Welcome to The Horse Trust A-Z

 

The Horse Trust A-Z contains all you need to know about The Horse Trust and our work. It also contains answers to frequently asked questions, providing advice on a wide range of topics such as loaning a horse from The Horse Trust, horse abandonment, responsible rehoming, mounted police horses and much, much more.

 

Coming Soon....

 

The A-Z will soon be updated with more information about The Horse Trust, as well as providing advice and updates on current issues.

 

A - Z of Horse Help

 
 

Articles for the Letter "A"

Abandoned Horses

Abandonment

Abandonment refers to situations where an owner or keeper leaves an animal without taking steps to ensure that its needs will be met.

This is different to straying, where a horse is allowed to stray onto the highway or trespass onto other people’s property, for example because of poor fencing, or fly-grazing, where the owner/keeper deliberately grazes their horse on someone else’s land in order to get free grazing.

Initially, it is often impossible to tell whether a horse is straying or if it has been abandoned.

In England and Wales, abandonment falls under the Animal Welfare Act (2006), which places a duty of care on the owner/keeper of the horse to ensure that the needs of the horse are met to the extent required by good practice. If an owner is found for the abandoned horse and it is deemed that the horse suffered unnecessarily as a result of the abandonment, a prosecution may be taken by the RSPCA or, in some areas, the local authority.

Horses that stray/trespass onto land or are fly-grazed, fall under the Animals Act (1971), which enables the land owner to sell the animal(s) in order to recoup any costs they incur. The Animals Act is a piece of civil legislation and the owner of the land is responsible for dealing with the sale and disposal of the horses.

Under the Horse Passports Regulations (2009) all horses must have a passport if they are to be sold. If they don’t already have a microchip, they must have one inserted by a veterinary surgeon before a passport can be applied for. This can increase the cost to the land owner of disposing of the horses.

 

If you don’t wish to deal with the removal of the horses yourself, there are a number of horse bailiff companies that will deal with it for you. For details, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

What to do if a horse is abandoned on your land

Report the horse to the police, providing a detailed description of the horse if possible. The owner is likely to contact the police to report their horse missing and this will enable the horse to be reunited with its owner quickly. The police will provide you with a reference number.

 

Contact local equine establishments to enquire if any horses have escaped.                                                     

 

Make sure the horse has its basic needs met by providing water and access to grass.

 

Keep the horse in the safest area possible so that it can't escape again and get onto the road.

 

If the horse has an injury or appears ill, you should report it to the RSPCA by telephoning 0300 1234 999, or contact another equine charity with field officers able to go out and assess the horse. The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) website provides contact details for its members. Click here to go to the NEWC website.

Abandoned horse 2

 

Army Horses

At the outbreak of the First World War, the Trustees of The Horse Trust, formerly known as The Home of Rest for Horses, felt that: 

"… while the more immediate objects of The Home necessarily consisted in the relief of equine suffering at home, the members of the Society would welcome an opportunity of doing something to help the patient and faithful creatures whose lives were being sacrificed in the service of our Country”. Home of Rest for Horses Annual Report, 1914.

During the First World War, The Home provided the prototype, motorised horse ambulance to help the evacuation of wounded horses from the front line in France.

In 2 years, the ambulance had travelled some 13,000 miles and had carried in excess of 1,000 injured horses from the front line.  

The first army war veteran, San Toy, was retired to The Home in 1919 at the age of 28.  He served in both the Boer and First World War and stayed in happy retirement at The Home until his death in 1923.

Today, we still consider it important to provide retirement and respite for the army horses who work so hard serving our country.

Army Horse

Articles for the Letter "B"

Basic Needs

Basic needs

The Animal Welfare Act (2006) states that owners and keepers have a duty to ensure that they meet their horse’s basic needs, which include:

  • Its need for a suitable environment.
  • Its needs for a suitable diet
  • Its need to be able to exhibit normal behaviour patterns
  • Any need to be housed with, or apart from, other animals
  • Its need to be protected from pain, suffering, injury and disease.

All owners and keepers should be aware of these basic requirements and how to meet them. Caring for a horse is a huge responsibility and if the basic requirements cannot be met, it can cause unnecessary suffering to the animal. Everyone responsible for caring for a horse should have suitable knowledge and skills and have a good understanding of horse health to ensure the horse has a good quality of life.

 

Basic Needs of a Horse

Articles for the Letter "C"

Countryfile - Visit from the BBC

In November 2011, we were pleased to welcome Jules Hudson, a presenter from BBC Countryfile, and his film crew who were visiting the Buckinghamshire area.  Countryfile is a popular weekly TV programme that features the people, places and stories making news in the British countryside.

The Horse Trust Chief Executive, Jeanette Allen, proudly introduced Jules Hudson to the work of the charity explaining how we provide training, fund clinical research, and offer retirement and respite for working horses that would normally be the tax payer’s responsibility.

Jules was interested to hear that the charity was 125 years old and had been the inspiration of a lady called Ann Lindo, who having read the novel Black Beauty, was inspired by the plight of the working London cab horses.  She began by renting a field and started loaning healthy horses to cab drivers whilst offering respite care to their animals. The horses were overworked and the drivers were doing their best to care for them in difficult circumstances.

Jules also held one of our residents, Duke, while he underwent an endoscopy. Duke was caught up in the infamous Spindles Farm case back in January 2008, where he and many other animals were subjected to horrific animal cruelty.  The Horse Trust has nurtured Duke back from the brink of death but he still suffers from on-going bouts of colic. The Horse Trust’s veterinary surgeon, Tony Collins, and Dr Tim Brazil, who provides specialist ultrasound scanning and endoscopy services, examined Duke to see if they could get a clearer picture of why Duke suffers from recurring colic. 

He also saw the arrival of four new horses that had been retired from Greater Manchester Mounted Police. These horses had spent many years policing the streets in and around Manchester, and had worked hard to keep our communities safe.

Articles for the Letter "D"

Defence Animal Centre (DAC)

The Defence Animal Centre (DAC) is located at Melton Mowbray and has developed into the epicentre for research and development in the use of all animals in Defence for a variety of tasks. The DAC is made up of four squadrons: Headquarters, Canine Training, Equine Training and Veterinary Training. The main role is to train Military Working Animals and the personnel working with these animals, using the skills and methodology developed over the last century.

The Defence Animal Centre’s mission statement is:

‘To deliver trained Military Working Animals and motivated personnel trained in their use and husbandry, in order to meet the needs of Defence’.

The Horse Trust admits horses for retirement and respite from the DAC.

 

Defence Animal Centre

Articles for the Letter "E"

Emergency Services Protocol

The Emergency Service Protocol, now known as Safer Horse Rescues, was set up to respond to emergency incidents involving horses (normally on the roads). The Protocol sets out procedures for the emergency services when dealing with incidents involving horses, with the aim of minimising delays in injured horses receiving emergency care, maximising the chances of a positive outcome for the animal, and improving safety for all concerned. For further details, please go to ‘S’ within the A-Z.

Articles for the Letter "F"

Fly Grazing

Fly Grazing is where the owner/keeper of a horse deliberately grazes it on someone else’s land in order to get free grazing. This is a growing problem in the current financial climate. Initially, it may not be possible to determine whether the horses have been abandoned or are being fly-grazed.

Horses that stray/trespass onto land or are fly-grazed, fall under the Animals Act (1971), which enables the land owner to sell the animal(s) in order to recoup any costs they incur. The Animals Act is a piece of civil legislation and the owner of the land is responsible for dealing with the sale and disposal of the horses.

Under the Horse Passports Regulations (2009) all horses must have a passport if they are to be sold. If they don’t already have a microchip, they must have one inserted by a veterinary surgeon before a passport can be applied for. This can increase the cost to the land owner of disposing of the horses.

What to do if horses are fly grazing on your land

Report the horse to the police, providing a detailed description of the horse if possible. The owner is likely to contact the police to report their horse missing and this will enable the horse to be reunited with its owner quickly. The police will provide you with a reference number.

 

Contact local equine establishments to see whether any horses have escaped.

 

Make sure the horse has its basic needs met by providing water and access to grass.

 

Keep the horse in the safest area possible so that it cannot escape again and get onto the road.

 

If the horse has an injury or appears ill, you should contact the RSPCA or another equine charity with field officers. The National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) website provides contact details for member charities that have field officers able to go out and assess the horse. Click here to go to the members section of the NEWC website.

If you don’t wish to deal with the removal of the horses yourself, there are a number of horse bailiff companies that will deal with it for you. For details, please contact your local Citizens Advice Bureau.

How to reduce the risk of fly grazing

To reduce the risk of illegal grazing on your land, keep all gates securely locked and consider blocking the gateway in some way to prevent access to your land.

 

Fly Grazing

Foot abscesses

Foot abscesses are a common cause of lameness and can be quite alarming for owners as some horses go severely lame very quickly, which can look as though the horse has broken its leg. Abscesses can be managed relatively easily but if the abscess is not diagnosed and treated early it can lead to long term complications, such as infection of the pedal bone.

Visit the section of the website that covers the causes of foot abscesses and how they are diagnosed and treated.