February 6, 2023

Long weekends and holidays used to be busy days for the pony boys of Wright Park.
Income was brisk and pony boys were able to earn enough to sustain the needs of their families, as well as of their horses.
But the declaration of the enhanced community quarantine in March has drastically affected their livelihood. Apart from the need to feed their families, the pony boys also had to deal with the fact that like humans, their horses also has to be look after, otherwise they will die of hunger.
As alternative source of income, 200 members of the Wright Park Pony Boys Association thought of producing compost soil and fertilizer.
Pony boys used to give compost produced from horse manure for free but the idea that they can make money out composting came when in March, someone bought horse manure from them.
“We saw the fast sales and we all followed making the compost fertilizer,” said Scott Madon, a member of the pony boys association.
Madon said some customers buy as much as 100 sacks of compost and fertilizer.
He said they sell a P25-kilo sack of plain compost – black soil or horse manure for P150.
The six-in-one compost with coco feed, alnus, black soil, compost, rice hull, and vermicast is sold for P200 per 25 kilos.
From being guides to those who rent horses, they formed into groups, all doing the same activity.
Madon said sales are enough to sustain their needs as well as the needs of their horses.
Another pony boy, 37-year-old Likoy said selling of compost greatly helped in the purchase of food for his horse.
Likoy used to tend to three horses but one died recently because of flu.
“Horses are used to having people riding on their backs and they regularly walk, but with the quarantine, they stayed in the stable. The confinement probably made them stressed, got sick and died,” he said.
Likoy shared that like humans, horses have to be provided with proper nutrients.
He said he used to buy grass at P80 per sack and horse feed at P900 per sack that will last for a week.
During the lockdown and without enough money to buy food, he had to reduce amount of food he gives to his horses.
“Before the lockdown, our horses had sufficient food and were pampered, but not this time,” he said.
Likoy said Mayor Benjamin Magalong donated 500 sacks of horse feed for the association.
He said the supply will last for a month.
At present, the city government is conducting consultations with stakeholders on the resumption of tourism in the city on a limited scale. – PNA