just wondering how Tex has settled in. Hopefully you can give those feet the attention they need, Please keep me informed”.
“Glad you have him, now he’s a special boy. Will have to come down when I can find 5 minutes”
I certainly agree with you in all ways about what you say about the horse going barefoot. I would just like to add about a situation that I stumbled upon. When I constructed my stables a decision was made to brick pave the floors, resulting in the horses wearing their own hooves to suit their needs. Each horse ended up with a hoof that had a short toe and a low heel and looked very much like the pictures we see of the wild horse. The only trimming I had to perform was a slight off loading of the quarters. The interesting point I would like to make is each horse had a small difference in the shape to their hooves compared to the other horses in the herd.
Excellent point. Whether it's the type of material you mentioned or somebody setting up a track system with varied terrain such as gravel, sand, etc. - the horse will adapt. My personal horses get a significant amount of movement on their track system and have short toes and low heels. Additionally, their hooves will adapt depending on the time of the year. The more movement they get the less I have to trim, as you described. Ideally you want the horse to almost maintain his own hooves.
How are you doing? For some reason I thought I'd already responded to your email. Sorry for the delay in getting back with you.
I looked at your web site. Very nice! Keep me posted on when you add new content and keep up the great work. Have a wonderful weekend.
Keep it soulful,
Stephanie August 2012
Thank you …. I have read some of the poems and tributes and they brought tears to my eyes. Thank you for today it was great to work with Lawson.
After reading the individual histories of the horses that are fortunate to be at the Calan Horse Sanctuary, it was wonderful to think that there are people who have enough love and compassion to dedicate their time, finances and emotions to the welfare of these beautiful creatures. We so often hear of cases of terrible neglect, cruelty and abuse of animals eg the expose` of the live cattle and sheep trade which so horrified us all. The cruelty of many of the farming practices like caged chickens and pigs fill us with indignation. So to know that Calan Horse Sanctuary is a force for good in the world is very encouraging to see that there are people who try to make a difference.
Janet Harper July 2012
I have just finished looking through your web site and it is a wonderful web page, you should be proud of it. It was so nice for me to see the horses behind your tattoo's!! It really is a great site, nice job Alan.
Karen June 2012
G’day my name is Amy Elliot.
i have just heard about Calan Horse Sanctuary. I am 14 years old and have been riding for years, i live in Highbury on a farm and had no idea that Calan was so close to us. I have a Quarter Horse named Cam, he wasn't neglected as such but his hooves where shocking as where his teeth. Now he is right and is the perfect gentleman, he helps out on the farm and is breeze to ride, he has a hard mouth as his owners used a harsh bit and rode him rough. But now after months of hard work and gaining trust, we have a true partnership which is all i have ever wanted is for my horses to trust me.
I checked out your website and was amazed at the work that Calan does for those horses. My first horse when i moved to Australia was a Standard breed named Trooper. I saw him advertised in the local paper as a gentle soul with no flaws. We went to check him out and have a ride, i was shocked to see a horse that’s ribs where sticking out of his sides and his hooves where soo long that they curved up and where cracked.
Well i got on and he was half starved so that to just walk was a mission and a half for him, but there was something in his eyes that told me this horse lived up to his name. So we bought him after begging my parents, i took weeks for him to trust me and let me groom him as he was abused by his previous owners. I cared for him and slowly he gained some weight and his hooves where trimmed and his teeth checked. His whole attitude changed from this horse about to cark it right there, he was now a frisky little bugger who would hoon around the paddock in the morning when i got up to feed him. When i eventually rode him he was a dream and was perfect for me.
That’s why when i heard about the work that Calan does i was so interested. I was wondering if you needed a part time worker i have worked with breakers over the school holidays and am keen to help, as helping abused horses is what i am passionate about. I know i am young but i am always willing to learn more and try new things. Helping horses is what i want to do that is why i am working hard to become a equine vet and open up my own rescue centre for abused and mistreated horses.
Amy Elliot June 2012
It's Anna here, you do my pony's feet!! I was just looking at your web page!! I really enjoyed looking at your horses!! I love Brodie's colour, it's amazing, isn't it!! They all are!! I wanted to ask you where did you get the name Calan Horse Sanctuary? And is there a way I can help with anything? think that is all for now!!
From Anna and Presto:-)
After seeing the website about the Trail of Tears with Carlos and the Native American Grandmothers, it saddened me to think of the misuse of power, the abuse of beautiful horses and the suffering of the original inhabitants of a land. Yet despite this, there are good people who are able to have enough wisdom and love to think of the future and to recapture the spiritual values of their ancestors.
There are obviously so much more in the connection between our beautiful earth and its creatures and ourselves that have been lost in this technological age. It is heartening to think there are people like Carlos who has that sensitivity more than most and is using it to educate and set a good example for others to learn from.
Janet Harper July 2012
Thank you again so much for letting me have Waylon stay with me for my holiday. It was so soothing to be around him, he seems to make my stress and worries vanish and he leaves me smiling always. I can not thank you enough for all you do for him…………I will come and visit Waylon and you soon.
Brooke July 2012