Hope Pastures are back open

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It’s happened at last, Spring is here and we are back open to the public! On the 12th April we welcomed our first visitors back onto our site since November 2020. Us donkeys are particularly pleased to see people as they love to tell us how cute we are (we are very cute!) and how velvety soft our noses are – if we decide to come over and let you touch us.  
The humans have been working hard to make the site look nice so the visitors enjoy coming back, and they have made a new path at the back of our hardstanding – so we can be admired from many angles now!  
The humans have also put some more interesting information boards around the place to tell you all about us equines – come and have a read!
AND the humans have also been working hard at rehoming our equine friends – this month we have waved Dusty, Stanley and Ollie off to new adventures with their loanees. Some of us will not leave here, but for those who do, the team at Hope Pastures do lots of checks to make sure they are getting the right sort of home and the correct care and treatment. Did you know Hope Pastures have over 100 equines out on loan as well as us lot here on site?

Us donkeys have managed the winter this year out on our hard standing and in the shelters, but the bigger horses are still on winter turnout at the moment which means they are in during the night and out all day. Soon this will change and they will be out all night and coming in for a rest in the mornings, so visitors will get chance to meet with them up close in their stable. This is a great time of year to come and see us all, as the weather gets warmer and we are playful and enjoying the longer days.

We have been joined by two new horses on site recently, Polly and Bonnie. They are both lovely, and will be looking for their forever home as companion horses.
The humans have also started planning for “events” which for us look a bit like big parties. After last year when everything was so quiet we are excited to see that the Hope Pastures events calendar will soon be up for the summer onwards and people will be able to come to our fabulous Summer Fayre and later in the year, our Dog Show.
Our secret garden is looking lovely – we have had some really kind donations of plants from our volunteers, and we have had some new planters made by a volunteer out of recycled wood, as well as the new pathway. We are hoping our garden will be beautiful in the summer months and for years to come as the plants mature.
The humans are planning to make another garden area at the top of the walkway in memory of a kind lady who left Hope Pastures a donation in her will. This kind of donation is so helpful to the charity and we equines are really grateful when people choose to help us, especially at a sad time.

We have also had some younger humans all trying to help us, and the humans tell me they are looking to start up a “Junior Fundraiser Club” very soon to recognise all the young people who do kind things to help us donkeys (and the horses too I suppose).

Recently we have also had kind gifts to help us – some new jumps have been donated by Arthur and Evans Equestrian and Sandy is sporting a new pair of hoof boots, that are all glittery, to help her delicate feet, from Cavallo Hoof Boots and the Hoof Bootique – it is so lovely when we get gifts like these.
Sadly one of Hope Pastures favourite horses will not be here to greet you anymore, we had to say our goodbyes to our friend, as he became very poorly following a long period of box rest. Henry, our largest horse, who was mostly white, when he stayed away from the mud, will be much missed. He had been with us for 8 years – goodnight old friend.
Banjo x