How to help our horse friends is important, as we have lots of lovely equine friends, both here and abroad. We have wild ponies in New Forest, Exmoor and Dartmoor. Horses in fields, and horse welfare issues like horse meat and horse racing.
Looking after horses is complicated and expensive. You have to provide a place to live, food, bedding, shelter and ensure toxic plants are removed. And unless exceptional circumstances, horses (and donkeys) need company, so they don’t get lonely or bored.
- Report concerns to World Horse Welfare or National Equine Welfare
- Find good advice at World Horse Welfare (also by phone)
- Blue Cross has tips on toxic plants & fireworks
- Adopt/foster through Blue Cross & World Horse Welfare
- Avoid HRT brands (inc. Premarin) that are made from horse urine (extracted from chained pregnant horses, whose foals are killed).
- Ragfork can remove ragwork in 4 easy steps. Although it supports the habitat of a native caterpillar, it’s lethal to horses & livestock. World Horse Welfare has info on safe disposal.
- Tail Lights (US) attach to tails, to keep horses safe in traffic or at night. They are used by Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
- Eco Bale is a biodegradable horse bedding made from recycled shredded cardboard, which creates no dust/mess, good for allergies.
- Thunderbrook sells organic hay, oats and equine feeds (from a biochemist with expertise in digestion issues).
- Top Stock is made with organic sea kelp. The products (headshaking, detox and maintenance) include full instructions.
- EDIX® Vika Vegan Saddle is made from quality synthetic leather, with matching stirrups and treeless saddle pad (synthetic wool underside). In black, brown and child size. Robert Squared makes vegan leather equestrian boots.
- Champion Plus (insurance) covers vets, accidents, emergencies and liability. Blue Cross has tips on humane euthanasia.
Prevent & Find Lost & Stolen Horses
- Blue Cross has info on horse safety (theft, passports, fire)
- Stolen Horse Register is an online database
- Equine Register can manage your equine passport
The Horse Trust offers a Home of Rest for Horses. Many racehorses are killed at the end of their lives (a good reason to give up gambling). Also don’t accept rides from horses abroad (even in New York, many get injured or spooked by traffic). Charities that rescue ex-racehorses are:
- The Racehorse Sanctuary
- Racehorse Rehoming Centre
- HEROS Charity
- Moorcroft Equine Rehabilitation Centre
Books Your Horse Wants You To Read
- Storey’s Guide to Raising Horses covers health, welfare, insulin resistance, skin conditions, foals & vaccination.
- The Ultimate Guide for Horses in Need is for anyone fostering abused horses with mild behavioural issues. Dr Stacie shows how to handle common medical problems, hoof care & rescue.
- The Horse Nutrition Handbook covers colic, cribbing, Cushing disease, ulcers, muscle breakdown and more.
- Horses in Translation teaches the four Gs of Horse Speak: Greeting, Going Somewhere, Grooming and Gone!
- Osteopathy and the Treatment of Horses is written by three experts in their field, with clinical information.
- The Ultimate Guide to Caring For Horses for Kids covers anatomy, housing, bathing, feeding, grooming, safety and how to speak horse!
- The Horse Owner’s Guide to Toxic Plants is a reference book. A little chopped apple is usually okay for horses, but never feed strange horses as too much from different people can give them colic. Pick up windfalls to avoid animals over-feasting.
- Shetland Rescue is a Merseyside sanctuary that rescued a Shetland pony from a horse market. Focused on elderly, abandoned and unwanted animals, Diane had to live in a caravan at first, after selling her house to buy a plot of land. Today many volunteers offer local land.
Life Lessons from the Heart of Horses is a book on how much we can learn from our equine friends. Horses are sensitive creatures with hearts ten times larger than humans, and more to share with us, than meets the eye. These poignant short stories about the trials and tribulations of befriending horses by equine expert Kathy Pike, brings you on a healing journey. Learn lessons that a wild horse taught her, how horses teach humans in so many ways, and personal insights on the dynamics of a herd of horses.