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 (worldhorse­, while the British Horse Society Friends At The End initiative can put you in touch with a trained volunteer ( to assist you through the process.

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