World Horse Welfare has launched a new Help for Horse Owners support service. The service offers advice and support alongside a Resources Hub of organisations that provide help with issues that can impact someone’s ability to care for their horse. Issues could be financial challenges, poor mental or physical health or a change to their personal circumstances. The service aims to prevent situations from declining and, where appropriate, ensure animals can stay with their owners.

“Many people know our charity rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes horses in need throughout Britain,” said Head of UK Support at World Horse Welfare, Sam Chubbock. “What they may not be aware of is that a large part of the work that our Field Officers do on a daily basis is helping owners to better care for their horses.

“Horse owners and their families often approach us for help when their circumstances have changed, meaning they are struggling to provide the necessary care. However, we also understand how difficult it can be to ask for help – which is why we have developed our Help for Horse Owners support service.

“Our focus is on trying to keep families and their animals together when this is the best option for them in the longer term. We do this in a variety of ways, including helping horse owners to change their management practices or signposting them to other areas of support they might not know about.”

Winter can be a particularly difficult time for horse owners with challenging weather and mud, short days, cold temperatures and additional costs of supplementary feed and hay adding to the burden. The cost of living crisis makes keeping horses even more challenging.

Some are able to make sacrifices in other areas of their lives so they can care for their horses, but, if the situation is further complicated by other matters such as ill health, advancing age or a change in personal circumstances this can tip them into an increasingly difficult and “desperate spiral”.

In addition to requesting a support call and using the Resources Hub, World Horse Welfare’s UK-wide network of Field Officers can make in-person visits to assess situations and provide hands-on practical advice.

Case study

As Jo aged, she realised she was increasingly struggling to provide care for her ponies but, when one of them became ill, she knew she needed help.

“I was in a real pickle and called World Horse Welfare for advice,” she said. “I spoke to a lovely lady on the phone and she arranged a visit from Penny, who came to meet me and the ponies.

“I can’t say how helpful she was, she didn’t judge me but explained the various options and was there for me to talk through each one. She made several visits, getting to know me and the ponies and her gentle support finally helped me decide what was the best option for each of my ponies.

“Without a doubt everyone at World Horse Welfare was as compassionate to me as to my ponies at a difficult time.”

To access the Help for Horse Owners support service, click here.

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