Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Hapton, Hapton, NR15 1SP, United Kingdom
01508 481000
Redwings Horse Sanctuary

Redwings is the UK's largest horse sanctuary, caring for over 1,500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day. Our work is funded solely by donations and with your help we can give these animals the best possible care so they can eventually be rehomed or enjoy a home for life at the Sanctuary.


A Registered Charity No. 1068911, Scottish Charity No. SC045070


All about us
All about Redwings...

  • Redwings is the largest horse sanctuary in the UK and has over 1500 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules in its direct care
  • We have around 500 horses and ponies living out in Guardian homes and re-home over 70 more every year
  • We have centres around the UK, including four visitor centres in Essex, Norfolk and Warwickshire, and one in Scotland following a merger with Mountains Animal Sanctuary in January 2015.
  • Our Welfare helpline answers more than 3000 calls every year
  • We have 100 volunteers who investigate cases of cruelty and neglect around the UK
  • We are members of the National Equine Welfare Council
  • Our adoption scheme began in 1984, and one of its original stars was Rusty who was a star on the scheme for 30 years!
  • Our largest rescue operation took place in Buckinghamshire in 2008 where we worked with other organisations to remove 97 equines from a site in one day – we took 55 of those rescued into our Sanctuary and had six foals born. Our biggest ever intake in one day was from Lincolnshire in 2004 where we took in an incredible 72 ponies in one day!
  • Equines coming to Redwings as part of a big rescue are given names with a theme. For example some of the ponies from Lincolnshire were named after cheeses and curries, while those rescued from Caerphilly in 2013 were named after famous detectives and comic villains!


All about horses…

  • There are over 1 million horses in the UK alone, and more than 350 different breeds around the world.
  • A height of a horse is measured in ‘hands’, each ‘hand’ equalling roughly four inches. The tallest horse ever recorded was named Sampson – he lived in the 1850s and stood at 21.2½hh!
  • Horses use their facial expressions to communicate. Their moods can be gauged with the help of their nostrils, eyes and ears.
  • A male horse is called a gelding (or a stallion if not castrated) and a female horse is called a mare
  • Horses have excellent memories and can remember owners and experiences for many years afterwards.
  • Horses eyes are on the side of their head so that they can see behind them, which makes it easier to detect predators. A horse’s ears move independently from one another. They can move through 180 degrees, which is important for horses in the wild to be able to tell which direction danger is coming from.
  • Horses can live up to 30 years and beyond, and it’s not unusual for a donkey to make it well into its 40s – hence the term ‘donkey’s years’!
  • Contrary to popular belief, donkeys are far from stubborn or stupid – they are highly intelligent, very gentle and what can sometimes appear to be stubbornness is simply an amazing sense of self-preservation!
  • China has the world’s biggest donkey population, at approx 11 million!
  • A mule is the offspring of a male donkey and a female horse.
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