The recession, rising hay costs and irresponsible breeding are contributing to a rising number of horses being neglected and abandoned.
As a result, the RSPCA has launched its Stable Future appeal to find fosterers to temporarily look after some of the young horses coming into its care.
It’s hoping farmers and country families can act as foster carers to these youngsters until they’re old enough to go back to the RSPCA to be prepared for being ridden and then go on to a permanent home.
Foster carers must have experience handling horses, grazing and be able to take in an for at least six months.
Northumberland sheep and cattle farmer Cheryl Watson (pictured) fostered two youngsters, Zoe-May and After Eight, a year ago and is using them to graze a paddock which previously had been used for sheep.
She says: “We had sheep on there for quite a while and had a bit of a worm problem so decided to get a couple of ponies to break the worm cycle which has worked really well.
“They are really easy to handle, they don’t take up too much time because you don’t have to ride them and for me they have a really practical benefit, they are solving a problem for me.
“I’ve had them about a year and in that time they have become more trusting. I love their curious nature, they want to learn and discover new things – being on a farm with tractors and quad bikes they are certainly getting some new experiences.”
You can apply here or call 0300 123 8000 for an application form.
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