#CoronaChronicles: Week 13

Coronavirus or no coronavirus, there very sadly remains a horse crisis in this country. It is estimated that up to 7,000 horses are at risk of neglect at any one time simply due to there being too many horses for too few responsible owners.

There are varying reasons for this (click here to read more about the horse crisis), but what it means is that the rescue and care services provided by welfare organisations, such as ourselves, remain as crucial as ever.

During the lockdown, our Field Officers have been continuing to work in the community – taking into account social distancing and the need to avoid unnecessary travel – investigating urgent welfare concerns reported to us by the public. 

While our intention is to help owners improve the welfare of their horses without the need to bring them into the Sanctuary (particularly important during this pandemic), we will always be there for those in the most need and over the last couple of weeks we have welcomed some new arrivals into our care.

In fact, this month we’ve taken in over 20 new horses taking our total intake up to 104 so far this year, including foals born at the Sanctuary. Our new intakes include a group of 14 who are part of an ongoing prosecution case. The horses were being cared for by the RSPCA but when it became clear they would need specialist ongoing care, we offered to help. While we cannot go into further details until the conclusion of their case, we can confirm that they are all settling well into their home.

We have also welcomed two ponies, named Harvey and Heidi, who were rescued in a joint operation with the RSPCA and other welfare organisations from Gelligaer Common, in South Wales, earlier this year. The pair were reported to us by concerned members of the public as they were extremely thin. With no owners coming forward to claim them, we have taken on their care and are going through the legal process to become their official owners. We look forward to bringing you more news about their rescue and recovery soon!

Providing this vital care for our new arrivals naturally places additional pressures on our resources at this challenging time. If you’re able to, we would be incredibly grateful if you could support us by donating to our coronavirus appeal. You can find out more details about the appeal by clicking here.

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Brina when she arrived at Redwings in 2016 (L) and today in her new home (R)

While we’ve been welcoming new arrivals, we’ve also been helping some of our rescued residents find new loving homes outside the Sanctuary too. Brina, who was also rescued from Gelligaer Common in 2016, was the first pony to be rehomed since the lockdown, using a new system of virtual home checks and trials

Now, almost a month into living at her new home with Guardian Tracy, we’ve been sent these gorgeous photos (see top and above)! Tracy’s daughter Gabi said: “She’s settling really well. Everything is being done very slowly to keep things in her comfort zone but we’re also introducing new things just enough to challenge her to learn. 

“Her field companion is Isabella, our Falabella who’s been with us for 14 years and turned 18 last week! Isabella has been on Blue Peter so she’s a little bit famous! Brina and Isabella live next to our two riding cobs. Brina has definitely taken a liking to our gelding Teddy - they’re often found rubbing noses and whinnying at each other! Brina also nickers at the whole family when we walk past her field which is so lovely so early on.”

Tracy and daughter Tuesday are hoping to take Brina to In-hand shows next year.

It’s thanks to you that we were able to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome Brina. One day, we could even be telling you about the happiness some of our recent arrivals are enjoying in their Guardian homes too.

Click here to find out more about our Guardianship Scheme and which ponies are available to rehome now.

Thank you #RedwingsAngels

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