Some of you who read this column will already know that I work with the British Horse Society (BHS), but many may be unaware of the work that it does.
Principally the work I’m involved with is micro-chipping and passporting horses. This is now a legal requirement for all horse owners, but there are many horses that remain unidentified, despite it being illegal to transport or sell a horse without a passport.
The BHS holds regular clinics, often involving local councils, to gather horses together to meet this requirement, which has meant I have seen areas of Gateshead, Newcastle, Hartlepool and Cleveland that I never thought I’d visit.
Not only does it promote microchipping and passporting, but also castration. The indiscriminate breeding of horses continues to grow, and with it the problems of welfare and abandonment.
The BHS and councils subsidise the events to encourage as many horse owners as possible to attend.
Having the opportunity to talk to owners and provide education is key to preventing what potentially is a massive problem of an increasing horse population. Making people realise that continuing to breed animals that have poor conformation or markings is in no one’s interest, least of all the horses’. Many charities have been inundated with abandoned or mistreated horses, not least the BHS.
Several of my clients, and myself, have fostered or rehomed horses. Many are cobs in all shapes and sizes, but all respond to loving and caring homes.
Last year I rehomed Brian, a black yearling cob who was abandoned in a Tesco car park. Eventually he will be a pony for my niece and nephew, but currently he’s with me. After having had Piccolo Pete, and my search continues for another ex-racehorse to show, I can’t believe how easy he is to look after and how rewarding it is. He is always pleased to see me, although never breaks into a trot and just wants to be loved.
Anyone interested in rehoming or fostering horses can find details on the BHS website.
This year I am involved in a series of meetings aimed at informing people about indiscriminate breeding, worming, farriery and tetanus.
The BHS is also aiming to hold a ‘Castration Tour’ during the autumn and winter, which I’m looking forward to. I’ll keep you informed of our progress.
The BHS can be contacted at www.bhs.org.uk
By SALLY BOOTH, Director and Head Equine Vet