23/02/2011 Meet New Arrivals at The Horse Trust this Spring Half-Term

People visiting The Horse Trust during Spring half-term will be able to meet some of the new residents, as well as taking part in a variety of activities.

The sanctuary in Speen, Buckinghamshire is currently operating winter opening hours until the Easter holidays and is open to visitors from 2 - 4pm every Friday, Saturday and Sunday. However, during Spring half-term, the sanctuary will also open on Wednesday 23rd and Thursday 24th.

Staff at the The Horse Trust will be running activities from 2pm onwards every day between Wednesday 23rd and Sunday 27th February.

On Wedneday 23rd February, visitors will have the chance to observe the work of local farrier Jonathan Smith. Staff will run daily 'have a go at grooming' sessions, giving younger visitors the chance to brush one of the sanctuary's residents.

Visitors can also meet some of the horses and ponies that have recently arrived at the sanctuary, including Metropolitan Police horse Gwain, Riding for the Disabled horse Topsy and abandoned Shetland pony Piglet.

"If the cold, dreary winter weather is getting you down, why not cheer yourself up by visiting The Horse Trust," said Susan Lewis, Marketing and Fundraising Manager at The Horse Trust. "Visiting The Horse Trust is a great half-term activity for children of all ages and in all weathers. Even if you've been before, there are lots of new horses to meet, so why not join us for an afternoon."

Metropolitan Police horse Gwain is already a "great favourite with London’s visitors and residents" due to his impressive 18hh size, handsome features and kind disposition, according to Jon Taylor, a Sergeant with the Metropolitan Police Mounted Branch. Staff at The Horse Trust expect Gwain to quickly become a favourite of visitors to the sanctuary.

14.3hh Topsy is also likely to be popular with visitors as she "loves being made a fuss of", according to RDA volunteer Pat Kelly. Topsy certainly deserves a pat from visitors as a thank you for her 19 years loyal service to New Yatt Riding for the Disabled Association, during which she gave hundreds of rides to disabled people.

Also deserving of some TLC is Shetland pony Piglet, who was found abandoned by the police at a busy roadside in Chalfont St Peter. When The Horse Trust took Piglet in, he needed treatment for a number of problems, including a severe eye infection, malnutrition, a high worm burden and overgrown feet. Piglet's overall health has improved since his arrival, but he still needs intensive veterinary treatment.

Half-term visitors will have an opportunity to pick up a bargain in The Horse Trust's seasonal sale, where staff will be selling half-price Christmas cards and other gift items, as well as second hand rugs and tack.

The Horse Trust's Home of Rest for Horses will be open between 2pm and 4pm from Wednesday 23rd to Sunday 27th February. Entrance to the sanctuary is free, but donations are welcomed to enable the charity to meet its running costs. With each horse costing around £10 per day to care for at the sanctuary your donation will make a huge contribution to their lifelong retirement.