A website designed to help tackle the problem of unwanted horses and the dangers of loaning your horse in the UK will be launched in November.

Horses4Homes aims to help owners loan, rehome or share their horse or pony in a safe manner.

The site is being developed by Rebecca Evans, the vice chairman of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC).

She said: “This is for people who care about their horse but through no fault of their own have had to give them up.

“We will invite applicants to apply for that horse and screen them according to the owner’s requirements. We will strongly recommend that applicants try the horse, and that owners visit where the horse will be kept.”

She added: “If the owner is unavailable to check the suitability of the home, we can provide a suitable welfare representative to check on their behalf, for a small fee.”

Horses4Homes is also creating a loan agreement form so if a home has not been found after six months, Horses4Homes will approach charities to see if they can take the horse – or suggest it is put to sleep.

Horses registered on the site will be checked against the National Equine Database and Stolen Horses Register.

It is free to advertise your horse on the site but there is a nominal fee of £10 to be screened and considered for taking on a horse, and a further £50 if a match is found.

Lee Hackett of the British Horse Society said: “It looks like a good idea on paper. We are yet to see the finished site but are happy with the way they are working with charities.”

For more information visit: www.hauctions.net

This news story was first published in the current issue of Horse & Hound (13 October, 2011)