over snowy hedge Jo Grundy

Jo Grundy

There are millions of horses across the world, many of them domesticated. These beautiful creatures (who mostly enjoy company of other horses and donkeys) often are seen in fields, when not stabled at night. We can help horses by avoiding the support of any kind of ‘entertainment’ using horses (that includes horse racing, which has many welfare issues). If you take HRT medicine, ask your doctor to not use brands that are made from urine of chained horses with their foals killed.

If you keep horses, do an inventory of your paddock and stable to prevent horse theft, and ensure you have the proper time and finances to keep horses, before adopting or fostering. You can report concerns (or get advice) at World Horse Welfare.

If you know children (or adults) who care for horses, gift a good book on horse care (also good for adults to read) that covers safety, feeding, grooming, bathing, tack cleaning and fair aid. Just imagine if every horse guardian owned a copy of this book, it could prevent so many issues.

One issue that is often upsetting is seeing tethered horses near roundabouts and on small roads. This is often a common practice within travelling communities, who don’t own land, so wish their horses to graze. As long as the horses have water and are regularly moved, this is unfortunately legal. However you can still report concerns to RSPCA. What is more helpful is likely finding local people with land, to offer it to those who resort to such measures, rather than making judgements.

One area of contention in New York City is the horses used to give carriage rides in Central Park. Although it looks a nice ‘memory’, many horses are spooked by traffic, and several have been killed or injured in car accidents. A local nonprofit wants the horses to go to sanctuaries and have created a  beautiful vintage-style electric car that is cheap and clean to run, and would give more profits to drivers, for a nice tourist ride, but no risk to animals.

help for addiction to gambling

Gamblers Anonymous is a bit like Alcoholics Anonymous, where you can safely get help for the addiction often only known by ‘the banker and the bookie’. It may help to look up welfare issues for greyhounds and racehorses, rather than just think of gambling in monetary terms. Remember that playing the lottery is also a form of gambling (and a silly one at that). You’re more likely to get killed by lightning on the way to buying your ticket, than to actually win it. Quakers refuse lottery funding, saying it takes advantage of desperate poor people, and in order for someone to win, another person has to lose.

the wild ponies of the New Forest

The New Forest is home to 600 km of beautiful woodland, heath and river valleys where ponies, deer and cattle roam free in peace, with most areas being free from cars. There is over 140 miles of walking land to be enjoyed. The ‘capital’ of the New Forest is a lovely town called Lymington, where you can take a ferry to Isle of Wight (to Yarmouth). Dogs obviously love parts of the New Forest, but try to steer clear of areas rich in bluebells and mushrooms, as both are toxic.

New Forest ponies are semi-feral so never touch or feed them – they have plenty of natural food and could bite or kick if disturbed. ‘Verderers’ are employed to watch over ponies and attend incidents. Animals have right of way on New Forest roads. So if driving nearby, carry an animal emergency card as it’s a legal requirement to report accidents. Read more on making roads safer for wildlife.

There are around 5000 wild New Forest ponies, who have been here for around 2000 years. Grazing helps to protect rare species like chamomile, and dates back to when commoners were allowed to graze land in return for adhering to strict laws. Southern damselflies even lay their eggs in the water-filled hoofprints of ponies and cattle! The ponies are rounded up each year in staggered ‘drifts’ to check their health and help wean foals.

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