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Planning Retirement Online

Never too late to love horses

August 2016

Britain is a nation of horse lovers, but many of us missed out on riding and horses in your youth. If seeing the great medal win at the Olympics sparked an interest, there is now a lovely way for people our age to become involved in horses and find a completely new and fascinating interest without actually having to take to the saddle.

Hundreds of horses in the country are rescued every year after being found to be in very bad condition or having suffered poor treatment.

Many of these horses are skinny or weak, others have severely overgrown hooves; some are infected with lice and worms and some have had so little interaction with humans that they are simply terrified of people.

The reasons why people neglect or mistreat horses are diverse, but the result is that without the charities that exist in the country, many of these horses would go on suffering.

The main horse rescue charities in Britain include World Horse Welfare, Redwings, Bransby, Horse World and the Horse Trust but there are many others across every area helping to get horses back to full health and finding them new homes.

Few give riding lessons, but these horse charities offer a wonder opportunity for people our age to get involved in horses in a safe way, even if we have never had anything to do with these animals before.

All of them rely on public donations, so there is a raft of fund raising activities, fetes and other events to help here. Then many of them rely on support to man their visitor centres, cafes and other areas; again a great opportunity to get involved. If you are energetic, then of course all horses require having their areas cleaned (mucking out) plus grooming and feeding; then there may be field checks to be done and all the charities have paperwork that needs to be dealt with. Some horse charities require people to help exercise or get involved with horses in other ways.

As an example, the Horse Trust is currently recruiting volunteers to help at national equestrian events. These include events such as Royal Windsor Horse Show, the Horse of the Year Show and our annual Horses, Hounds and Heroes event at The Horse Trust. They require friendly and enthusiastic people to help us with a variety of tasks at events including selling merchandise, talking about our work, fundraising and selling raffle tickets.

The World Horse Welfare is looking for people to help out at a major fund raising clay pigeon shoot they are holding in Scotland – and so the opportunities go on.

Whatever you get involved in,  you will be given full instructions, so it is a great way to start learning about these animals that were such an essential part of everyday life just a few generations ago.

Of course, there can be upsetting moments when new horses are brought into the centres in severely distressed states,  but that is more than offset by the rewards of watching the horses being treated and seeing them get back into tiptop shape.

Once the horses have been brought back into full health, then the next task is to try and rehome the animals. Finding people wanting to take a horse and pairing up requests with suitable animals all takes time and effort.  

Horses can offer an absorbing and fascinating new interest in life and there really are opportunities across the country. Check the web or start with some of the main horse charities below:

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