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Welcome to another edition of the #CoronaChronicles, brought to you a little earlier this week due to the Easter long weekend.
Now Covid restrictions are starting to ease, we hope - if safe to do so - you have the opportunity to get out, enjoy the sunshine and catch up with some family and friends.
Unfortunately, things aren’t quite at the stage where animal sanctuaries and outdoor attractions can reopen to the public just yet, so we’re continuing to bring you plenty of stories and images from across the Sanctuary to make sure you don’t miss out on what our rescued residents have been up to!
At Redwings, every horse, pony, donkey or mule who comes through our paddock gates is treated as an individual and given a home for life, no matter what their health or behavioural needs.
We’re able to do this thanks to the specialist care provided by our highly skilled vet and equine care teams, and lifesaving facilities such as our Horse Hospital and dedicated Behaviour Centre, all funded by your kind donations.
This week we take a look at three adorable horses who are able to enjoy happy and fulfilling lives at the Sanctuary thanks to the extra mile taken with their care.
Firstly, let’s take a look at handsome Star striking a pose in his new sweet itch rug!
Welsh cross Star suffers with sweet itch which is an allergic reaction to certain midge bites which can cause him to itch and damage his skin. Every year, his carers at Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire keep a record of when he is likely to need extra protection from the pesky bugs and use that information to make sure he is wearing his lightweight rug before he starts showing symptoms so he can stay comfortable all summer long.
Ponies like Star would also normally wear a fly mask, but he’s not a fan of this particular accessory! So, instead, his carers apply a special lotion on his muzzle to keep the midges away.
Star’s story is typical of many horses across the Sanctuary. While the end of winter means we can finally wave goodbye to the wet and cold weather, summer brings with it its own set of unique horse care challenges.
While the majority of our residents can cope well with the change of season, some will need protective sweet itch rugs and masks, while others require the support of rugs, visors and lotions that provide high UV protection, each adding to the daily workload of our carers. There’s never a quiet day!
Just a few paddocks away from Star, his neighbour Snuffles recently received a visit from the dentist. Snuffles was born with a twisted muzzle, known as a wry nose, and was sadly kept out of sight in a barn before we offered him a home.
At Redwings, we love to celebrate his uniqueness and he now lives in a paddock with a large group of friends where our visitors can give him plenty of fuss. His wry nose doesn’t cause him any problems, but he requires regular dentals to make sure his teeth stay in tip top condition.
Last week our welfare vet Alex gave him a thorough dental examination and removed a tooth to help the rest of his teeth sit as comfortably as possible in his misaligned mouth. As you can see, his best friend Muesli was on hand (or should that be hoof?) to give him some moral support!
You may also have seen on our social media channels the story of partially-sighted Shetland pony Stevie, who lives at Redwings Ada Cole in Essex. Recently his left eye was causing him considerable pain and as he had no sight in that eye, the decision was made to bring him to our Horse Hospital to have it removed.
We’re pleased to update you that Stevie is doing very well. He has already settled back into his herd at the visitor centre and the swelling from his surgery is reducing nicely, thanks to this ingenious padded head collar made by his carers! This week he even joined his friends when they moved to their new summer paddock.
If you’re missing seeing faces like Star, Snuffles and Stevie this Easter, don’t worry! We’re continuing to bring the Redwings experience to you while our doors remain closed, including launching a new series of online school holiday activities on the theme of donkeys for our young supporters.
Click here to find out more and download all the activities for free here.
You can also enjoy plenty of videos of our rescued residents on our YouTube channel and, in honour of our adorable long-eared residents, we couldn’t resist ending this week’s blog with this wonderful short film of our donkeys at Redwings Caldecott in Norfolk enjoying last year’s spring grass!
Have a great Easter weekend #RedwingsAngels
Please click here to read last week’s #CoronaChronicles.