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Jimmy Solares changes the lives of working horses in memory of his grandfather
Jimmy Manolo Solares is 25 years old. He lives in the remote Zaragoza region of Guatemala with his wife and two daughters. His family have been in the region for many years and his grandfather had once been a well-respected member of the community who was known as an equine expert and farrier.
When our programme launched in Zaragoza in 2013, Jimmy and his family were mentioned by local community members as the family with the greatest understanding of horses in the area. Sadly, Jimmy’s grandfather died when he was very young. Although his love of horses has been passed through the generations, much of his knowledge on equine husbandry was lost.
After spending time with Jimmy and his family it became obvious that he was very sensitive to the needs of horses in the local communities. With very little knowledge of handling and care and no access to experts and affordable materials, horses in the region lived short and difficult lives.
Jimmy with working horses in the local area.
When the farriery training modules were initiated Jimmy attended alongside his father Francisco. Their willingness to learn and natural ability made them the ideal participants and Jimmy excelled at every task. His patience also meant he was quickly made responsible for the handling and shoeing of nervous horses, helping them to settle and stay calm.
Jimmy’s training finalised in 2014 and he and his father are now the proud owners of their own farrier shop, “Solares”. The World Horse Welfare project in Guatemala has supported them by providing initial materials such as steel. The farriery shop has been very successful and every month they trim and shoe around 30 horses as well as advising the owners of many more.
The lives of the working equines that support the local economy in Zaragoza have vastly improved and we expect this to continue. Jimmy now feels reconnected to the grandfather who he lost and the family are quickly regaining the superb reputation they once had as the local experts.
Jimmy during his farriery training
By providing Jimmy with his training, we have ensured that the local horses, ponies and donkeys continue to benefit from our work for many years. Jimmy and his father can pass their vital knowledge to working horse owners and provide an affordable and sustainable service to everyone in the community. Not only will life improve for the working horses and in turn their owners, but Jimmy and his family now have greater independence and a secure income.
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