#CoronaChronicles 2021: Week 11

Thank you everyone for your great response to last week’s announcement about the proposed reopening date for our visitor centres.

If the easing of lockdown continues to go to plan, we hope to be able to welcome visitors once again from 30th April.

We will be asking supporters to pre-book visiting slots and aim to make these available by the end of this month, so please keep an eye on our website and social media channels for more news when we can bring it to you!

Meanwhile, our vet and care teams continue to work hard behind closed doors to keep our rescued horses safe and healthy.

Importantly, our rehoming teams across the country are also making sure those who have the potential to enjoy happy lives outside the Sanctuary are still receiving the necessary training to help them find loving new homes.

Giving a home to a rescued horse isn’t just rewarding, but also creates space for us to be able to bring more horses in desperate need into the safety of the Sanctuary.

Despite having to temporarily suspend our Guardianship Scheme when the pandemic first hit, we were still able to rehome a record number of horses and ponies last year and we currently have 107 in training at our four rehoming centres across the country.

Readying a rescued horse to find a new home takes a lot of love, patience and skill, especially as some may have developed some complex behaviours due to their past neglect. Each horse is treated as an individual and training is progressed at their own pace, so we are confident that when they leave the Sanctuary, they will continue to thrive in the care of their new Guardians.

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The team undertake needle preparation practice with Grasshopper.

Many ponies, like little Grasshopper here, can be needle shy. While she demonstrated very good behaviour throughout her training, her aversion to needles meant we decided to keep her at the Sanctuary for a little longer to help her conquer her fear.

Through repetitive and sympathetic needle preparation training, which included one of the team approaching her like a vet and slightly nipping her skin (the precursor to a vaccination) - all rewarded with plenty of relaxing wither scratches - she eventually learned to be less afraid.

And thanks to the team’s efforts, Grasshopper moved to her new Guardian home this month!

Grasshopper came to Redwings in 2016 having been rescued as part of a group of 16 semi-feral ponies who were struggling to survive on Bodmin Common in Cornwall. At the Sanctuary they were named after Roald Dahl characters, including Muggle Wump, Lavender, Beauregarde and Mrs Clonkers!

Seeing her in a loving new home is thanks to the dedication of our vets, our behaviour team and then our rehoming team, who all played pivotal roles in bringing Grasshopper back to health and giving her the confidence to enjoy a life outside the Sanctuary.

But the biggest player in her story is you! Everything we do is 100% funded by your donations, and without your help, we could not have given Grasshopper the second chance at life that she so deserved.

Did you know that just £25 could pay for one training session for a rescued horse at one of our rehoming centres? You can donate by calling 01508 481000 or by clicking here

Due to Covid restrictions, we are only rehoming unbacked project horses and non-ridden companions. Please click here to find out more and see the horses currently looking for new homes.

To end this week’s blog, we’re sharing this lovely video giving you an insight into some of the training exercises recently enjoyed by the ponies at our rehoming centre at Redwings Oxhill in Warwickshire. Gold stars all round, we think!

Have a great weekend #RedwingsAngels

To read last week’s #CoronaChronicles, please click here.