Noah's Residents

Noah's Residents

Monday, March 10, 2014

A day with the horses at Noah's Ark

From left: Li Ting, Le Ying and Nadia

Life tends to bring us in straight lines, passing through each period of our lives that we can relive only through our memories. But once in a while, we come full circle to where we started from. It’s been a good 14 years, but here I am again, at Noah’s Ark. A different place, a different time, but the feelings remain the same.

I was just a little kid then, when my Father rented a space to keep his birds in the farm next door on Seletar West Farmway 5.  I used to go there with him on weekends and while he was busy with his birds, I was often next door at Noah’s Ark Lodge. I’d spend long hours there just watching the animals and playing with some of them, and that was when my weekly affair with Noah’s Ark started. Memories are hazy as I was so young then, but I remember one friend I had there very well – a little grey pony named Melody. She was always out in the paddock at the front and was the first one I’d see each time I visited. You can bet how happy I was to see that she’s still around after such a long time!

All these time, I’d known that Noah’s Ark relocated to JB, but I never got to visit as my parents wouldn’t allow me to travel there on my own. As I grew up, those sweet memories of my childhood moved further and further to the back of my mind, and though my love for animals continued, I stopped thinking about Noah’s Ark. It was only when my friend shared the link for a Volunteer’s Day to Noah’s Ark that I finally took notice again.

I was so excited for the trip that I barely slept the night before and was so chatty in the morning on the car ride there (sorry to Joanne, Nadia and Audrey, who had to listen to me talk and talk non-stop!)  It was a little overwhelming when we first walked into the sanctuary, seeing so many dogs I didn’t know, and getting pushed around and stepped on by the larger ones while going up the stairs, but I quickly settled in. And the day proved to be one of the best days I’ve had in a long time!

Of course, I chose to volunteer with the horses and after a quick tour of the property and lunch, it was HORSEY TIME! My first task for the day was to groom and bathe Primus @ Sanuk, the grey pony who likes to roll on everything and he was practically brown on some areas. Brushing all that caked mud off him was no joke and with the weather so scorching hot, I was all ready for a rest by the time I was done. 

But… Nope, not done yet. I still had to give him his bath! A lot of scrubbing and shampooing soon followed and I swear my arms felt like they were going to fall out of their sockets. He wasn’t the most cooperative either, trying to squish me against the wall and neighing very loudly in my ear.

Guess he was cranky about not being able to get to Melody (I’m told they’re a couple). When I was finally done and the brown parts were light beige, I let him free and he cantered all the way to the end of the paddock to look for Melody. I would have liked a little more appreciation on his part, but I guess his girlfriend’s a lot more important than me!

Prisma was next to be showered and with 4 pairs of hands instead of one, it was so much easier! And yes, we all got a free shower as well but it was a welcome change from the crazy heat. The last we bathed was Apache, and boy was he the loveliest ever! He just stood there quietly and let the 4 ladies work on him and at one point, he was enjoying it so much that he even closed his eyes!

It was truly a day where I recharged and rested my soul. The connection we can have with animals is the most wondrous thing in the world and I am glad to be back. I can’t wait to be back again!

Contributed by Soon Le Ying

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