NEWC member organisations are aware that equines are expensive to keep and know that owners often feel that the costs associated with their care spiral constantly upwards – more so than ever with the increasing costs of feed, bedding, and services we are currently experiencing. The average cost of keeping a horse or pony on DIY livery is around £375 per month and full livery can be more than £1000 per month! When budgets are tight it’s hard for horse and pony owners to know where to start and it's especially challenging during wintertime when access to good grazing reduces. We want to support owners to stay with their equines and help them make the right choices and avoid potentially heart-breaking mistakes.
World Horse Welfare recently hosted NEWC Vice-chair/Blue Cross Horse Welfare Manager Ruth Court, BEVA Veterinary Projects Officer Lucy Grieve and World Horse Welfare Field Officer Rachel Andrews in their webinar to chat about how owners can look to reduce costs whilst still maintaining high standards of care for their equines. Lucy, Ruth and Rachel, who are all mindful of the impact that the Cost of Living Crisis is currently having on all equine owners and keepers, looked at areas where owners can look to save money as well as highlighting where scrimping could impact the health and welfare of their animals.
Mare and Foal Sanctuary has also produced a webinar to help equine owners tackle rising costs without compromising on welfare. Their webinar draws on the expertise of Senior Welfare Advisor, Bex Sherell, and Tor Equine Vet, Richard Frost. Together they discussed ways to manage increased costs related to feed and bedding, veterinary and farriery care, stabling and more.
“We know that some owners are struggling at the moment and we want to help them as much as we can without shame or judgement. As Senior Welfare Advisor at the Mare and Foal Sanctuary I often see cases where owners have tried to cut corners on the wrong things. Unfortunately, some of these cases end in tragedy. The good news is that positive equine welfare choices don’t have to break the bank. We have lots of tips and advice on how to make a little go a long way.”Bex Sherell - Mare and Foal Welfare Outreach and Advice Manager
You can watch the webinars here:
Member charities of NEWC have also collaborated to produce two detailed guides, one on cutting costs not care, and one on rehoming responsibly. In situations where owners are considering rehoming their horses because they can no longer afford to keep them the ‘Cut cost not care’ guide suggests where sufficient savings may be made to help them keep their horse without making any compromise on health or welfare.
If care costs are still too great and rehoming remains the only option NEWC’s ‘Rehome responsibly’ guide helps horse owners consider the options whether selling, loaning or retiring. Euthanasia is also discussed in cases where quality of life is diminishing and rehoming solutions are not appropriate.