Dear Residents and Friends,
Well, what wonderful weather we have had! Although, as you may agree with some of our residents, perhaps a little too warm at times. Twiggy certainly agrees as she has rather a lot of hair!
Twiggy has a condition called Cushing’s, which is very common in our older equines. Simply put, Cushing’s is a hormonal imbalance which can cause various issues such as increased appetite, lethargy and the inability to shed winter coats.
As you may know, horses and ponies change their coats with the seasons. In the winter they grow a much longer, thicker and fluffier coat to help keep them warm. When spring arrives and the warmer weather sets in, they shed this coat to make way for a smooth, sleek summer coat. Cushing’s doesn’t allow the body to regulate this temperature change meaner as the warmer weather comes, they have too much hair and overheat.
To help our horses, ponies, donkeys and mules with Cushing’s, we give them tablets everyday called Pergolide and we also give them haircuts, or ‘clips’ to remove some of their long coats for them. Twiggy has just received her clip as she was very hot over the weekend. As you can see in the picture below she loves it and looks beautiful!
The staff have all been getting into the swing of their new working ways, but they, along with our residents, have missed the visitors which Easter time usually brings. Instead of our usual Easter activities for the children and families, our yard teams played instead, to keep spirits up! Our team on at the Visitor Centre Yard who look after our donkeys, went on an Easter egg hunt. They enjoyed finding the chocolate, although they had to run so it wouldn’t melt before they got there!
Over on the Peter Hunt yard they made their own Easter game up: ’egg head’. Some of the team hid all the hat silks around their yard and these had to be found by everyone else. It’s great to know that all our teams are still in high spirits; you will never see anyone without a smile across their face.
If you remember back to one of our first letters to you all, we wrote about our Sponsorship Star, Saratoga. He had just been checked over by our vet, Lara, and was beginning his journey to lose some of his extra winter padding. I am pleased to say this is going well and he is now living with some new friends, Dom and Lloyd.
The 3 boys all require a diet so that when the summer grass starts to grow, they can eat to their hearts content. Naturally horses lose weight over winter so that when the lush grass grows, which is full of sugars, they can eat without gaining too much weight to cause them laminitis (inflammation of the feet). However, when they have had to stay inside like Saratoga did for his poorly legs, they don’t lose the weight they usually would do. So, with them all together, our team up at Walklands Farm are carefully monitoring their weight, giving them the right nutrition they need. Although they do try and sneak an extra bit of food in here and there!
Have a lovely weekend and keep safe,
The Bransby team