Ponies’ health is a Christmas gift for Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Faith after being nursed back to health by Redwings.

Faith after being nursed back to health by Redwings. - Credit: Archant

A Norfolk-based horse charity has chosen two special residents to head up its 2013 Christmas campaign after fighting back to full health.

Holly after being nursed back to health by Redwings.

Holly after being nursed back to health by Redwings. - Credit: Archant

Both ponies were taken in by Redwings Horse Sanctuary last Winter, after they were found collapsed, and this season their future is cause for celebration thanks to the charity's supporters and staff.

Faith was found at a site in Essex, collapsed, extremely thin, and unable to stand by herself. The four-year-old dark skewbald cob cross was so weak that she was taken straight to Redwings' Horse Hospital in Hapton, where she had to be supported in a Anderson sling to allow her muscles to strengthen.

She had low levels of protein in her blood, which had caused her legs to swell painfully, and was given a plasma transfusion, but it was a week before Faith could stand up by herself.

After failing to put weight on, so she was then prescribed a raw egg three times a day in her feed to boost her protein levels and taken for a short walk each day to increase the strength of her muscles. She has now put on more than 130kg.

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Holly, meanwhile, was rescued on Christmas Eve 2012 by RSPCA inspector Lewis Taylor at a site near Orsett in Essex as part of a larger group of horses, all in poor condition.

The two-year-old skewbald cob was so emaciated she could barely stand unaided, with a body condition score of just 0.5. Her hips were covered in large, painful sores, caused because she had no muscle to protect her joints from rubbing against the hard ground when she lay down.

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Holly was taken to a nearby vets practice for emergency treatment and transferred to the Redwings Ada Cole Rescue Centre in Essex, who offered her a home while the RSPCA brought their prosecution.

Redwings fundraising manager, Gemma Carnell, said: 'I have seen a lot of welfare cases in my time at Redwings but I was appalled when Holly and Faith first arrived. We have worked so hard not to lose these ponies so Christmas this year will be special.

'We would like to thank everyone who has supported our charity and enabled us to save these wonderful horses. We couldn't have done it without you. Please consider a donation to Redwings this Christmas so we can help even more horses like Holly and Faith.'

To donate to the Redwings Christmas Appeal visit redwings.org.uk or call 01508 481000.

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