Horse & Hound
One winter too many?
THE colder months can be especially challenging for the retired horse. Since recognising a decline in an animal’s condition can be difficult when you see him on a daily basis, it may be wise to ask a vet or an experienced friend for an objective opinion on his quality of life and whether it is fair to put a him through another winter.
If it is time for a dignified end, it is vital that a horse is formally identified prior to euthanasia. His passport and microchip should be checked by the vet and a consent form signed by the owner.
Any horse destroyed on humane grounds must meet certain criteria to satisfy the requirements of a mortality insurance policy. Contact your insurance company in advance; they may ask for veterinary confirmation of his identity and the reason for euthanasia, and, in some cases, a post mortem.
Help is at hand if you need advice and support. World Horse Welfare offers a Just In Case information pack and an end-of-life helpline (worldhorsewelfare.org), while the British Horse Society Friends At The End initiative can put you in touch with a trained volunteer (bhs.org.uk) to assist you through the process.