Dear Residents and Friends,
This week sees a new way of working for our Yard teams. We usually have our full teams in every day during the week, then half of them on weekends. However, we are now treating everyday like a weekend with minimal staff every day. By doing this our staff can be at home as much as possible whilst our horses, ponies, donkeys and mules still get the love and care they need every day. Judging how many have been running around and lazing in the recent lovely weather, our equine residents clearly don’t know anything’s changed!
Over the weekend, Nipper has been keeping our teams company during their lunchtimes. Nipper is one of our Sponsorship Stars. These are horses, ponies, donkeys and mules which the public can sponsor, helping pay for their upkeep, as well as that of their fellow four-legged residents. We currently have 8 Sponsorship Stars. You can think of them as ambassadors, representing the different types and personalities of our charity’s equines.
Now the sunshine is out more; our teams sit outside and are careful to remain 2 metres apart. Nipper loves this as it gives him more room to get his head in-between the girls for some food. He cheekily got away with half of Sascha’s orange peel yesterday!
Nipper has also taken a fancy to handbags at the moment. He must think that’s where the polos are kept, as he spent most of Saturday’s lunchtime trying to get into Victoria’s bag! He was being watched by his older companions, Nero and Domino, who were much happier munching on their hay and straw instead.
Did you know that donkeys need more straw than hay to eat? This is because straw is closer to what they would eat in the wilderness of Africa, where donkeys originate from, and has much less calories and sugar than hay. If horses and donkeys eat too much sugar, they can gain weight and become ill.
Domino has had Laminitis recently and found his feet were sore and hot. Horses and donkeys with this condition do not like to walk far, so, like Domino, we keep them in small areas that are soft and have their food and water close by. They also get regular pain relief until they are all better.
Luckily Domino had his brother, Nero, and his friend Nipper nearby to keep him company. He has stopped his pain relief and is going out with his friends in the field for an hour every day. Soon, hopefully he will be ready to go back out into the field all the time. His other friends Bluey, William and our only miniature donkey, Apache, seem to miss him and we’re guessing that they can’t wait to be with him again. He really is a lovely donkey.
That is all for today, but we hear that the staff are moving some herds around this week, including Pecan who is another one of our Sponsorship Stars. We will be sure to tell you all about him in our next letter!
The Bransby Team