Association Ninovan is a non-profit organisation for abused and abandoned horses on the island of Faial in the Azores. We became the only registered non-profit equine rescue in all of the archipelago in 2016. Since then, we have a built up a strong connection with our local community and school system. We firmly believe that the only way to facilitate change is through education and awareness.
LIVING SOMEONE ELSE'S DREAM
As strange as it sounds today, it was never actually my dream to work with or even have horses;, I would not have considered myself much of a horse person at all. In fact, they scared me. When I moved to the Azores in 2010, I thought I would continue my painting and have a small gallery, like I had in Hamburg. I found the perfect house and started working on my dream.
And then …
I found the first abandoned horse while walking my dog on a hot summer day in 2011. I did my best to find her owner and, when I couldn’t, I wanted to find her a good home. She is still with me today. Her name is Mocca. She is spoiled and more like a dog than a horse. She is a star with our visitors and especially loves being around children. She taught me that horses are kind and gentle, and sensitive and funny. She would run across the farmers’ fields with the dogs and they would all come back together when I called them. If I didn’t have time to take her, the farmers asked about her. I soon heard that they called me “the foreigner who talks to horses.”
We now have 11 horses. Nine are here on my land we call Ninovan (the Cheyenne word for “our home”), and two are fostered on the other side of the island. It is a lot of work, and I have finally learned to love my work with these amazing creatures. But I have not painted since Ninovan has reached its current capacity.