Why More and More Horses Need Adopting

The effects of the recession are obvious: people are losing their jobs or are worried about doing so, and are cutting corners and spending less in order to keep a roof over their heads and food on the table.

But whilst much is made of the fact that people are shopping in less expensive supermarkets, or taking fewer holidays, relatively little is said about the fact that people are having to reduce their spending on their pets, too.  That might be by making small changes, such as buying shop-brand dog food rather than more expensive brands: but it can also be by making big sacrifices – such as putting a beloved pet up for adoption or rehoming through rescue centres run by animal charities such as the RSPCA.

There has been a rise in the number of pets given to rescue centres for adoption generally, but people who own horses are finding it particularly difficult to continue to afford to keep them.


Photo Credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/adrian_parnham/3207284009/

This is in part due to the ever-increasing costs of keeping horses (stable fees and veterinary bills have increased considerably over recent months and years) and the fact that fewer people want to buy horses.  So if an owner can no longer afford to keep their horse, they will usually have to turn to a rescue centre because no-one is able to buy it.

Advice given to anyone thinking of buying or adopting a horse is to remember that it is a long-term commitment.  Horses live for decades and require a high level of care: daily mucking-out, feeding and exercising, and their food, stable fees, vet bills, hay and occasional tack replacements all add up.  Working out how much it would cost to keep a horse on a monthly and annual basis will help you to get an idea of whether you could realistically afford to keep one in the long-term: and if the answer is no, then don’t buy or adopt.

People sometimes make the mistake of thinking that they could recover some of the costs of caring for a horse (or even profit) by breeding their horse and selling the offspring – but there just isn’t the market now as people can rarely afford to buy foals or young horses.

Some people do not place their horses in rescue centres voluntarily; the RSPCA has experienced a higher number of reports of abandoned and neglected horses compared to previous years.  This could have something to do with the droughts of earlier this year leading to an increase in the cost of hay – which, for some horse owners, was the final straw when it came to being able to afford to keep their horses.

If you are thinking of taking in a horse, it is well-worth considering going through an animal charity such as the RSPCA to find a horse with the right temperament and to get expert advice about how to care for your pet.   Just make sure that you have thought through the financial implications of doing so.

This is a guest post by Claire Sim a new Londoner, travel passionate and animal lover. She blogs about Pets and Travelling in Europe. If you want Claire to write you specific content, you can find email her here or contact her on Twitter (Claire_Sim).

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