We hardly dare say it but the winter so far in the UK has been relatively kind and The Horse Crisis almost seems like a distant memory.
Horse and pony prices rose substantially throughout the period of the pandemic and continue to hold strong – this increase in monetary value can have a very positive impact on welfare.
However, on World Horse Day today, we in the equine welfare sector cannot be complacent – with a greater need than ever to offer educational opportunities to those who would keep horses.
The team here at Here4Horses believe that through continual engagement with the equestrian community we can help to secure a better life for horses and ponies everywhere.
That said, there sadly remains a dark underbelly to the industry, where indiscriminate breeding continues and we were starkly reminded of this a week ago when asked to take in an emaciated colt, barely of weaning age.
Douglass (named after long-time Here4Horses supporter Katy Douglass) had been ‘rescued’ by well-meaning people who parted with £200 to save him from the breeder, before realising that the long-term commitment to a youngster like this was simply overwhelming.
Douglass arrived, looking lost, sad and lonely with a very long, fine winter coat often seen on youngsters whose health has been compromised. Weighing in at just 77Kg – Douglass is at least 30Kg underweight for his type and size. That’s a third less than he should be! We are sure he would have faced a very uncertain future without someone stepping in to help him.
With a couple of days to settle in on the best hay, he has now been wormed – revealing a nasty roundworm infestation.
Then, following an examination to check for the highly contagious respiratory disease Strangles, we have now buddied him up with Badger one of our other young residents because a well-matched companion is so important to the mental health of horses and ponies. He is already brighter in himself and we look forward to keeping you all up to date with his progress.
We have made a lifetime commitment to Douglass and this could be at least twenty years – a huge undertaking for a small charity like ours. This commitment can only be made thanks to the ongoing generosity of our supporters.
If you feel able to help in any way, with the cost of his care, we would be extremely grateful for any amount you can spare.
Or perhaps you would like to run a fundraiser for him? He needs vaccinations, a passport and microchip and castration too in the coming months – all of which stretches our limited funds.
We must budget for around £2,500.00 per pony per year to cover all possible costs, therefore all help is hugely appreciated!