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Recently we heard from Lesley and her family, who are the Guardians to not one, but two, Redwings ponies - Redwings Bobbykins and Redwings Lupin!
Bobbykins went to live with the Densham family in Suffolk in June 2018 - followed shortly by Lupin in November - and Lesley was very pleased to tell us that the pair are now firmly part of the family.
Handsome Bobbykins is ridden by Lola, aged 11, and mum Lesley credits him with giving Lola lots of confidence in the saddle, saying: “I don’t think Lola would be riding if it wasn’t for Bobby. She often says to me ‘I’m so glad we’ve got Bobby' as I never thought I would see her so happy and confident on horseback.
"We’re so lucky as her and Bobby like doing the same things and are both content to just wander the lanes together."
Meanwhile lovely Lupin is enjoyed by Alfred, seven, and Liberty, four, along with their other ponies Charlie and Gromit. Lupin has also become a hit with the pupils of the neighbouring primary school with Lesley often catching him resting his chin on the paddock fence waiting for the children to come out to say hello at play time.
“It’s all new to him as he wouldn’t have seen anything like that at Redwings,” explains Lesley. “He is just so interested in everything and absolutely loves the children, and they love him too!
“I would have never thought about rehoming a cob but I can’t sing his praises highly enough! I love his attitude to life and how kind and friendly he is. He will give everything a go and he has captured my heart. I’m on a mission amongst my horsey friends to get them to consider a cob now!”
Both ponies have come such a long way since their rescues. Bobbykins was rescued in 2005 after a member of the public found him wandering on the road and took him in to care for him. However, as Bobbykins was a stallion he needed specialist care and handling, so they approached Redwings for help. Meanwhile, Lupin was one of a group of six equines who arrived at Redwings from a site in Wales where they had been illegally fly-grazed. He was underweight and was suffering from heavy lice and mites infestations, as well as a painful abscess under his jaw.
Now, they have really landed on their hooves! All four of the Denhsam family’s ponies (even non-ridden companion pony Gromit!) often head out into the forest surrounding their village for a hack. Lesley adds: “We have so many people stop us to say how they love seeing all four ponies out together because everyone looks so happy and it’s true. We all get so much out of being out together, the ponies and us.”
On explaining her decision to rehome from Redwings, Lesley said: “I feel strongly that there are too many horses being bred without people feeling responsible for where they may be for the next 30 odd years of their lives. I didn’t want to buy into this problem and would much rather rehome from a charity where there are plenty of ponies who need a home and could be perfect for someone as a riding or companion pony.
“Plus, I really appreciate the work that charities are doing, and especially the time and effort that Redwings go to train their ponies and then match them with suitable families. The matching is a win-win as the pony ends up in a home where it will be happy, and owners get a pony who is perfect for whatever job they want it to do.”
If you think you could offer a home to a Redwings horse or pony, you can find out more by clicking here.