Remember, remember our four-legged friends this November

Did you know that while you're tucked up in bed, there's a special team of Redwings workers ensuring our rescued horses and donkeys are safe and cared for each and every night? 

Throughout the dark hours, our Nights team makes sure every single resident is accounted for, providing additional feeds and medication to those that need it, and alerting the vets to any emergencies.

But over the bonfire weekend, their role takes on even greater importance as they keep a vigilant eye on our herds, especially those known to be nervous, looking out for injuries suffered by spooked horses so the vets can deal with them as quickly as possible, and checking for stray fireworks which could have the potential to set alight field shelters and stored hay.

The precautions follow the devastating loss of three horses in the last four years thought to be as a result of the intense stress brought on by nearby fireworks.

In 2016, ponies Sprite and Percy were tragically put to sleep in the same night after respectively suffering with severe colic and a serious leg injury at one of the charity’s farms in Norfolk, while in 2014 Thoroughbred mare Cinders who lived at our Ada Cole Visitor Centre in Essex was also sadly put to sleep due to an irreparable hoof injury.

Our message is clear; if you’re planning a display at your business or home, please check if there are horse owners nearby and let them know well in advance so they can make any necessary preparations to help their animals stay safe.

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Redwings' Nights team undertaking their checks

Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive, said: “This time of year can be tinged with apprehension for any horse owner, but imagine if you care for 1,500 of them like we do! A horse’s hearing is much more sensitive than a human’s, and noises that are loud to us can be unbearable and terrifying to them. A frightened horse is a dangerous horse; they can charge around their paddocks or even break out of fields or stables, not only risking injury to themselves but those that care for them.

“Please could we ask anyone planning a display, no matter the scale, that lives near a livery yard or land where horses are kept to make the effort to get in touch and give owners the chance to take action. We know it’s a time of fun but we urge people to remember our four-legged friends and be aware of the potential devastating results of these celebrations.”

We've also prepared a special guide, based on the experiences of our equine care teams, which gives owners practical tips to help reduce the stress of bonfire weekend for their horses.

Click here to download your copy.