#CoronaChronicles 2021: Week Six

We knew we shouldn’t have mentioned the weather a couple of weeks ago!

Having hoped the worst of the winter weather was behind us, this week our teams braced the freezing winds, blizzards and piling snow drifts of Beast from the East 2!

Of course, our hardy equine carers and vets took the tough conditions in their stride and made every effort to travel to our Sanctuary sites and ensure our rescued residents were safe.

The heaviest snow fell on our Mountains Visitor Centre in Angus, Scotland, where staff were wading through knee-deep drifts – but, as you can see, they still wore a smile on their faces!

Just those who could jump into 4x4s were able to journey to the site where they concentrated on making sure the horses and donkeys had fresh water supplies by breaking up the ice on their troughs, and ensuring they had enough food to keep them happy and warm.

Here’s a selection of stunning photos sent in from the Mountains team this week.

The rest of our teams across the country also faced the might of the extraordinary weather and went the extra mile to look after our horses – quite literally for some of them! Our Behaviour team in Norfolk utilised the car park at a nearby restaurant and walked the last mile into work when the country lane leading to their site entrance proved impassable.

We’d like to say a massive thank you to every single person for their dedication in battling the elements this week. You’re all #SnowHeroes!

We also want to send our warmest thanks to our generous supporters who have so far donated to our urgent hay appeal, launched only yesterday. At the time of writing, you have already given over £2,000!

Due to the heavy rain - and now snow and the subsequent thaw - since the start of the year, much of our land has become waterlogged in recent weeks and we have been forced to use extra supplies of hay. The dry conditions of last year meant we produced less of our own hay, and the hay we had to buy cost even more than usual.

Your help will ensure we can feed our hungry herds until spring arrives. If you’d like to donate, you can text HAY 10 to 70085 to donate £10 (texts cost the donation amount plus a standard rate message) or click here to be taken to our JustGiving appeal page

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Comet, Amadeus and Wham enjoying the snow.
Comet, Amadeus and Wham enjoying the snow.

If you’re looking at these photos and feel chilly just from the sight of them, please be assured that our horses and donkeys were perfectly safe and warm. Horses are naturally equipped to comfortably deal with minus temperatures, and any that need extra assistance are provided with cosy rugs and/or taken into stables.

If you’d like to discover more about how equines cope in winter weather, click here to read one of our latest blogs written by the Welfare team where they explain all! 

Providing advice and education on equine care is one of our key roles and we’re determined to ensure this continues during this current coronavirus lockdown. So, this week, we launched a new series of free interactive online presentations – dubbed “REDTalks” – for schools and youth groups to help children (aged five to 11) learn more about horse care and our work.

Those who take part can enjoy quizzes, speak to a member of the Redwings team and even pose questions to one of our Adoption Star horses.

To find out more and sign up your group, click here.

If you’ve got children at home and are looking for something they can enjoy in lockdown, take a look at our Young Reds At Home Academy. Today, we’ve published a new series of activities and quizzes on our website celebrating everything we love about ponies in honour of the school holidays and Valentine’s Day.

You can download the activities here for free! 

To end this week’s #CoronaChronicles, we couldn’t help but share this beautiful image sent to us by Sydney from our Redwings Ada Cole team.

This Valentine’s Day we want to celebrate friendships so we asked our equine carers to tell us about the ponies they have built special bonds with. Sydney nominated Lazuli, a 12-year-old Native pony who was rescued in a very poor condition as a youngster in 2009.

Sydney says he “such a sweet and loving boy.”

Look out for more heart-warming videos and images like this on our social media channels this weekend. Thank you #RedwingsAngels!

Click here to read last week’s #CoronaChronicles.