Then & Now

When I was tasked with writing an appeal to showcase the difference Cart Horse has made to the lives of the working cart horses, I quickly fell into despair.

As a person with some working knowledge of horses it was, and still is, hard for me to see horses come in with shoes that are worn down as thin as blades, or completely absent, horses with harness wounds and the corners of their mouths bleeding because of ill-fitting harnesses and bits, lame horses harnessed to a cart and being put to work. Leafing through hundreds of photos from the past 24 years, I wondered if we were making any difference at all? It seemed as if the same things were still happening despite all our hard work!

Some things never change

Certain things I thought, just never changed. And to an extent, this is true. Members of the carting community still need their horses as a means to create an income. There are still bad apples within the carting industry who overload their horses, who abuse them or who simply neglect them. Gangsterism, illiteracy and poverty are still major issues within the communities and CHPA staff put their lives at risk on a regular basis to ensure the safety and health of the horses.

But some things do change!

As one of the newest CHPA staff members, it was hard for me to grasp the full extent of the hard work and sheer dedication it has taken over the past 24 years. However, having conversations with some of our longstanding staff members, it quickly became clear that some things have indeed changed.

Thanks to kind donations from people like you, we have in fact made a very real difference to the lives of the working equines on the Cape Town streets.

Where we used to confiscate four to ten horses each month, we now rarely confiscate more than one in a month. Moreover, where it used to be a regular occurrence to see a skinny horse with harness wounds AND badly shod feet pulling a heavily overloaded cart, these days, we will rarely find all these problems together in one situation. Although we still have many of the same issues on an individual level, the sheer scale of abuse has dramatically decreased.

All of this is thanks to our loyal donors who have relentlessly supported us and our cause.

In 2011 we thought it fitting to change our logo from the three sad, thin horses, to three horses that look healthy, happy and fat! Whereas 20 years ago, the majority of horses pulling carts on the roads of Cape Town represented a real welfare issue, most of the horses seen working on the roads these days, are indeed very well taken care of and in very good nick.

We once again ask you to help us to continue to help ensure the welfare of the hard-working horses on our roads. Help us reduce the welfare issues even further by donating today!

To make your donation today:

Cart Horse Protection Association
Bank: Nedbank; Cheque/Current Account
Account Number: 104 639 5998
Branch Code: 104 609
Swift Number: NED SZAJJ 104609
IBAN: ZAI NED SZAJJ 104609 104639

Please send proof of payment to, using Then&Now as reference.

OR click here to find other ways to donate.