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Pirates and Princesses at The Donkey Sanctuary!

Rachel

Rachel

Want to know what the HorseHage and Mollichaff staff gets up to at the weekend? You would never guess it to be this!! Rachel Hornby of HorseHage explains:

“Well – not every Saturday morning starts with mucking out whilst dressed as a pirate, but I promise there is a perfectly valid reason!

Debbie, National Sales Manager, and I were heading to The Donkey Sanctuary in Ivybridge for a very special day. Now fully qualified volunteers, we were on our way to a ‘Princess and Pirates Party’ at the donkey assisted therapy centre which caters for children, many of which have additional needs and disabilities, and their families. And what a party it was!”

Our day started with a very quick, but well-needed cup of coffee whilst admiring the fantastic outfits of the other volunteers and the staff. It was then straight out into the yard for us landlubbers to collect the donkeys to be used for the morning rides. After a good groom the four donkeys were tacked up and even had their own pirate hats to wear. We were each assigned our duties for the morning. Debbie, along with another volunteer, was paired with Eeyore the donkey and Pirate Jill and I were partnered with Pedro. There was then a chance for lots of photos of the volunteers and donkeys in the arena which had been decorated with treasure chests, loot and bounty!! It also had its own pirate ship adorned with the Jolly Roger! Shrieks of “Yo ho ho!” and “Ahoy there, Matey!” rang out as we giggled our way through the photo taking!

Debbie

Debbie

The area where the children play was filled quickly with little pirates and fabulous princesses. The first four children were soon on board and it was all giggles and smiles as we collected treasure from all around the arena. The children also had to find and collect fish, which were then hung on hooks in the pirate ship.

Throughout the day there were lots of competitions such as the ‘Best Dressed Pirate and Princess’. My particular favourite was the young lady who had a fantastic sparkly red dress teamed with red hunter wellies (although she looked slightly unimpressed when I asked if she thought her wellies would fit me!)

Lunchtime soon arrived and the donkeys were returned to the barn for a well-earned rest whilst we grabbed the chance to sit down. The weather was beautiful so Debbie and I took advantage and enjoyed our lunch outside. The centre has a lovely enclosed play area where many of the children were also enjoying the fine spring day as we watched on, unable to contemplate the challenges they and their families must face every day.

Then it was all hands on deck before we knew it and, not wanting to be the ones to ‘walk the plank’, we jumped into action for the afternoon session.

Four new donkeys were bought in, groomed and we were soon collecting more loot and treasure surrounded by pirate music and children’s laughter. Our day very quickly came to an end and, though very tired, thanks to the children, staff, other volunteers and of course the donkeys, we had had the most fabulous time.”

Our Pirate Ship

Our Pirate Ship

The Treasure Island

The Treasure Island

The Donkey Pirate Crew

The Donkey Pirate Crew