Rescuing and re-homing equines since 1974


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Banjo’s Banter April 20

Banjo’s Banter

Hello and welcome to our April Newsletter with 
Banjo’s usual update on all things HP.

Well, it’s still quiet here at Hope Pastures and although we’re enjoying the nice weather, we’re all missing our volunteers and visitors. We can’t wait to see you again, once it’s safe to do so of course!

We did have a very exciting day when Countryfile came to visit us. I’m assured by the humans that you’ll all know what this is. We had a man holding a funny shaped black thing following us about and a lovely lady making a fuss over us. Henry followed my instruction and slobbered all over her nice white top but she didn’t seem to mind. In fact, I think she liked him even more! I must remember to do that more often myself. Anyway, the humans have told me that more information on when you can watch this is at the end of this newsletter.

We all got extra carrots the other week as a local food bank had an excess of them so donated them to us. We were all very grateful, non nom!

To keep us entertained, Sago has started doing yoga classes for us. I’m not sure where he learned this but he’s got some extraordinary moves! I think I’ll stick to playing with my welly and with the things the humans have been creating for us, in future.

Mowing car park

The little ponies have also been very helpful around the yard and have been ‘mowing’ the grass in the car park. We had our Spring weigh in and most of us were a really healthy weight for going into summer. Just a couple of my friends still have a bit of work to do. Maybe they should continue with Sago’s yoga lessons? We’ve had two more birthdays this month, so Happy Birthday to Logan and Piper

In other news, Tom is progressing well and his summer coat is starting to come through his bald patches.

The farrier came to trim Minnie and Sandy’s hooves and Sandy also got some special boots (very snazzy, although I wouldn’t be seen dead in them)! Anyway, more importantly, they have made her much more comfortable. 

The vet visited to give some of us our annual vaccinations as vets are allowed to do some routine work again but, like the farriers, have to do it alone, which for some of us is a bit worrying.

Alfie has a cough but has been seen by the vet and has some medication to help. He’s still his usual crazy self so he can’t be feeling that bad! My wing-donkey, Coco, is going to be having a minor routine operation, on site luckily, so I still have my favourite welly playing buddy with me.

Rod and Oreo have gone on trial as emergency companions for a horse called Billy, who sadly lost his companion over the weekend. We hope it works out for all of them. 

Rod and Orio

Over and out from your favourite Donk.

Love Banjo x

Hope Pastures’ Donkey Club – A New Chance to Help in 2020
As well as VE Day, the 8th May 2020 is World Donkey Day, celebrating the enormous contribution these amazing ‘beasts of burden’ have made, and continue to make, to the world – with donkeys having worked alongside humans for thousands of years, supporting us during both war, undertaking some amazing roles and tasks, and peace. 
For all of us who love them, this is also an opportunity to celebrate their stoic spirit and individual charm – none more so than the very BIG characters in our herd at Hope Pastures, two of whom actually worked as seaside donkeys before coming to us. 
We’re often asked by supporters if you can help towards the costs of a specific donkey, so we’re making this possible with a new ‘Donkey Club’. As a Member you’ll have your name displayed on the donkey shelter – you can choose if you want to specify that you’re supporting all the donkeys or one in particular (the most recent request was to help Lilac, for example) – and you’ll be invited to a special donkey-themed event on site each year. You’ll also receive your regular updates about all the Hope Pastures donkeys and horses, and we’re using this time during lock-down to put in place a special donkey-viewing area, so you can be sure you’ll be able to see the donks whenever you visit the sanctuary (no hiding in shelters!) Membership is £12 a month and your donation will go directly to help with the health and welfare of our donkey herd and any new donkey rescues.
Don’t worry if your preferred equine is a pony or horse – we’ll be introducing something similar for these, too, at a later date.
If you’re already a Stable Supporter, you know just how important it is for us to know that the essential costs of our resident animals are covered year-round – it means we can be confident we have the funds to rescue more ponies and donkeys in need. The same is true if you’re a Donkey Club Member – your monthly support for our existing donks means we can look after them  and help more desperate donkeys. For more information and to become a Donkey Club Member:

Lock-down Lettersmiths – Win a Crafty Pony

During lock-down we’ve had some very lovely letters to the ponies from some of our junior followers, which started us thinking……….. we’re sure the pones and donks would like more!

For all our younger supporters who are practising their English and creative writing skills at home, we’d love you to take part in a competition to write a story or poem about a rescue pony, your fantasy pony, or your experience of visiting our ponies and donkeys on site, here in Leeds.  

On 8th May we’ll be remembering VE Day and the world of 75 years ago, so to reflect this, we’d like your story or poem to be in your own handwriting, and posted to us here at Hope Pastures – just as your great grandparents would have had to do all those years ago. 

We have a fabulous Crafty Pony prize for the best hand-written piece with the most creative story or poem, as well as free Hope Pastures Experience vouchers and Pony Adoptions for the runners up. If there are a lot of entries we’ll split these by age and add more prizes. 

It’s free to enter – we’re just looking forward to reading the entries!

The ‘rules’:

  • The poem or story must be your own work.  
  • It must be at least three paragraphs or verses.
  • Please include your name, age, and a contact email or phone number for a mum, dad or guardian.
  • Entries close on 22nd May and the winners will be announced on 29th May.  

We won’t be able to return your entry, as we’d like to use your story or poem to make a book for our Visitor Centre so people can see and read your work – you’ll be able to see it yourself when you can visit. Entries will be judged by one of our volunteers whose career has been in teaching English – many thanks to her for volunteering her time. 

We can’t wait to read your stories to the pones and donks!

Hope Pastures on Countryfile – 6pm Sunday 10th May
Yes really!!! Make sure you watch BBC1 at 6pm on Sunday (10th May) as Helen Skelton visits Hope Pastures to see how the lock-down is affecting us. Filmed last week (with appropriate social distancing) we’re delighted to be able to give an insight into what coronavirus means for small charities, like us.

Thank you for your continued support.

Love from everyone at Hope Pastures.