What's happening

09 January 2018

Amersham: ten years on

Today is a big day for us here at Redwings. It’s exactly ten years since one of our biggest ever rescues at a place in Buckinghamshire, near Amersham, called Spindle Farm.
This was a rescue that involved saving almost 100 terrified and very poorly horses and donkeys, who were stranded in mud and packed into barns, with nothing to eat. Very sadly, there were another 30 who hadn’t survived and were laying around them.
On the 9th January 2008, we took 21 of the most needy horses and donkeys to our Horse Hospital for emergency treatment. Over the next few years, we offered a safe home to a total of 60 horses and donkeys, with a further six foals born to rescued mares. 
You can see many of the survivors when you come and see us at Redwings today, and you’ll be able to read more about their rescue in a special Young Reds magazine, which will be sent to our 8-15 year-old members at the beginning of March.
In the meantime, you can find out more about the rescue here.


08 December 2017

Red's Shed: What happens at Redwings on Christmas Day?

Hello, it’s Red here. There’s only a week to go until Christmas now, so I hope that you’re feeling festive and that Santa has put you on the ‘nice’ list, so you get lots of great presents on Christmas Day!
While you get up early and rush to see what Santa has left under the tree, did you know that we have our own Christmas Day celebration here at Redwings too?
Just like all my four-legged friends, we still need looking after, so my Redwings pals are around to feed us, make sure we’re OK and do all of our normal daily things, like mucking out. Everyone is very festive though, and we’re so lucky because we get lots of extra special Christmas cuddles too. Sometimes, we even have a bit of a boogie to Christmas songs with our carers!
Sadly, some of my poorly pony pals will have to spend Christmas Day at the Redwings Horse Hospital. My Redwings friends are here every day though, and they make sure that we’re all safely looked after, so we don’t have to spend Christmas Day alone.
While you won’t be able to come and visit us on Christmas Day, we would love to see you this Friday, Saturday or on Christmas Eve for lots of Christmas cuddles! Plus, there’s loads going on as #WeLoveDonkeys is back, so you can find out more about my long-eared friends with lots of fun and games planned! You can find out more about what’s going on at the Redwings visitor centres here!


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!