New “Help for Horse Owners” Service Launched by World Horse Welfare

22 February 2024

At the very time of year horse owners can find the most difficult, World Horse Welfare have launched a new “Help for Horse Owners” service, designed to provide advice and support to those struggling to care for their animals, and to prevent serious welfare cases from arising by providing early intervention.

The new service offers compassionate 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. These 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. 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.”

Sam Chubbock, Head of UK Support

Winter can be a particularly difficult time for horse owners: slogging through thick mud, short days, cold temperatures and the additional costs of supplementary feed adds to the burden. The cost of living crisis means that keeping horses is ever more challenging and owners may already have found that they can no longer cope. Some 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, our UK-wide network of Field Officers can make in-person visits to assess situations and provide hands-on practical advice.

Keeping horses can be challenging at any time, and especially if your situation is complicated by ill health or a change in your personal circumstances. Sometimes just a few small alterations to how you keep your horse can make things far more manageable.

So if you or someone you know needs a bit of support – or just advice on a simple horse care query – or If you’re concerned about a client who’s struggling to care for their horse, help and advice is available. Please don’t hesitate to point them in the direction of the new Help for Horse Owners support and resources. 

Please note that if you want to report a welfare concern rather than request horse-related support (either for yourself or someone else), you can do that via the form on the WHW Worried about a horse? page.

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