What's happening

20 April 2017

Donkey foal Amos is growing up fast!

Back in February we welcomed a gorgeous donkey family to Redwings, including adorable Amos, a two-week-old foal. 
When Amos first arrived he had to be carried from the horse box into his stable where he was soon playfully jumping in the shavings – so cute! 
Since their arrival the whole family have settled in really well. Click here to see Amos being turned out on grass for the first time! 
Amos is very friendly and playful – his favourite thing to do is to roll around in puddles every time his water bucket is emptied! His dad Jeremiah is very chatty, you can hear him braying from the other side of the farm!
The whole family are currently living at Redwings HQ, but they will hopefully be able to join a donkey herd at one of our visitor centres in the near future where you will be able to meet them and enjoy lots of donkey cuddles!
 

 

11 April 2017

Donkeys on tour!

Adoption Stars Timothy and Cain have been very busy boys! 

On International Carrot Day last week the pair visited their local Sainsbury’s to meet supporters and promote our carrot appeal. A member of the team made our donkey duo an amazing donkey pizza and there were even some slices left for our other donkeys at Redwings Oxhill.

An amazing £116 was raised by the team and shoppers, and the lucky residents at Oxhill got a delicious bag of carrots! 

The fun didn’t stop there for Timothy and Cain as on Sunday they were out and about again. The boys had a fab time taking part in a Palm Sunday parade at a local church. 

Now back at Redwings Oxhill we’re still keeping the pair busy with all our Easter holiday activities - it’s a good job these two love the attention!  

 

10 March 2017

Girl Guide collects stamps for Redwings!

Fourteen-year-old Girl Guide Keleigh is working towards the Baden Powell Challenge Award. This is the highest award a Girl Guide can achieve and involves completing a variety of badges, including raising money for a chosen charity.
Keleigh has been a Young Red from a young age and she absolutely loves horses! She wanted to fundraise for Redwings so she could help horses in need.
Having seen our advert for stamp collecting, Keleigh thought it would be a fun way to raise money for us. She started collecting stamps in November and with both her birthday and Christmas in December she received lots of post!
Keleigh also created a leaflet that she gave out to her Girl Guide troop asking them to help and between them they collected hundreds of stamps. The group then had a special session learning all about stamp collecting.
When Keleigh came to Redwings to drop off her stamps in person, she was lucky enough to have a cuddle with Adoption Star Poppy who thought she had done a great job!
We would like to say a huge thank you to Keleigh for all her hard work and for being such a brilliant Young Red! The bag of stamps weighs over a kilogram, which will amount to at least £50 – that’s enough to care for six of our horses for a whole day!
 

 

15 February 2017

Horsey hello!

Love is in the air this week, and just like humans, horses form close bonds with their friends. Did you know that horses have a special way of showing their affection for each other?

If you’ve visited a Redwings Visitor Centre you may have been lucky enough to see our horsey friends enjoying a mutual groom. This is when a pair of horses use their teeth to scratch the back of another horse. It can look painful but horses actually love it!

Often the parts of a horse that are scratched during a mutual groom are areas that a horse couldn’t reach themselves so it’s a bit like having a friend get an annoying itch for you!

Mutual grooming is also a way that horses bond with each other. Horses like their own personal space, so by allowing a friend to stand very close and share their space they are telling them they like them. Just like you wouldn’t hug or kiss someone who wasn’t a friend, horses wouldn’t groom just any horse in their field. They will have important friends in their group and giving each other a groom is a good sign that two horses are bonded and might miss each other if they were separated.

Humans can also show how much they love a horse by giving it a ‘wither scratch’. This is when you scratch a horse at the base of their neck where their mane finishes. This imitates a mutual groom from a horsey friend and has even been shown to have a calming effect on the horse by reducing their heart rate.

If you get the right spot when giving a wither scratch the horses lip will go all wobbly and sometimes pinch together and start twitching as if they were grooming you back -  this means they are really enjoying it! 

Different ponies have different tickly points such as their chest and under the forelock. Horses enjoy this much more than patting because that’s not something they would naturally do to each other.

At Redwings, the farm and training teams use a wither scratch as a way to tell a horse they have been good. Horses like it so much that they are more likely to do the same thing again so it’s a good training tool – better than food because using food as a reward can cause horses to nip.

Next time you’re at a visitor centre, say a horsey hello with a wither scratch through the fence and you’ll love seeing how much the ponies enjoy it!