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Hope Pastures First Blog

Banjo’s Banter
Woo hoo! Spring is finally here! Well actually it almost feels like summer. We've certainly experienced all four seasons in these last couple of months. These warmer temperatures are much more suited to my donkey roots and mean I'll no longer need to wear a rug to keep me warm and dry - donks don't have a waterproof coat like our horse and pony friends. I’ve heard the human’s talk about a supposed three-month heatwave. I know they’re worrying about that prospect as, apparently, it’s not the best for hay growing but I LOVE the sun, and so do the other donks! And the swallows are back so that definitely means summer, right?

The upturn in the weather also meant we could all go out in our new fields which = grass.... yippee!!!! There may well have been some high jinks in all the excitement. It's hard to know whether to do a lap round the field in celebration or get down to the business of stuffing our faces first! Don't get me wrong, I love hay but nothing can compare to that first taste of sweet spring grass. And, of course, it also means the start of the ‘big moult’ for most of us equines, shedding winter coats. - the horses and ponies change their coats twice a year – we donks only do it once (for summer, obviously!) Whilst we lose our hair, it appears the humans start to acquire it and they never seem that happy to be covered in our fluff. However, the crows love it. I believe they use it for their nests and even get as cheeky as stealing it straight off our backs!

We have a couple of newbies at the Sanctuary - Freya and Apache. Apache is about a year old and Freya a little older, but they are best friends. They were apparently part of a large rescue by another local sanctuary and the team at Hope Pastures assisted. They were both in a very poor condition on arrival and, as with all new equines, they were quarantined to make sure they don’t pass anything to the rest of us.

They were both given round the clock care from the wonderful humans that looks after us all here. Freya took longer to stabilise and needed a few trips to the vets to check there was nothing more serious wrong with her. She’s starting to bounce back now and show her cheeky personality. I heard the humans breathe a collective sigh of relief. Apache joined Raphael, Snoopy and Lily’s herd the other week and introductions went well with Snoopy being very welcoming and sweet to Apache. Apache’s now been given his own grass and he’s loving it.

The gorgeous Ruben has been rehomed to a lovely family. Ruben had been born in the snow and was taken off his mum early at only 5 months old. He was then tethered and advertised for sale cheap on Facebook. A well-meaning member of the public felt sorry for him and bought him but was unable to care for him, so he came to Hope Pastures. He's been here for two years, spending time growing up and enjoying the company of other equines. We will miss his playful character but he deserves a loving and happy home after such a rough start in life. All the best Ruben! And the gorgeous Tino has also just gone to live with his forever family. I’m really excited for both of these guys. It must be great having your own humans.

This April, we celebrated our 15th birthday since the current trustees took over the original sanctuary. It was before my time but they took over when the sanctuary was dilapidated and was about to run out of funds. I’m so grateful they did, or who knows where I would have been. They’ve helped so many horses, ponies and donkeys over the years who have come to the sanctuary. I also know that in the last year they’ve been able to help many more, since the launch of something they call the External Welfare program, which means equines like me can get help and care without necessarily needing to come here. The limited space here is reserved for the most serious of cases, where it’s not possible to help them in their current homes or find a new home for them straight away. The humans threw what they call a ‘bit of a bash’ with hobby horse gymkhana, a musical ‘lead’, cake and lots of fun activities. I have to say it was rather good fun for us equines too!

Aside from that it’s business as usual at the sanctuary with farrier, vet, bodywork and dentist visits. Anyway, I’m signing off now to go and play with Coco and our favourite welly.

Until next time folks! Love Banjo x