What's happening

10 September 2018

Summer Club - Mini Dentists

Hey, Red here.
Time for another Summer Club update, this week’s topic…the mini dentist session. To be an equine dentist, our mini dentists had to learn all about horse’s teeth. So let’s get our gnashers into the basics!
An adult horse can have between 36-40 teeth, which an equine dentist will check once a year or more. We have incisors, canines and molars just like you. Our teeth are different sizes for different reasons; our incisors are the big teeth at the front of our mouths, these are for grabbing and cutting our food, like grass. 
Even though we are herbivores (plant-eating animals) we do have canine teeth. However, these are very small and absent in many mares as we do not eat meat and so have no need for them. 
Some horses can develop wolf teeth! Yes, you did hear that right! These were useful when my ancestors used to munch on twigs but now we modern equines are grazers not browsers (eat grasses rather than twigs and bushes) so our wolf teeth have evolved to be smaller or absent, as we have no use for them now. 
Finally, our molars are the big teeth at back of our mouths useful for grinding up our food into smaller pieces, making it easier for us to swallow. 
Once our mini dentists had learnt the basics they put the theory into practice by looking at a patient. A few of my buddies flashed their best smile for them so they could identify specific teeth and evaluate the condition of them. 
The mini dentists then helped the farm teams to make haynets for my friends’ dinner. They worked in teams to get the weights of the haynets right and some had a competition to see who was the fastest! Some of my friends are on special diets so being accurate with the food weight and type is very important. It can make a horse very poorly if it’s wrong. So thanks for the help mini dentists, hope you all had fun! 
I’ll find out what our mini field officers got up to and let you know soon…


30 August 2018

Summer Club - Mini Farriers

Hello, it’s Red again. 
I have an update on the mini farrier’s session. Looks like we had some returnees from the last session and some new recruits too, so let’s take a look at what they learnt… 
…Farriers specialise in horsey hoof care. They need to look after the condition and shape of the hoof so we horses, ponies and donkeys can move around comfortably. To stay happy and healthy, it’s best our feet are checked every six to eight weeks. Farriers are multi-skilled, needing horse care knowledge as well as blacksmith skills; if they notice we are in pain they can help the farm team and vets identify the problem.
Unfortunately, many of my friends rescued by Redwings had poorly feet and it can take a long time to correct these problems with regular treatment. We’re very fortunate to have our farm teams, vet teams and farriers to help us on our hooves!
To become a hoof expert our mini farriers had the help of the farm team and my buddies; they learnt what special tools farriers need, as well as what they do and what they look like - such as hoof nippers (to trim the hoof wall) and rasps (to smooth the edges of the hoof wall). 
With hoof problems you need to recongise if a horse is in pain and if so where the pain is. To do this our mini farriers watched a trotting demonstration to identify:
- How are they placing each foot?
- How high are they lifting their feet?
- What is their stride length? 
- Are they nodding?
- Is this normal for them?
Finally, they had to prepare a stable and identify what is needed to make a poorly horse comfortable. It is important for a horse with hoof problems to be kept in a smaller area so they don’t need to move around so much and so they are easily accessible to a vet and/or farrier.
That sounds like a lot of work but our mini farriers did a great job! Next time we go from hoof experts to teeth experts! Stay tuned to hear what our mini dentists get up to.  
Want to do a hoof colouring activity? Then follow the link, to learn more about what’s going in inside a horse’s hoof! 


29 August 2018

Young Reds and Mini Reds Autumn Magazine!

Psst…Red Here!
I have some exciting news. The autumn editions of Young Reds and Mini Reds are out now, so look out for your copies in the post. I may have had a sneak peek to see what’s inside, they look great! I won’t give too much away as I want you to enjoy it yourselves.
For those of you aged three to seven Mini Reds is the magazine for you and in the latest issue we learn all about the importance of friendship, through fun facts, pictures and activities. 
For those aged eight and over, the latest Young Reds is a Horse Hospital special! Read fascinating facts about horse’s brilliant bodies and find out what it’s like to be a Redwings Vet through our ‘day in the life’ interview and interactive game. Our vets work so hard to look after us all and we are so lucky to have them, we thought they deserved to be mentioned in this autumn issue. 
If you don’t already receive Mini Reds or Young Reds, ask a parent or guardian to click on the 'Join up' link at the top right of this page and fill in your details to get your FREE copy!


16 August 2018

Summer Club - Mini Vets

Hey, Red again!
I keep hearing great things about Redwings’ Summer Club so thought I would update you all on what’s been happening so far.
The mini vets session proved popular at all our visitor centres where aspiring vets were helping to give one of my horsey friends a health check. Here’s a taster of what they learned about:
Breathing – Yes, making sure your horsey patient is breathing is an obvious one, but also look at their belly moving in and out to count how many breaths they are taking. The ideal range is 12-16 breaths per minute. If a horse is breathing a lot faster than this something may be wrong, which our vets would need to investigate further.
Heartrate – You can check a horse’s heartbeat by using a stethoscope, just like the ones you see at the doctors. The ideal range is 36-44 beats per minute. If a horse’s heartbeat is a lot faster, this is another sign that something could be wrong. Check out this video, by one of our vets, to see another way to check for a horse’s heartbeat: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SCJH8EOZb5s.
Temperature – Our temperature is between 37.5 – 38.5°c; anything a lot higher or lower could be a sign we are unwell.
Finally, look at the poo! – I know you love the gross bits! Paddocks are checked every day for the presence of poo, its texture and for worms. We can poo 8-12 times a day so that’s a lot of poo to look through! Anything more or less than this may indicate a problem. Samples are collected and sent over to the vets for testing for worms. Having lots of worms in our system can make us very poorly so vets will look at our poo for worms and their eggs, and may do further tests if needed.
Sounds like our mini vets have been busy and from what I was told, all of my horsey friends passed their health checks. Thank you for helping to make sure my friends stay happy and healthy.
I wonder what our mini farriers have been up to…? I’ll keep you posted.