Redwings Horse Sanctuary named 2017 Charity of the Year for APBC
The Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors (APBC) has announced that its 2017, charity of the year, is Redwings Horse Sanctuary.
Redwings Horse Sanctuary is the UK’s largest horse sanctuary with over 1500 equines in its day-to-day care as well as almost 500 who live in guardian homes. Inspired by over two decades of rescuing feral and semi-feral horses, Redwings is passionate about equine behaviour. The charity holds the psychological wellbeing of horses to be of equal importance to their health and physical welfare. This means that equine behaviour and an understanding of the learning abilities and social needs of horses, informs all aspects of Redwings’ operations, from rescue and rehabilitation to rehoming. It is also a key educational focus of the charity’s work.
Commenting on the choice of charity, Rosie Barclay, APBC chair, says: “’We are delighted that Redwings have agreed to be our charity of the year 2017. We have already supported dog, cat and rabbit charities and this year our members voted for ‘Redwings’ an equine charity whose ethics match our own regarding the behaviour and welfare of horses.”
Redwings is the only UK horse charity that has its own behaviour centre with a dedicated team. Whether it’s working with horses who have developed a strong fearful association with humans or with naïve horses who have had little or no human interaction, their approach goes beyond fear-free training and strives to achieve a positive emotional state of the horse in each interaction.
Equine Behaviour Manager Sarah Hallsworth says: “I’m proud to work with such inspiring animals every day. I feel lucky to see horses who have come from situations of fear and neglect go on to develop positive associations with humans. Every horse at Redwings has their own unique rehabilitation story and we hope that our training and management prepare them for a life with humans inside or outside the Sanctuary.”
Beyond the Sanctuary gates, Redwings’ horse behaviour experts have been influential in promoting ethical horse training practices based on equine learning theory to mainstream horse owners through seminars, university lectures, and conferences. In 2015 they collaborated with others to facilitate a meeting of experts and behaviourists to discuss how to deliver practical and appropriate behavioural advice to horse owners.
Donna Skinsley, full member of the APBC and equine behaviour specialist, added: “It is very timely that the APBC have Redwings as our chosen charity of the year. ‘Why behaviour matters’ is a shared viewpoint and collectively we feel we can help the equine industry to see that this piece of the jigsaw puzzle plays such a vital role if ever we want to complete the whole picture for our horses.”
To find out more about Redwings visit: https://www.redwings.org.uk