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Help Provide Life Saving Veterinary Care for Horses in Need

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Since the day we first opened in 1886 we continue to rely on the generosity of the public to keep our doors open. Over the years you have helped us provide love, protection and care to horses, ponies and donkeys from many different backgrounds. Whether providing a peaceful final home to brave equine civil servants like Sefton and Echo following the Hyde Park bombings, or a first real chance at a peaceful life for welfare cases, your help and trust in our work has allowed us to give them the truly wonderful lives they deserve.

Last year we shared with you the story of sweet Balmoral, who was a victim of the current economic crisis. Thanks to your incredible donations, we were able to give him the urgent veterinary help he needed and also raise enough funds to give sanctuary to a very sweet pint size Shetland named George and his best friend Clifford who came from a small foundation in Devon that desperately needed help.

When the foundation discovered that they had an outbreak of Strangles at their site, adorable little George was sadly found to be the carrier of this awful bacteria. Unable to give him the onsite veterinary treatment he desperately needed, the charity reached out to The Horse Trust in the hope that we could help. Strangles is a distressing respiratory disease that is highly contagious and very painful for horses infected. In severe cases it can be deadly. Even with our own resources stretched, we knew we had some of the essential veterinary facilities in place to help treat this poor tiny soul.

When little George arrived, he needed complex medical care to clear him of Strangles and ensure he was no longer a carrier or threat to other horses. Thanks to our onsite vet, Nicky, access to an isolation unit and diagnostic imaging equipment, we were able to safely keep George and his companion Clifford separate from our herd and begin this adorable Shetland’s treatment journey towards a healthy, happy life.

Treating George for his Strangles has been incredibly hard. At the best of times Strangles carriers are difficult to treat, but because he is so tiny, the treatment was an even greater challenge for our specialist care team. Through the use of an endoscope, our vet was able to see inside his guttural pouches to identify his infectious chondroids and remove them in the least stressful manner possible. Frustratingly, during treatment the endoscope suffered a fault due to wear and tear, requiring a £4,000 repair to this essential tool. Despite this uphill journey, our team worked tirelessly to help George and after several treatments to remove the infectious chondroids, we were thrilled when our vet confirmed he was free from Strangles.

It has been magical to see him thrive, and watch his health and happiness grow with each new day. Without access to this type of veterinary care, George would have been a danger to other horses and would have suffered an extremely limited quality of life, kept all alone in long term isolation. Little George is just one small but mighty example of the important impact that the onsite access to medications, supplies and equipment have to the health and happiness of all the horses in our care.

Unfortunately, much of the essential veterinary equipment and facilities like our Isolation Unit are older and need urgent replacement or repairs. That’s why this spring, The Horse Trust is asking you to please help us raise £45,000 needed to secure vital medical equipment like endoscopes, x-ray and ultrasound machines as well as provide much needed repairs to our Isolation Unit. Not only are these medical supplies and facilities vital to us continuing to treat severe welfare cases, but they also allow us to provide immediate lifesaving care to many of our loyal retired service horses. Without it, their stories may have all been very different.

We know with your compassion and support we can continue to provide the lifesaving treatments and specialist quality care these horses truly deserve.

Any donation you can make is deeply appreciated.

From The Horse Trust Team and I, thank you!

Thank you for your continued kindness, generosity and support.

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