Do you need to breed?

Need to Breed leaflet

We take in about 300 neglected horses every year, every single one of which started life somewhere. While the choices of responsible horse owners can seem far removed from the terrible cases we deal with on a daily basis, we've launched our Need to Breed? initiative to spread the word about the impact that breeding just one foal can have.

Sadly, in the UK there are now thousands more horses than there are good homes. Read more about the horse crisis here. Prices are at desperately low levels, and many horses are being abandoned or neglected.

Undoubtedly there are a number of different groups contributing to the breeding of horses in the UK. Unfortunately, this makes it all too easy for each group to blame the others and take no responsibility, and therefore no action, themselves.

It is vital that every group acknowledges their contribution to the problem and takes steps to rectify it.

It is very easy to think that people who only breed a small number of foals, perhaps one a year, or even just one in their lifetime, are having very little impact. graph of breeding survey resultsThis just isn’t the case.

With thousands of people all doing the same, this adds up to a huge number of extra horses every year.

Whilst all sectors should take steps to reduce their breeding, it is important not to underestimate the contribution of individuals – those people who perhaps breed because they have a much-loved mare, because they want the experience of producing a youngster, or to give an out-of-work mare a role. Whilst having a foal may be very appealing, do any of these reasons really justify bringing yet another horse into an already crowded country, particularly when no one can genuinely guarantee a horse a secure home for life?

think do you need to breed

If you or anyone you know is thinking about producing a foal, please stop and think. Do you really need to breed?

Download our leaflet, outlining some of the key points for consideration, which we hope you will read and share with anyone you know who is thinking of breeding.

Read these common breeding myths.

You can request posters and copies of the leaflet for your yard or elsewhere by emailing