My daily task in taking care of the horses is to feed them moringa. Moringa, also called The Miracle Tree, really is a miracle. It’s a very healthy plant that can be eaten by humans and animals and it’s very easy to plant. Almost all of the parts of the tree are edible, raw or cooked. It contains an incredibly high dose of vitamins, minerals and proteins. At the academy we eat moringa leaves in our salad and drink it in tea. The horses and the pigs eat the whole branches. Raw it tastes a little bit like radish and cooked it has a mild neutral taste.
At Richmond Vale is a forest where they plant the moringa. There is enough and it grows very fast. For the horses I cut the whole branches. New leaves will appear in several days.
If you love horses it’s a great joy to spoil them with moringa. They’re really fond of it. They know exactly when I’m going to the forest and waiting for me to come back. They’re looking with the prettiest faces ever and calling for me. They immediately start eating and won’t stop before they are finished.
To get the moringa, it is also good exercise and keeps me fit. I cut as many as I can carry. The branches are light but because of the hills and heat it can feel heavy. With this climate for me it’s better to do it in the morning or late in the afternoon. It’s a very nice walk that I do twice a day; once for Jack and Spirit and one time for Elena and Magic.
I use garden shears and choose the branches that are the oldest or the ones with the yellow leaves. To keep the tree healthy it’s important to take these branches first. I also look how the trees grow compared to the others. I want to make sure that every tree gets enough light.
Getting moringa for the horses contains a lot of different things for me; physical exercise, gardening, taking care of the horses and being close to nature.
Michelle van Ardennen (Holland)