Local equine charity Bransby Horses received more calls from horse owners struggling to afford the upkeep of their animals in the first three months of this year than it did in the whole of 2021.
The impact of the rise in the cost of living has seen a steep increase in calls to the charity’s welfare hotline, which offers ‘free, non-judgemental advice in the strictest confidence’.
Last year Bransby Horses, which is based near Lincoln, received 108 calls from people looking for advice on what to do if they could no longer keep their horse. The charity also received 22 direct requests from people to take ownership of their equine.
So far in 2022, the charity has already received 25 direct requests to take ownership of horses from private homes, which is more than the whole of 2021. Half of them stated that this was due to financial reasons.
This comes after recent research by the Institute for Government on the ‘cost of living crisis’, which states that a combination of high inflation outstripping wage increases and upcoming tax rises are squeeing incomes for many households. Fuel and energy prices, for example, are already having a big impact on household bills.
Rachel Jenkinson, Welfare Manager at Bransby Horses, said: “We are concerned as a sector that the current financial situation, that is the rise in living costs, is having an impact on many horse owners.
“During the pandemic there was a huge increase in demand for horses and ponies, so we are aware there are more privately owned horses in homes. Now we suspect the value of a horse may decline as the costs to keep them increase.
“We urge any owner who is concerned about their horse or struggling financially, to get in touch with us so we can help before it becomes a problem. Although we may not be able to assist with taking over ownership, we can offer advice and support to ensure the best outcome for everyone.”
Meanwhile, the need for the charity’s existence is growing, but Bransby Horses is funded entirely by public donations so needs help to continue to provide a safe haven for mistreated and abandoned horses – make a donation here.