Getting out and about in your local area, or further afield, may mean you’ll encounter horses, for example, when crossing a public right of way with horses in the field or accessing a multi-use path that runs alongside an equine paddock.
Recently, there have been increasing reports on social media, of horses being seriously injured, made extremely ill and in some cases having died because members of the public have fed the horses, put grass cuttings into their field or because of their direct actions, such as not closing a gate.
Although it may seem harmless your kindness may kill! It is important not to feed horses because:
If you cross land with a right of way or multi-use path where horses are kept, the above points will be applicable and also ensure you:
The tragic consequences that can happen if you feed a horse
Beth’s world was torn apart when she had to make the agonising decision to put her horse to sleep as a direct consequence of a member of the public feeding her horse.
Beth wants to share her experience to raise awareness of the dangers of feeding horses due to the devastating impact it can have on the animal and their owners.
“Two years ago I lost my pride and joy because someone fed my horse something. My neighbour had seen someone feeding her food from out of a bag but like other non-horse folk, he didn’t understand the consequences and understandably didn’t tell me straight away.
Within the space of a week, my strong-minded mare turned to skin and bone. She had severe diarrhoea, swollen lumps all over her body and I was having to watch the life drain out of her as I desperately held on to the hope that all the medication she was being given, would fix her. The vet attended almost every day to monitor her and complete blood tests. In the end, it became too much for her as she could barely walk, and her immune system effectively shut down.
I had to make the worst decision to have her put to sleep knowing it could have all been prevented.
Nothing in this world can bring her back. But what I can do in her memory, is to educate members of the public to understand that feeding an animal that is not theirs, is not acceptable. It may seem harmless to feed them treats, but please be mindful that it could have severe consequences and could rip someone else’s world apart, like it did to mine.”
Horse owners and landowners – download your free warning sign:
We also offer an A4 plastic sign with pre-drilled holes for easy display:
Further information on The Countryside Codes
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