Rehoming - got a question?

Got a question?

Please note, any mention of horses throughout these questions refers to horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and hinnies.

Please note, any mention of horses throughout these questions refers to horses, ponies, donkeys, mules and hinnies.

  1. How often is the site updated?

    Our rehoming pages are updated on a weekly basis, usually on a Wednesday afternoon, so please do keep checking back if you can’t see a horse who’s right for you straight away. We generally advise checking once a week to make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to apply, as ridden horses are often extremely popular and can receive a large number of applications very quickly.

  2. How do your categories work?

    We currently have 15 different Rehoming Categories which are grouped into four Search Categories to help you find the right horses to add to your stable.

    Some Rehoming Categories appear in more than one Search Category. The following table will help you decide which Search Category to use as well as providing definitions for each of our 15 Rehoming Categories.

    Search category
    Rehoming category
    Definition
    Icon for Non-ridden companion Non-ridden
    companion
    Companion
    Strictly not to be ridden or driven
     
    Companion with potential
    A companion who may have the potential to be brought into work by the rehomer
    Icon for Prospect Prospect
    Ride or drive prospect
    May have the potential to be suitable for ridden or driven work - see individual horse's profile for more information
     
    Project horse/pony
    A horse or pony which is usually a long-term project requiring a highly experienced rehomer - see individual horse’s profile for more information
    Icon for Ridden or driven Ridden or
    driven
    Lead rein/Companion
    Primarily a companion but able to be used for light lead rein duties
     
    Lead rein
    Suitable for use only on a lead rein
     
    Lead rein/First ridden
    Suitable for a child on or just off the lead rein
     
    First pony
    Suitable for a child just off the lead rein
     
    Second pony
    Suitable for a more experienced child, may be more forward-going
     
    Hack
    Suitable for hacking only
     
    Pleasure Competition
    Suitable for novice to intermediate riding club-type competition
     
    Competition
    Suitable for advanced riding club-type and affiliated competition
     
    Ride and drive
    Suitable for both ridden and driven work
     
    Driving
    Suitable for driven work
    Icon for Youngster Youngster
    Youngster
    To be handled regularly until ready to be brought into work
  3. Can you add me to a waiting list?

    We no longer hold a waiting list as, due to the sheer volume of applications we receive, we found this not to be an effective system. Instead, we ask potential rehomers to monitor the website and apply for any individual horse which is of interest. However, we hope people will be able to register for email alerts in future. Our rehoming pages are updated on a weekly basis, usually on a Wednesday afternoon, so please do keep checking back if you can’t see the horse who’s right for you straight away.

  4. When will you get back to me about my application?

    You’ll receive an email straight away to confirm that your application has submitted successfully – this email will include the name of the individual horse and is in addition to the email you will receive when you complete the registration phase. Our team will aim to assess your application and get back to you in around two weeks. If you don’t hear from our team, please do check your junk email! A number of our horses and ponies – especially those which can be ridden – receive a huge number of applications. In this situation, the team will work through the applications in the order of receipt.

  5. How do you choose the right home for a horse?

    All the applications will be reviewed and we will short-list those which appear to be the most suitable – this will be based on a combination of factors relevant to the individual horse, including things such as the applicant’s past experience, future aspirations and facilities (so make sure to include all relevant information in your application to help the team assess it thoroughly). The team will chat with those short-listed to discuss their application in more detail and the person who appears the best match will be invited to the farm to meet the horse. Some of our horses receive a huge number of applications and our team will always pick the best home for that particular horse. This inevitably means that whilst one lucky person will be over the moon to be taking that horse home, there will unfortunately be a great many disappointed people too. However, if your application for one horse isn’t successful please don’t be disheartened – we would welcome further applications from you.

  6. Do you rehome to first-time horse owners?

    We look for the best match for each individual horse and would not rule out someone without previous experience of sole responsibility for the care of a horse provided they had appropriate experience and a suitable support network in place.

  7. Do you rehome donkeys?

    Although we do rehome donkeys, they only come into our care very occasionally and are always extremely popular.

  8. How long does the rehoming process take?

    The nature of the rehoming process makes it quite variable – for ridden horses, youngsters or projects you may be asked to visit the farm more than once to meet them. If this goes well, a home check will then need to be organised. The time from the point of application to when the horse is taken home does vary a lot but, in most cases, will be measured in weeks rather than months. However, in cases where you need a companion pony urgently, we will do our best to help find your horse a new friend ASAP (please do call us on 01953 497238 if you are in this situation).

  9. Can companions be rehomed quickly if needed urgently?

    If you need a companion pony urgently we will do our best to help find your horse a new friend ASAP (please do call us on 01953 497238 if you are in this situation).

  1. Where are your Rescue and Rehoming Centres located?

    We have four centres throughout Britain: Belwade Farm in Aberdeenshire, Penny Farm in Lancashire, Hall Farm in Norfolk and Glenda Spooner Farm in Somerset.

  2. Where do you rehome to?

    We do not have catchment areas and rehome throughout Britain but please note we are not able to rehome to certain UK areas outside the mainland due to the difficulties involved in undertaking rehoming visits to some locations - (email or call us on 01953 497238 for more details). If you live on an island outside mainland Britain please do get in touch to find out if we are able to rehome there. Unfortunately, we cannot rehome abroad as we would be unable to carry out ongoing checks.

  3. Do you have catchment areas?

    We don’t have catchment areas so you are welcome to apply for a horse at any farm, but do bear in mind that you will usually be asked to travel to the relevant farm to meet your chosen horse and you would also have to arrange transport to take the horse home should you be successful – plus not all our horses can travel long distances.

  4. Can horses be moved to different farms for viewings?

    We are not able to move our horses to a different farm for viewing purposes. We don’t have catchment areas so you are welcome to apply for a horse at any farm, but do bear in mind that you will usually be asked to travel to the relevant farm to meet your chosen horse.

  5. Do you rehome to equestrian businesses such as riding schools?

    We will consider applications from equestrian businesses such as riding schools or equine therapy centres on a case by case basis.

  6. Why don’t you allow your horses to be trimmed by barefoot trimmers/equine podiatrists?

    We really appreciate that many podiatrists and barefoot trimmers are excellent, but unfortunately we have, on a number of occasions, also seen the other side of things where significant suffering has been caused as a result of poor trimming. The reason we currently insist on the use of registered farriers for our rehomed horses is due to the lack of a government-recognised barefoot qualification with robust regulation. Should one be developed then we will certainly reconsider this policy but at the moment we do require the use of a registered farrier.

  7. What kind of fencing do you allow?

    We don’t have specific types of fencing that we do or don’t allow – we are looking for safety, security and suitability for the individual horse, so how well the fencing is maintained and managed is as important as the type.

  8. What happens if I don’t pass my home check?

    Home checks are a way to make sure the location is safe and appropriate for the horse. We always try to give potential rehomers feedback and the opportunity to make necessary improvements should any be identified by the Field Officer during their initial visit. We don’t mind if the yard hasn’t been swept!

  9. Can I rehome if I don’t have other horses?

    As horses are herd animals, we normally require our horses to have the company of other equines. These don’t have to be owned by you - many of our rehomed horses are kept at livery or on a shared private yard.

  10. Do you ever need foster homes for your horses?

    Ideally we look for long-term homes for all our horses, although we appreciate that in some situations a home may naturally only be available for a shorter period - we would assess such a situation on a case by case basis. However, in all cases the rehomer will be responsible for all costs and care associated with the horse.

  11. I have some land available - can you make use of it?

    We are not able to keep horses on land away from our four Rescue and Rehoming Centres as we do not have the staff available to make this a viable option. If you are interested in supporting our work, please do consider whether rehoming would be an option for you.

  1. Do you rehome ridden or driven horses?

    We do rehome ridden and driven horses, but they are often extremely popular and can receive a large number of applications very quickly. These horses can be found by searching the relevant category. If you are looking for a horse who has the potential to be ridden/driven in the future, we do have a range of other categories in our rehoming scheme such as companion with potential, youngster or project horse which are searchable under the ‘Prospect’ category. These categories allow currently non-ridden horses to be rehomed to a suitably experienced home with the aim of bringing them into work in the future. If you’re interested in rehoming a horse with the potential to be brought into work but don’t personally have the experience to back the horse, we would still consider an application if you have an appropriately experienced support network.

  2. Why do your ridden horses have a rider weight limit?

    Research we were involved in has shown that high rider:horse bodyweight ratios can induce temporary lameness and discomfort in the horse. We therefore work with our team of specialists to agree the most suitable rider weight for all our ridden horses to ensure their on-going comfort and wellbeing.

  3. Why are so many of your horses not able to be ridden or driven?

    All our horses are fully assessed by an experienced, qualified team including a vet, physiotherapist and farrier. If the horse displays particularly poor conformation or other physical or behavioural problems, the outcome of assessment may be that we feel they are unable to withstand the demands of ridden or driven work, however gentle or considered, and will be rehomed as a non-ridden companion. If you are looking for a horse who can be ridden/driven and have the experience to take on a horse which has the potential to be brought into work in the future, we do have a range of other categories in our rehoming scheme such as companion with potential, youngster or project horse which are searchable under the ‘Prospect’ category. These categories allow currently non-ridden horses to be rehomed to a suitably experienced home with the aim of bringing them into work in the future. If you’re interested in rehoming a horse with the potential to be brought into work but don’t personally have the experience to back the horse, we would still consider an application if you have an appropriately experienced support network.

  1. What costs are involved in rehoming?

    Before you take the horse home you will need to pay a one-off rehoming fee (displayed on the individual horse’s profile) and become a ChampionPlus Member of World Horse Welfare. You will need to maintain this membership for as long as the horse is with you – this is our way of ensuring that all of our rehomed horses are covered by third-party liability insurance. Our horses are not rehomed with any tack, rugs or equipment and rehomers are responsible for all day-to-day costs, including any veterinary fees, as well as transport from and to the relevant rehoming centre.

  2. How do rehoming fees work?

    The rehoming fee is a one-off non-refundable fee paid before the horse is taken home in the event of a successful application. Each horse’s rehoming fee – generally ranging between £20 and £500 – is determined by their category and potential and is displayed on their profile.

  3. Do I purchase the horse from you?

    No – the rehoming fee is a loan fee, not a purchase price. We retain ownership of our horses throughout their lives – but many of our rehomers have their World Horse Welfare horse for life and consider them very much part of the family.

  4. What does the horse come with?

    Our horses are not rehomed with any tack, rugs or equipment and rehomers are responsible for arranging transport to take the horse home. If you arrange for a professional equine transporter to collect the horse on your behalf they should have all the equipment necessary, but if you are collecting the horse yourself do make sure you bring a headcollar with you as well as any travel boots/bandages – plus of course a haynet to keep your new friend occupied on the way home! The farm team will be able to advise on the appropriate headcollar size and whether the horse is used to wearing boots or not. Our farms have second-hand tack available for purchase so they may be able to advise on whether anything suitable is available through that route.

  5. Do I need to take out insurance for my rehomed horse?

    All our rehomers must be World Horse Welfare ChampionPlus members prior to the horse leaving our centre and continue as members throughout the time that they have the horse – this is our way of ensuring that all our rehomed horses are covered by third-party liability insurance. We appreciate many people will already have such cover in an existing policy, but in order for us to readily check this is in place we must insist on our membership being taken out – it would simply not be realistic to check the insurance policies annually for nearly 2,000 rehomed equines. However, we do offer a special discounted rate for our rehomers. We strongly recommend that rehomers also take out veterinary cover as veterinary fees are the responsibility of the rehomer.

  1. Who owns the horse?

    The rehoming fee is a loan fee, not a purchase price. We retain ownership of our horses throughout their lives – but many of our rehomers have their World Horse Welfare horse for life and consider them very much part of the family.

  2. What does the horse come with?

    Our horses are not rehomed with any tack, rugs or equipment and rehomers are responsible for arranging transport to take the horse home. If you arrange for a professional equine transporter to collect the horse on your behalf they should have all the equipment necessary, but if you are collecting the horse yourself do make sure you bring a headcollar with you as well as any travel boots/bandages – plus of course a haynet to keep your new friend occupied on the way home! The farm team will be able to advise on the appropriate headcollar size and whether the horse is used to wearing boots or not.

  3. Will you deliver the horse?

    If your application is successful you will be responsible for transport arrangements and costs. Our team may be able to suggest a number of reputable equine transport companies should you need one. If you arrange for a professional equine transporter to collect the horse on your behalf they should have all the equipment necessary, but if you are collecting the horse yourself do make sure you bring a headcollar with you as well as any travel boots/bandages – plus of course a haynet to keep your new friend occupied on the way home! The farm team will be able to advise on the appropriate headcollar size and whether the horse is used to wearing boots or not. Our farms have second-hand tack available for purchase so they may be able to advise on whether anything suitable is available through that route. If you are collecting the horse yourself, please do not be offended if our team ask you questions about the vehicle you intend to use – it is important that we make sure our horses are travelled appropriately (which may vary from one horse to another) and we would hate for you to have a wasted journey because we had not checked details beforehand.

  4. What happens if the horse turns out to be unsuitable/doesn’t settle?

    If the horse turns out to be unsuitable or doesn’t settle in the home we will always take them back. If it’s possible you may be given the option to swap them for another horse. Please note it often takes much longer for horses to settle in than people expect and we encourage all rehomers to allow time for the horse to become comfortable in their new surroundings before attempting to ride them or leaving them on their own whilst another horse is ridden. We are always very happy to offer advice on helping to manage this situation.

  5. Do I need to take out insurance for my rehomed horse?

    All our rehomers must be World Horse Welfare ChampionPlus members prior to the horse leaving our centre and continue as members throughout the time that they have the horse – this is our way of ensuring that all of our rehomed horses are covered by third-party liability insurance. We strongly recommend that rehomers take out veterinary cover as veterinary fees are the responsibility of the rehomer.

  6. Are there any limitations on what I can do with my rehomed horse?

    Our horses are categorised according to their individual capability and future potential (where applicable). Your rehoming agreement will set out exactly what the individual horse can and can’t do as well as detailing our overall terms and conditions. Find out more about our categories.

  7. What happens if my situation changes and I can’t keep the horse?

    If your situation changes we will always take the horse back (please note that rehomers are responsible for arranging the horse’s transport back to the farm). We do ask for a month’s notice but will always try our best to help more quickly in an emergency situation. The horse will be reassessed by our team when they return to the farm with a view to rehoming them again.

  8. What happens if I rehome a youngster?

    We are always looking for experienced homes for our young horses where they can receive regular handling to further their education. We have a number of rehomers who find it very rewarding to take on youngsters to continue their education and keep their own youngster company but return them when their own horse is ready to be backed. If you do want to back your rehomed horse yourself and have the experience to do so we’re very happy for you to do that. Some of our rehomers don’t personally have the experience (or facilities) to back the horse themselves so will work with others who do, or arrange for the horse to be backed professionally. We are not able to provide this service.

  9. Can World Horse Welfare staff come and help me back my horse to ride?

    Rehomers are responsible for all day-to-day care of their rehomed horse, including training as appropriate. Although we offer a wide range of support via our telephone Advice Line – 01953 497238 – we are unable to send staff out to help you with your horse in person.

  10. Can my rehomed horse come back to you for short-term/holiday livery?

    We are not able to offer livery - either long or short-term - at our Rescue and Rehoming Centres.

  11. Can I keep my rehomed horse at your centre?

    We are not able to offer livery - either long or short-term - at our Rescue and Rehoming Centres. If you don’t have the facilities to keep your rehomed horse at home you’re very welcome to keep them at a livery yard, subject to our usual home check.

Headshot of Fran - Ready to help

Need help?

If you have any further questions or need help with your application please contact our Rehoming Coordinator or call 01953 497238

What our rehomers say about us

“Anyone looking to rehome a horse should definitely do it: World Horse Welfare is so supportive and rehoming is just such a great thing to do – it’s so rewarding.”

Rehomer Stella Burbidge

"If anyone is looking for a riding pony or a driving pony, I can 100% recommend that they should really try World Horse Welfare. I cannot fault this place – they were obviously totally open and you know if it doesn’t work out the pony can come back and will find a good home. The horses and ponies come with a full MOT and you couldn’t ask for more."

Rehomer Nichola Waddicor

“I was considering buying a horse, but my friend had rehomed from World Horse Welfare so persuaded me to consider doing the same. We went to Belwade Farm to look at two other horses and whilst I was there I looked up to see Tinto standing at the top of a hill, almost as if he was saying ‘Look at me!’.”

Rehomer Fiona Bell

“I would always recommend rehoming a horse. Rehomers receive such a huge amount of support and the team at the charity are always 100% honest and realistic with you. The pride you get from rehoming these horses – who sometimes have a very sad past – is incredible.”

Rehomer Kate McCormack

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