Posted 1st April 2020:
Dear Residents and Friends,
We hope you enjoyed our last letter and have had a lovely weekend. The weather has sadly clouded over a little here, with the odd shower of rain. This was not welcomed by our horses – they prefer the sunshine, as do we!
We would like to tell you about one of our newest sponsor stars: – Saratoga. He has had a busy day today after a visit from Lara – the vet. Due to the winter being so wet, Saratoga has had to stay indoors out of the mud as it gives him sore heels. He has been loving all the hay and the warmth of the barn as you don’t have to walk too far for food! However now Saratoga has a little extra padding then he should before summer, he is a substantial 802kg.
Lara checked him over and prescribed daily exercise. Being an ex-police horse he knows what he is doing and got straight into lunging with team member Jane. Lunging is like riding the horse from the ground, where we can get horses and ponies to walk, trot and even canter around us on the end of a lunge line – which is like very long lead rope. We usually do it in the process of teaching a horse to be ridden, to strengthen their legs after an injury or like Saratoga, to lose weight.
Whilst Saratoga was being checked over we also took our samples to check if he has worms. We do this 4 times a year. The picture we’ve included in this letter, shows Jane rubbing a tiny sponge stick in his mouth which collects his saliva. We then send this swab off to an external lab and they will tell us if he needs to be given a wormer or not. We also have to do the not so glamorous task of taking a sample of his poo and check for worm eggs under a microscope. Believe it or not some staff love this job, especially Charlotte!
Back on the Peter Hunt yard, we had a visit from a wonderful donkey called Nipper today. Nipper has been seen going for adventures around Bransby, visiting his friends along the way, and sharing little snippets of wisdom. Just the other day he was seen whispering to Uno. Who knows what they were chatting about, perhaps how to get Uno an extra feed that evening?!
Katie, who looks after Nipper on the visitor centre yard, thoroughly enjoyed following Nipper as he wandered – it took her mind off lunchtime and her rumbling stomach! It has only been a few days since our café closed but she is missing their food already -especially the fish finger sandwiches.
We hope you enjoy the photos we have included in this letter and look forward to writing again. In the meantime, you can follow Nipper’s adventures on our Facebook page every day.
The Bransby Team