07/09/2010 The Horse Trust Appeals for "Horse Samaritans"

Buckinghamshire charity The Horse Trust is appealing for volunteers to help with its rehoming scheme and equine welfare helpline.

Volunteers are needed within Buckinghamshire, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Berkshire and Oxfordshire to help with the rehoming scheme. This involves assessing potential homes for their suitability and visiting horses that have been rehomed to ensure they are receiving an appropriate standard of care.

Volunteers are also needed in The Horse Trust's office in Speen, Buckinghamshire, to help with the charity's equine welfare helpline.

"Volunteer Equine Welfare Advisors, or Horse Samaritans as they are known within the charity, play a vital role within our rehoming scheme and helpline," said Liane Crowther, Welfare & Education Officer at The Horse Trust. "We need compassionate people with horse experience who are able to give difficult advice."

"People call our helpline with a wide variety of enquiries - everything from advice on managing laminitis to choosing a retirement livery yard. Sadly, many of the calls are from people who can't look after their horse any more and, if all other options have been explored, sometimes euthanasia is the kindest option to prevent the horse from ending up in a worse situation," said Liane.
 
Jayney Caspar, 45, from Surrey, started volunteering as an Equine Welfare Advisor in June. She is currently doing a degree in Animal Behaviour and Welfare at Merrist Wood Campus, Guildford College and hopes to get a job in equine welfare when she finishes her course.

"My work experience at The Horse Trust is absolutely invaluable - it's putting me in the front line of what's happening with equine welfare today," said Jayney. "It's great to be working with people who have a wealth of experience. I'm learning so much, which will help me get my first job in equine welfare."

Jayney says the volunteer role is challenging, but feels that she is making a difference to horse owners.

"The recession means a lot of people are struggling to keep their horse, which is sad to hear," said Jayney. "I think it's important that people can call The Horse Trust, where there is someone to talk to who can give them advice. Sometimes I hear back from callers and they tell me that as a result of my advice they have managed to find a wonderful home for their horse or have managed to keep it."