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Blaikiewell Animal Sanctuary
is a small charity in Deeside, Aberdeenshire, UK. It is home to over 60 horses and
ponies, two Jersey cows, and six pigs as well as cats, dogs and any other animal or bird that needs a safe place.
The first two ponies were bought on impulse in 1977
at the local market to save them from meat dealers who were bidding for
them. (I know this is no real answer to the problem of horses being shipped,
live, hundreds of miles in dreadful conditions to dubious slaughterhouses,
but once a horse has looked me in the eye I cannot walk away and let him or
her go off on the horrendous journey) Other homeless ponies began to
arrive from various sources and none were turned away.
In 1985, I decided to open a small riding school to pay for the maintenance
of the growing animal population. Redwing Riding School has always been
conducted with the welfare of the horses and ponies firmly in first place.
No whips or sticks are allowed and young riders are not allowed to ride with
a bit in the horse's mouth until they have learned control of their hands.
They learn in lead rein classes, each with a leader on foot, and the reins
attached to a headcollar with a fluffy noseband. Riders are taught to ride
with a light squeeze of the legs and gentle hands. The words 'kick' and
'pull' are strictly forbidden. It may take pupils a little longer to be off
on their own this way but pupils learn that good riding is a partnership and
a horse a friend, and many have become very competent and sympathetic riders.
Most of the original School horses are now retired and the Charity was formed in
1997 to help raise funds. Animals that come to Blaikiewell live here forever
and are never sold nor moved away. When possible those who have been
returned to health and fitness are used in the School and some have been
leased to carefully chosen people who have agreed to keep them at livery on
the same premises. When their working life is over, they continue to live in
their own fields with their old friends for the rest of their lives.
Many of the ponies have lived well into their thirties.
If you would like to sponsor one of our animals, you can see some
of their photographs and read a little about each of them
If you give to charities, please consider a small donation to us next time.
It will only take a few minutes through PayPal. The donation form is
Thank you very much.
REDWING RIDING SCHOOL
Our grateful thanks go to William Nicol (Aberdeen) Limited for donating a year's supply of diesel to Blaikiewell Animal Sanctuary