Too Many Horses?

*Advertorial/Guest Post

We Brits are famous for our love of horses.  When the horse meat scandal hit not long ago, when we discovered that we had been inadvertently been consuming animals that we consider pets, we were rightly outraged.  But we are an island of finite space and resources and it would seem – from the number of horses awaiting adoption through legitimate charities such as the RSPCA and countless adverts for cheap or free horses on social media – that we have more horses than we can house.

If you see an advert for a horse that is being sold for a nominal fee or given ‘free to a good home’ you should ask yourself these questions:

  • Why is it being given away?
  • Who owns it?
  • What condition is it in at the moment?
  • What is its history?

Many horses that are being given away by private individuals may be living in poor conditions; they may be lame or old; they may be unsuitable for riding. All horses are expensive to own (once you take into account bedding, food, stable fees, farrier costs and vet fees to name but a few expenses) and a horse’s current owners may be desperate to pass it on simply because they can no longer afford to care for it. But how will you know that you can give it a better home, without knowing its past and current health and temperament?

It is far better to adopt through a legitimate adoption service run by a charity such as the RSPCA, which has plenty of horses for you to choose from. The RSPCA ‘Rehome a horse’ online help staff to know which of their horses would suit your individual circumstances (such as, which horses would be happy to be kept in a paddock with other horses and which would need to be stabled separately). They will also be able to tell you the health condition of any of their horses. The horses will have been treated for parasites and given all appropriate medical treatment to get them to a standard whereby they can be safely adopted.

The RSPCA will also have all the necessary paperwork to enable you to legally own your horse. Many private sales or ‘adoptions’ go through without horse passports ever being produced or verified, meaning that the sale is not legal and that the buyer could face hefty fines and prosecution.

The trouble is that people will continue to allow their horses to breed. Whilst thoroughbreds and race horses may fetch a decent price, other horses are practically worthless and if their current owners cannot look after them they are just another horse without a home. This is such a sad situation and the only way to stop it is to educate people about the importance of not buying or adopting horses privately and of not allowing their horses to breed indiscriminately. This will take time and meanwhile you can do your part – adopt through the RSPCA if you want a horse and know that you can care for it for the rest of its life.


Disclosure: This is a Sponsored Post with the RSPCA. Post provided by the RSPCA.

  • Hodge Podge

    An important message – well done for spreading the word and thanks for sharing.

  • I remember a couple of years ago I was on the tram in Sheffield when a horse came walking down the path and then started to cross the road. I’d just got my phone out to call the police when a police car stopped. It’s frightening to think how many horses are left neglected.

  • Very good post and important message .x

  • Beautyqueenuk

    Such a brilliant post, well done on posting it and I hope it strikes a cord with people x

  • You Baby Me Mummy

    I have ridden all my life and owned horses for most of it. So many people think they are getting a bargain but a good horse is rarely a bargain. X

  • Helen

    Thanks for sharing. This highlights a important message. Hopefully lots of people will learn from it!

  • Lucie1979

    Thanks for a great post! Horses are such beautiful creatures… I am petrified of them but they are beautiful. Hope the message reaches out to people xx

  • Jen Walshaw

    I am going to admit that after being thrown when I was small they terrify me!

  • Kate Williams

    My aunt owned horses when I was younger so I’m under no illusion how much work and how expensive they are. Always suprissed that people would think differently!

  • We’d love one but not until my little lady is old enough to look after it with me

  • It’s not something I’ve ever thought about but we’re happy with our cats for now.

  • I’d love for my daughters to try horse riding. If we ever decided to get a horse we’d certainly be cautious about it.

  • Rachel Cooper

    It is such a shame that these issues need to be discussed. Mistreatment of any animal, whether it’s a hamster or a horse is terrible. Before people take on any animal they need to think about the amount of commitment and money that it will take. Thankyou for sharing

  • Globalmouse

    This is a great post. I love the RSPCA and feel like if everyone could adopt an animal through them rather than buy from pet shops it would make a massive difference. I didn’t know you could do the same for horses.

  • Joanna Sormunen

    I wish there were too many horses in Ecuador too! Well, not really but I would love to be able to adopt a horse. We had a horse when I was younger and we lived in Finland. I know it’s really expensive, not a cheap pet to have. I would love to be able to have one here in Ecuador too. But there really are too few horses here and they are terribly expensive.

  • Zena’s Suitcase

    This is something I’d never really thought about. Sounds like an important issue to raise awareness on. Thanks for posting

  • This reminds me I would LOVE Aaron to have horse riding lessons, simply because he had 4 turns on the donkey at the beach and just didn’t want to get off it. Daddy hadn’t even thought he’d get on, let alone not get off. This is all very sad to read, but your make so so many valid points. Thanks for an interesting read xx