OPEN DAY AT BLAIKIEWELL MARYCULTER (NEAR STORYBOOK GLEN)
SATURDAY 1ST SEPTEMBER
MORNING: CAR BOOT SALE 10 AM (£5 PER CAR)
ALL PROCEEDS TO BLAIKIEWELL ANIMAL SANCTUARY
DETAILS FROM BLAIKIEWELL ANIMAL SANCTUARY
Blaikiewell Animal Sanctuary is a small charity in Deeside, Aberdeenshire.
It is home to 45 horses and ponies and two Jersey cows, all of which have been saved from various unhappy fates since 1977. The first two ponies were bought on impulse at the local market to save them from the meat dealers who were bidding for them. Other homeless ponies began to arrive and none were turned away.
In 1985, we 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 Redwing believes that their pupils learn that good riding is a partnership and a horse a friend, and many have become very competent and sympathetic riders.
Many of the school horses are now retired and the Charity was formed in 1997 to help raise funds. Animals that come to Blaikiewell live there forever and are never sold nor moved away. When possible those who have been returned to health and fitness have been 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.