Welfare charity Blue Cross is appealing for horse lovers to take part in a new scheme.

In response to the growing number of abandoned horses and ponies, the welfare charity has set up a fostering programme.

Fostering has been used for a number of years by the charity’s small animal centres. The animals are lodged with knowledgeable supporters until new homes can be found.

On the back of this success, the Blue Cross’ Burford centre wants to try it with horses.

The centre seeks volunteers with knowledge and facilities to provide short-term care for its equines, creating more space at the centre.

Vicki Alford, horse manager at the centre, said: “We need to increase capacity to help as many needy horses as we possibly can. We are urgently seeking more foster carers in central England.”

Chrissy Bacon from Worcestershire (pictured) has been part of a trial for the scheme. She has been caring for Blue Cross Connor, a 16hh warmblood-thoroughbred, for two months. Last week he was rehomed.

Foster carers will be responsible for horses’ daily needs, but will be reimbursed and will be given guidance.

Tel: 0300 777 1470.

This news story was first published in the current issue of H&H (19 July 2012)