The aim of our project is to address the horse crisis, indiscriminate breeding, and the welfare compromises that are seen on a daily basis due to the need for owners to have horses close to their homes.
‘Seen’ being a key word, as these horses are tethered on local authority land, where owners have kept horses for up to 45 years. The compromised welfare is visible for judgement, often despite the owners’ best efforts.
Today, a colt, which was causing some problems in a hot spot area, broke loose from his peg and chain to go back to his mother, some 5 miles away. Dragging his chain and peg.
He arrived at the area of land that his mother was on, and came across young mares to serve and test out his masculinity on. This caused a ruckus, injury to horses and owners who were trying to catch him – the chain whipping around with every movement, catching whatever was in its way, horse or human.
The call came in at 9.02pm on 15/08/17 from a horse owner, trying to catch the colt and stop him from serving her mares. Mares that she had already paid to have unwanted foetus aborted.
The colt’s owners were notified and it took them three hours to get there to catch him and take him to safety. They are waiting for a space to come up at a local confinement area. I couldn’t call it a livery yard, the stables are like corridors, the horses cannot turn or lie down, there is no turnout, no ventilation and the doors are padlocked. Previously when visiting this yard I have found carpet gripper lining the walls and doors to prevent the horses from crib biting, a result of desperately trying to cope with being confined with nothing to do.
Why? What options are available? People don’t drive, have cars or money for transport, cannot afford livery yard costs, or travel to and from fields. The horses tethered on the council land are outside their owner’s doors, within walking distance of the not so perfect human confinement village, where there is little motivation to excel in life or break free of the deprivation.
So what about the mares? Their owner cannot afford to get the vet in time, so another unwanted foal will be born. The owner might be able to surrender the foal to a charity – if there is a place in the system for him/her. Otherwise a not so empa-thetic owner will sell the foal, for a fix or a fiver, to the highest bidder. What will become of the foal? Perhaps he/she will be sold onto a child, most likely who has no knowledge about how to care for the animal, or how much responsible ownership (vaccinations, passports, shelter and so on) will cost. He/she will probably be ridden before being even 6 months old.
Seizing horses, taking them from people, doesn’t work – they get replacements. The solution? Support us, Communities For Horses, to reach our goal to set up a sustainable urban grazing project, where owners can keep their horses to required stand-ards. We will work with owners so that the horses are well cared for, and the owners learn how to turn their passion and herit-age for keeping horses into responsible practices. We will give them the opportunity to become law abiding and to learn.
Sheer passion for change cannot enable this to take place, we need funds to get this organisation to a registered charity status, to enable us to work with other organisations and apply for grant funding, to monitor and maintain a green space in a dark valley.