Poor hoof care is one of the most common, yet preventable, issues that we see across our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres. As well as costing the charity hundreds of thousands of pounds each year, sadly it also costs the lives of otherwise healthy horses.
The charity has put hoof care at the forefront of a brand new initiative: a series of short, friendly and easy-to-follow online films aimed at horse owners who share our passion for diligent welfare.
Chrissy Thurtell, Senior Groom at our Hall Farm Rescue and Rehoming Centre, who features in the film says that regular foot-care is one of the team’s highest priorities: “Responsible owners pick out their horse’s hooves at least once a day and in this film we are asking them to use this as an opportunity to look for other issues around the hoof area that might result in pain or impact on his welfare.”
The film, which is available on our YouTube channel (www.YouTube.com/horsecharity
) from today, provides straightforward advice about what to look for when picking out and assessing the feet and stresses the importance of daily foot care to keep your horse healthy. It provides on-screen checklists and also underlines the immeasurable welfare value of the farrier, vet and other professionals having a close working relationship.
Our Chief Executive Roly Owers says: “As well as rescuing and rehabilitating abused and neglected horses we offer practical advice to responsible owners in order to help them do the best for their own much-loved horses. This series of educational films is an accessible resource for people either considering horse ownership for the first time or those keen to keep abreast of the latest techniques.”
Every day the charity sees the devastating consequences of owners who fail to meet their duty of care: “Although it is essential to have a strong network of professionals - such as a farrier, vet and dentist - to look after the health of a horse, there is no question that the owner it as the heart of preventing unnecessary suffering. Sometimes it can be costly and can often involve difficult decisions but that is the fundamental price of responsible horse ownership,” says Roly.
The team of World Horse Welfare grooms work diligently with professionals to ensure all of our rehabilitated horses are capable of leading a pain-free life so that they can be successfully rehomed. Thanks to the dynamics of the teams at our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres, last year we were able to rehome 303 previously abused or neglected horses to safe and loving homes which is a ten-year record. This is no small achievement since the UK is gripped by a horse-crisis where we estimate around 4,500 are at risk of neglect or suffering.