Animal welfare and what is right or wrong has become a very emotion fuelled and contentious issue in recent times. While almost every country has or is governed by different acts and laws, one thing seems to be across the board.
That is that most laws require you to ensure that any horse, pony, donkey, or mule for which you are responsible, whether on a permanent or a temporary basis: has a suitable environment to live in, has a healthy diet, and is able to behave normally.
Why is welfare for horses important?
Welfare is of the utmost importance because we are the responsible beings when it comes to our horses’ health and daily care, as well as their handling and working environments.
The general consensus of Animal welfare as such is that they shall attempt to mitigate the suffering of human-controlled animals and to ensure a minimum standard of living conditions and treatment.
In the large majority of cases and circumstances, abuse of horses often occurs due to neglect with a large number of complaints pertaining to poor malnourished horses, abandonment, feet, or dental issues.
The welfare of all animals, including competition horses, has become anincreasingly heated topic over the past decade.
Equestrian sport particularly has come under closer public scrutiny due to reports of the alleged abuse. It became a necessity that the bodiesresponsible for regulating sports strenuously endeavour to protect the welfareof animals that compete with that association/federation.
Different equine activities are governed by different bodies, each ofwhich has a separate set of rules and regulations designed to safeguard thehealth and welfare of the participating horses.
What are equine welfare issues?
According to many different sources, and numerous self-proclaimed experts, the most common and greatest cause of suffering stems from the following welfare issues.
- Lack of owner knowledge of equine welfare needs;
- Large worm burdens
- Delayed euthanasia
- Lack of recognition by owners of pain behaviour
- Unsuitable diets
- Hoof and Dental problems.
How can we be responsible horse owners?
We are the caregivers of these magnificent animals, and it is important to ensure that you have the ability to do so. Horses much like children are an ongoing responsibility.
Responsibility for a horse includes having an understanding of the specific health and welfare needs of the animal and having the right knowledge and skills to care for it.
Horses cost money, and if you speak to any horse owner they will confirm that it costs lots of it.
Top 5 things to take into consideration
- Ensure you have the finances to support owning a horse
- Facilities or the room to house a horse
- Have time to care for your horse adequately
- Ensure that have a suitable diet
- Farrier, Dentist, Vet, Chiropractor costs on a regular basis.
If you decide after a lot of thought, that you cannot afford to go down the path of owning a horse just yet, but feel you are very passionate about the idea.
Consider volunteering at your local riding centre or rescue facility. This will allow you to gain a lot more experience in the area or simply appease your passion for being around horses.
As we mentioned earlier in this article, your horse's hoofs are an integral part of how they feel and function. The easiest way to make sure that those hoofs are being taken care of and allowed to function as intended, is by upgrading your horse's footwear to soft and flexible jogging shoes.
You can find the perfect jogging shoes for your horse by clicking here
Here's to happy, performing horses!