Companion Horses and Ponies Seeking New Homes
Horses and ponies need to find new homes for a variety of reasons. It could be that their owner’s circumstances have changed, perhaps they have lost their job and can no longer afford livery or their work commitments have changed and thus no longer have the time for their horse. Other reasons can be that the horse is no longer suitable for the job they want the horse to do or the horse can no longer be ridden.
The majority of horses and ponies are kept at livery, most horse owners do not have the luxury of owning their own land so when a horse can no longer do the job they need or want it to do or becomes unrideable, such as in the case of companion horses, alternative solutions to secure their future welfare need to be considered.
What Need is there for Non Ridden Horses and Ponies in the UK?
Many people need horses of all shapes and sizes to be companions to other horses. They can serve all sorts of situations whether that be keeping youngsters company, keeping ponies with similar needs, such as those prone to laminitis and on strict diets company, as well as being a companion to sick injured horses which are perhaps rehabilitating from injury.
Some people who can no longer ride themselves due to injury or perhaps use horses as therapy to help disadvantaged people do not need the horse to be rideable but it can still do a great job helping others. The temperament of the horse is key in these situations. Many people also enjoy working with horses at liberty and doing in hand competitions, again these horses do not need to be rideable.
Some horses, when they are no longer rideable, can be used as Blood Bank horses and some mares are used as embyro transfer mares, in effect surrogate incubators for other mares where their eggs are used and the surrogate mare carries her foal.
Just because a horse can no longer be ridden does not mean it has no use. Obviously finding homes for horses like this can be significantly harder as the demand for such horses is much less than those that can be ridden but we have done it on many occasions.
The risk of unrideable horses falling into the wrong hands is also greater, especially if the reason they can no longer be ridden can be hidden by drugging the horse etc so avoiding dealers and unscrupulous buyers is crucial. One way of doing this is to list the horse with Right Horse Right Home where our application and membership structure massively reduces this risk and also loaning the horse, at least initially, before any transfer of ownership takes place to ensure the home is absolutely genuine and suited to the horse.
The priority is to find the right home, a genuine home that will care for the horse long term and who will not compromise its well being simply because it can no longer be a ridden horse. Always check the home out fully before making any final decision on whether the home is suitable, request reference checks and ask a great deal of questions regarding what would happen to the horse should the new owner/loaner’s circumstances change. Always keep in touch with whoever takes on your horse and do regular home checks.
What if a Suitable Home Cannot be found?
If it is not possible to find a suitable new home for your non ridden horse do not dismiss the idea of euthanasia if you are unable to continue to care for it yourself. It is always better to give a horse a humane death than it is for them to be passed on from pillar to post or for them to enter a life of uncertainty and neglect.
Sadly horses which are unrideable are at greatest risk of neglect and many have to be euthanased but this is our responsibility as owners to do the right thing if a secure, loving, long term home cannot be found when we are no longer in a position to care for the animal ourselves.
If you have a horse or pony that alas can no longer be ridden due to health or bahaviour issues by all means register with us and follow the steps to “List a Horse” we make no guarantees that we will be able to find the perfect home for your horse but there isn’t a safer more robust way to explore whether the right home is out there. We have found many exceptional homes for non ridden horses who then spend the rest of their days in secure, loving homes so it absolutely can be done.
When listing your horse be sure to specify whether the horse is a good companion, can the horse be left for short periods on their own whilst another horse is out hacking for example or would they need to be brought into a stable. Is the horse easy to manage on the ground, does it have good manners. Is it prone to laminitis, does it need restricted grazing, does it have sweet itch, can it live out, does it need shoes? All of these questions need answering in order for people to assess whether your horse would be suitable as a companion.