Banjo is looking forward to spring

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Hello again,
It has been a funny old kind of weather since we last caught up, from heavy snow that had our humans working really hard to even clear the way to get to our shelters with barrows, to sunshine and the false Spring that comes before the rain starts again! Us donkeys hate the rain, we can manage the cold with no problems but being wet is a big no no when you originate from dry desert countries! We stay indoors in the rain. The mud is also proving a problem as heavy rain on our grass means our feet churn it up and we have to stay off the grazing – that always makes us a bit fed up! So the humans have to find other ways to amuse us!

Some of our fabulous volunteers spent their time threading fruit and veg safe for equines on strings to keep us occupied during the bad weather – it didn’t take long to work out how to get them off for a tasty treat!
PLEASE can I remind you that if you are out and about during lockdown, do not feed any horses, ponies or donkeys you meet. They will all tell you they have not had a bite to eat all day but sadly lots of animals have died or needed costly vets treatment from too many treats or the wrong sort of food. It is really important that you do not feed anyone else’s animals – say hello, admire them over the fence, but do not be tempted to offer treats or titbits – your kindness can be deadly. Thank you!

Despite the weather our staff and intrepid volunteers never fail to be here for us, and this is all thanks to your support and generosity.

This last 12 months has been such a difficult time for so many people, and certainly for us as a charity it has been really different. It is the first time we have spent so much time without visitors or events to help with our funding, and we are all looking forward to the easing of lockdown restrictions on 12th April to be able to welcome visitors back to our site and plan for our 2021 events hopefully at the start of summer.

Since the new year where we met our three new friends Sully, Stanley and Ollie and waved goodbye to Bruzo and Belle, we have also seen Hercules go away to be settled in his new home, Pie who has gone to keep another horse company and our timid little Missy has found a loving home with two Shetlands who are also rescue ponies. The humans have also helped rehome two of our loan ponies. Timmy and Tuscany have gone into new homes as ridden ponies. They do keep busy these humans, lots of comings and goings, a donkey can barely keep up!
We also have another five new friends on site, three miniature horses, the humans call them stallions, Peewee, (Black) Alfie (Skewbald) and Mouse (Piebald) and I hear they visited the Vet hospital last week for an operation(castration), and we have two new ponies that are not very well too, who the humans are making feel better with lots of love and care.
The work the humans do is not only here at Hope Pastures, they also help owners to rehome horses, by offering support and advice to make sure they have a good match with a new home, and the home is suitable for their needs. This helps in the wider horse and donkey community to try and make sure animals find a good secure home like we have here.
I have been told the team at Hope Pastures and one of our fabulous volunteers are very proud to have been nominated for an award from the Pet Plan people – I don’t know why they are nominating the humans – when is the most handsome and charming donkey award going to come my way?
So with spring hopefully well on its way, for me and all my friends here at Hope, we are looking forward to being able to see you all again when you can visit us in April. In the meantime if you would like to help us make some hay tokens we are still collecting stamps, foreign coins and textile donations if you are having a spring clear out, all of which help us to raise funds. When you are able to visit us again if you have any cuttings or plants from your garden, we will welcome them for our site, especially if you have any Snowdrops or spring flowers – “in the green” that we can replant into our secret garden.
We have had lots of care and attention during these months, visits from the farrier, dentist and urgh – the vet! So we will be looking our sparkly best when you can come back to visit us. Looking forward to seeing you all again soon – stay safe, keep social distancing and it will mean you can all get back to chat with us very soon!
Banjo x