Equine Charities Forge New Welfare Partnership with Farriers

The Horse Trust and Redwings Horse Sanctuary have united to create an online course for farriers on Equine Welfare and Legislation, as part of their ongoing commitment to improving the lives of equines in the UK.

Farriers are sometimes the only equine professionals to come into contact with owners of equines whose welfare is compromised. By reaching owners early with helpful advice or signposting to assistance, farriers can help stop potential welfare cases from arising, which is essential to the work of the charities in fighting the current equine welfare crisis in the UK.   

Similarly, equine welfare charities regularly come across horrific cases of neglect, many of which include extreme cases of negligence involving feet. For cases such as these, often the key to a successful prosecution is the evidence provided by the farriers. Giving evidence in court as a professional witness can be daunting but the difference a farrier testimony can make is invaluable.

Welfare charities recognise that farriers are at the forefront of equine care provision, they build strong relationships with clients and are therefore in a unique position to promote positive welfare.

This course was created based on the vast experience that The Horse Trust and Redwings Horse Sanctuary have in dealing with welfare concerns, and it draws on the work that has already been done in the sector around important issues such as biosecurity and disease prevention.

Designed with the busy farrier in mind, the course is 100% online, easy to follow and packed full of additional resources and helpful contacts. The course will provide farriers with the tools and resources to provide advice, report concerns, attend welfare cases and provide evidence to a court if required.

Both equine welfare charities and farriers are vitally important to the health and welfare of equines in the UK and, by working together, expertise and resources can be shared to develop knowledge, and improve the lives of equines across the country.

Jeanette Allen, Chief Executive of The Horse Trust:

“Throughout our history The Horse Trust has always had strong ties to the craft of farriery, recognising the intrinsic role they play with horses. Our experience dealing with legal cases involving equine neglect highlighted the important roles farriers play and this course shows our commitment to supporting and giving them confidence in this area. By collaborating with Redwings, we have been able to share a wealth of expertise from the equine charity sector to create a much-needed resource that all farriers can access and benefit from.”

Lynn Cutress, Chief Executive of Redwings:

“We are really proud to have collaborated with The Horse Trust on this training. We know farriers are often at the coal face of welfare issues, especially as they establish their businesses after qualifying when they may more often encounter novice owners who require extra help and support. The offline course we developed to help with this issue has been shown to broaden their understanding of equine welfare and the role of welfare organisations. Now, thanks to The Horse Trust, this course is accessible to many more farriers and we hope it builds their confidence to call on us if ever they would like support.”

Ben Benson AWCF, DipWCF, Master Farrier, ATF:

“In today’s society we see so much more litigation and accountability that as working farriers we are often asked by clients or horse owners to make decisions or give opinions without sometimes the ability to fully understand what we as the professional can and cannot say in situations that we come across. Sometimes it is even just knowing what to say or how to say it appropriately. This is an excellent course that all farriers and apprentices can do that really does add to our professional development. Thank you for putting it together for us in such an easy format!”

Daniel Harman AWCF, Master Farrier:

“With the course being 100% online it makes it an easily accessible way to achieve some annual CPD points, in an area that is really relevant and topical for us at the moment. As a training farrier, I think this course will be a great introduction to welfare and legislation for apprentice and newly qualified farriers, who may not have come across any issues in practice yet. I think it will help build their confidence in knowing what a welfare case is, and on when, how, and who to report it to.”

To find out more and to register your interest in the course, please email: training@horsetrust.org.uk

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