What's happening

08 December 2017

Red's Shed: Tickles, not treats this Christmas!

Hello, it’s Red here!
 
My horsey pals and I love having a fuss made of us when you come to visit us at Redwings. For us, there’s nothing better, because we just love to feel loved, and all of us at Redwings can’t wait to see you!
 
This Christmas, you’ll be tucking into all sorts of treats from mince pies to chocolate, but for us horsey residents it’s really important that we stick to our normal diet. 
 
And just like humans, too many treats can be bad for our health, here’s why…
 
Horses can’t be sick
 
Have you ever eaten something that made you sick afterwards? That’s your body’s way of getting the bad food out of your system. Ewwww! Did you know, though, that us horses can’t actually be sick? That means that food that is bad for us isn’t removed, which then means it can actually make us more ill.
 
Horses have sensitive intestines
 
If you feed us something we’re not used to, it can easily upset our digestion and it can even lead to a very serious condition called colic.
 
Horses need a carefully managed diet
 
Some horses can put on weight very easily and even just a little extra feed can cause us problems. Many of the horses at Redwings are on a very careful diet, because if we do become overweight, we’re more likely to have other health problems, just like humans!
 
Horses need to look after their teeth
 
You know how chocolate and sugary drinks are bad for your teeth? Horses need to look after their gnashers too, especially the older residents here at Redwings. You might be surprised to learn that horses have to see the dentist at least once a year, and we wouldn’t want to get into trouble for having bad teeth! If that happens, we can find it more difficult to chew, which can then cause other problems.
 
This Christmas, the best treat that we can get is a hug and a “wither scratch”!
 

 

04 December 2017

Red's Shed: Why are friends so important to horses?

Hello, it’s Red here! 
 
Have you ever noticed that when you come and visit your pony pals at Redwings, you never see any of them by themselves? As you can see from the picture, I just love spending time with my friends, just like all horses, ponies, mules and donkeys.
 
We horses are really quite social creatures. We live and communicate in groups. Did you know that in the wild, horses live in herds of two to 20 animals? Just like you, we love to have our friends and family around us, and there’s a very good reason why!
 
In the wild, a horse’s survival depended on being part of a ‘herd’, or ‘band’. Every member of the herd works together to make sure they stay safe and healthy, and so horses come to rely on each other. This gives horses something called a ‘herd instinct’, a natural tendency to want to be in the company of others for a feeling of comfort and safety.
 
Even with a domesticated horse, the ‘herd instinct’ is one of the strongest of all their characteristics, as horses are largely prey animals. That means that horses can feel very vulnerable and lonely on their own, which makes them very unhappy and likely to become quite stressed.
 
So to try and keep my friends as calm and as happy as possible, the lovely people at Redwings always try and make sure that horses are kept with their friends whenever they can! Horses generally have a ‘best friend’ in a group, so that if they ever have to be looked after by the Redwings vets, or taken to the hospital, rather than the whole group they can go along with their best friend for support!
 
Do you have a horsey question for Red? Ask him here and Red will do his best to give you the answer!

 

27 November 2017

Red's Shed: Redwings Records!

Hello, it’s Red here, Redwings’ horsey mascot!
 
Have you ever come to see my friends here at Redwings and wondered who was the oldest, the tallest, or maybe which horse has the longest name? Well, after putting hooves to computer keyboard I’ve got all the answers!
 
Who’s the tallest resident at Redwings?
 
It looks like my pal and retired Adoption Star Major, who lives at Oxhill, is the tallest resident at Redwings. He’s a huge 17.3 hands high, which is about 175cm - the size of a grown-up!
 
Don’t forget that when our carers measure us, they only measure us to our withers (the shoulders) so Major’s head towers above everybody else – he really is very tall!
 
Even Major’s height isn’t a patch on the tallest ever horse, whose name is Big Jake – he stands at a whopping 20.6 hands high, which is well over two metres tall. That means that his shoulders are well above the height of an average man!
 
The tallest Adoption Star at Redwings is Fox, who’s very nearly as tall as Major at 17.1 hands high. You can find out more about him and help my carers look after horses just like him here!
 
Who’s the shortest resident at Redwings?
 
It’s definitely not me! There’s actually quite a bit of competition here: Edam, Yogi, Aurora, Beau and Josh are all measured at 6.0 hands high, which is just over 60cm. This isn’t much bigger than the average baby! Teeny Tucker, whose column you can read in Young Reds magazine, is 6.2 hands high.
 
The shortest Adoption Star is Baby Face Nelson from the Gangsters, who’s 7.2 hands high. His other friends (Ronnie, Dusty, Fred, Patch and Reggie) are all taller than him - awwww!
 
The smallest horse in the world is 16-year-old Thumbelina. She’s only 4.2 hands high, which is 43cm. When you were born, you were taller than that!
 
Who’s the oldest resident at Redwings?
 
Victor, a Shetland pony at Redwings Mountains, is an amazing 44 years old, and he’s looking pretty good for his age too! It’s really hard to work out what that is in human years, but my Redwings friends think that’s roughly 125. If he was a human, that would make him the oldest person in the world!
 
The oldest Adoption Star is Dolly who lives at Ada Cole. She was born in 1995 which makes her 22 years old.
 
The oldest horse ever known was a horse called Old Billy, who was born in 1760. He lived for 62 years, so Victor’s got some way to go yet!
 
Which horse has the longest name at Redwings?

This was a hard one for me to figure out but after some time putting hoof to keyboard I’ve worked out that it’s Strawberry Shortcake, who has 19 letters in her name! You can visit her at Redwings Ada Cole. She really is very pretty, as you can see from the picture!
 
Which horse has the shortest name at Redwings?

I thought it might be me as my name is only three letters long, but no! There are a few residents whose names only contain two letters. These are cob Jo, mini Shetland Io, Belgium Draft JJ and Welsh Cross Mo. They all live at our Sanctuary.
 
Have you got a burning question for Red? Do you want to find out more about any of Redwings’ residents, or about what goes on behind the scenes? You can ask Red any question you like, and he’ll do his best to answer it! Click here to ask your question!
 

 

21 November 2017

Redwings is a chosen charity!

Everyone at Redwings would love to say a massive ‘thank you’ to Greville House, one of the four houses at Warwick Preparatory School, who has chosen to support us as one of their charities of the year!
 
They’re going to organise events during this school year to raise money for Redwings, including a big whole-school event where every pupil will be involved. That will be huge! 
 
If that wasn’t enough, we’re really excited that the school’s Equestrian Club is also sponsoring one of our Adoption Stars at Redwings Oxhill. They’ve made a brilliant choice in adopting adorable Arya, the fluffiest donkey in town! Did you know that she’s a part-bred Poitou – a very rare breed of which there are only 400 left in the world?!
 
Thank you so much for all your support, and if you’re raising money for Redwings, we would love to hear from you! If you’ve been a fab fundraiser, write to us at Young Reds, Redwings Horse Sanctuary, Hapton, Norwich, NR15 1SP or email [email protected].