Rehoming, overcoming the problems, Rebecca, our Rehoming Manager's perspective

Rehoming, overcoming the problems, Rebecca, our Rehoming Manager's perspective

WY83965- p11Rebecca Evans and Sparkle(arm) (2)Horses4Homes has revolutionised the rehoming of horses owned by private individuals who wish to seek out the most suitable homes for their horses and in doing so are prepared to waive any sale price for their horse.  Horses are listed accurately enabling those interested in the horses to apply via a robust mechanism and it truly works as you can see from the testimonials on the site.
I firmly believe that if more horses were in appropriate homes where the jobs they can do match the requirements of the new owner, their capabilities, resources and aspirations the equine crisis and the numbers of people leaving the sport would not be what it is today.  The extent to which horses are miss sold commercially by individuals who avoid the truth through fear of “no sale” and then enter a spiral of neglect, being passed on again and again has reached unprecedented levels. There are quite simply too many horses and not enough homes. A selling culture has developed with owners rarely mentioning any negative aspects of the horse when advertising when in reality no horse is perfect regardless of price. This needs to change because until owners are honest about their horses how can potential new owners make informed decisions about suitability.
The cost of acquiring a horse has become so low it has exacerbated the disposable culture. If it no longer meets our requirements let’s get rid and find another!  Is it little wonder horses are all too often in the wrong homes when it is cheaper to acquire the horse than it is to book a set of lessons. Would people acquire a horse in exactly the same way if it was £200 or if it was £5000.  The responsibility is the same so surely the process should be the same but it rarely is.
Before deciding whether a horse is suitable please carry out the following;

  • Know what it is your think you want
  • Ask an instructor who knows your ability if they agree
  • Seek out a horse matching this criteria and don’t deviate
  • Ask the owner all manner of questions about the horse’s health, temperament and behaviour and have a written record of these answers
  • Ensure the environment you can offer matches the needs of the horse
  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to pay for the horse, its keep, insurance and contingency costs
  • Ensure you know what you would do if something happened to your health or that of the horse’s deeming you unable to ride it
  • Take an experienced person with you when you go to visit the horse
  • See the horse being ridden before you make the decision to ride the horse yourself
  • Trial the horse as many times as possible in different environments
  • Catch the horse, tack the horse up and load the horse to ensure these tasks can be done without undue problems
  • Get the horse vetted
  • Get the horse insured for vets fees and public liability
  • Realise if you purchase a horse you are legally responsible for its welfare and that includes being responsible to end its life humanely if you cannot secure its future welfare.

How many of us owners check out the facilities of a home offered before sanctioning a sale?  If we don’t we really should and new owners should open their doors to let us in and see where they intend to keep our horse should they not?  Do you ever ask for references or do a credit check?  Given the extent of unscrupulous individuals we here about buying horses only to bute them up and sell them on surely owners need to ramp up the checks.
How many people loan horses without an agreement?  This is basic housekeeping, it is so easy to put together an agreement and can make all the difference if and when things go wrong later on.  Similarly how many owners are still selling horses without passports.  Horses4Homes will not publish a horse on the site without a valid passport number as it is a legal requirement to have one and yet over 20% of the horses listed are not published because owners cannot supply a valid passport number.
We know finding homes for unrideable horses is very difficult indeed.  I can’t urge owners enough not to take undue risks when trying to rehome unrideable companion horses and to give serious consideration to euthanasia.  Similarly if a mare is unrideable it does not automatically make her a potential broodmare.  Given the extent of unwanted horses in the UK, breeding should be kept to an absolute minimum.   It saddens me how many horses go to multiple homes in very short spaces of time and the industry needs to be more focused on finding the right home for its horses.
I would like to personally thank everyone who has taken the time to register with the charity, has listed a horse with us or rehomed a horse through us and who has supported the charity by way of donations or simply by referring us to a fellow horse enthusiast. The charity is under considerable demand 7 days a week to help a huge number of horses and indeed their owners, to find suitable homes and your continued support is both appreciated and very much needed.