World Horse Welfare is appealing for donations to help alleviate the suffering of rubbish dump horses in Mexico.

The horses, which are used to tow heavy, overloaded rubbish carts, work extremely long hours, often walking through deep, decaying rubbish and broken glass. Their tack, made from materials such as plastic sacking, is often ill fitting and causes injuries and wounds.

“The horses are vital to the families that own them,” explained Ian Kelly, director of International Training. “If their horses didn’t collect the rubbish every single day, they wouldn’t have any money – they would be close to starvation. However, they have neither the expertise nor the materials to harness their horses properly.”

“This is where World Horse Welfare can help, with the support of the public. We provide mobile veterinary clinics to treat the horses, as well as running training programmes to teach local people how to shoe horses correctly and to make comfortable harnesses.”

A training course is currently running in Veracruz, one of Mexico’s poorest states, and has been very popular amongst the locals.

Such programmes are designed to improve horse welfare long term by training some of the students as instructors so that they can pass on their skills to their community.

“We’ve been working in Mexico for 18 years,” Hannah Colbourn, World Horse Welfare PR officer, told H&H. “We currently have two saddlers and two farriers based there – both of whom are past students – but we want to highlight the fact that we need to continue helping the horses out there.”

In Mexico a little goes a long way, and for just £10 five horses could be shod with correctly fitting shoes, and £100 could make 1,000 safe and comfortable harnesses.

To donate, visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org/donate