Equestrian Needs Ltd


Older Equines

It is great to know that with improved care and medical treatment, horses are living longer. We asked our Facebook Fans to tell us about their older equines. Some owned horses in their 20's but many had horses in their 30's and some even in their 40's. Read what they had to say by clicking here.

We recognize that sometimes circumstances do not allow you to continue caring for your older horse or pony and Veteran Horse Welfare can offer guidance and assistance in considering alternatives. Click here for more information.

Making the Decision

Sadly, the time will eventually come for us to say goodbye which sometimes means we are faced with making a difficult decision. Ease offer a support service on Preparing for Pet Loss which you may find helpful.

We love our horses so much that is can be very difficult to let them go but the horse's welfare is paramount. It is important that you as a horse owner, understand the reasons for euthanasia and the options available to you so that when the time comes, you can say goodbye in a dignified and peaceful way. There are a number of considerations and below you will find information which we hope will help you make an informed decision.

Farewell - Making the Right Decision is a Human Slaughter Resources Publication & Euthansia Options is a Horse Trust Publication. Both provide information on the methods available and what should be considered before selecting the most appropriate for you and your horse.

Farewell - Making the Right Decision
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Euthanasia Options
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The BHS offers a "Friends at the End" scheme where a trained volunteer will discuss the options and provide support. If you feel you might benefit from talking to someone through the scheme, contact BHS Welfare on 02476 840517 or friendsattheend@bhs.org.uk and they’ll put you in touch with your nearest Friend.

You can read more about the scheme here

There are also discussions and advice available on the many equine forums. Euthanasia is an emotive subject so you may face criticism as well as receiving valuable support should you post information in these websites.


If you have insurance, you may need to inform your insurance company of the situation before taking action so it is prudent to read your policy carefully for full terms and conditions. Speak to your insurance company should you have any queries.

Your Vet

Finally, your vet will provide a valuable source of advice, support and information to help you make an informed decision.


Once you have decided on the best option for you and your horse. You need to consider how best to deal with disposal. There are a number of options available and these can be found in the leaftlets above. Your legal obligations should also be considered and these vary depending on your location so please contact your local authority for confirmation.

Obligations under Defra

Bereavement Services

The loss of your horse can have a drastic impact on your life causing anguish and sorrow, these are natural reactions and whether the loss is animal or human, the stages of mourning are the same. More information is available about Pet Bereavement Services here and Coping with Pet Bereavement

In the event of the death of your horse, you should return your passport to the issuing authority (check each organisation for full details). You can normally ask to have the passport returned to you for sentimental reasons. Please note that in September 2012, the National Equine Database ceased operating.

Last Updated: August 2013