This Christmas, World Horse Welfare’s chief executive Roly Owers (pictured) shares his five Christmas wishes for horses worldwide with H&H readers.

From promoting the cause of working equines to the growing problem of fly-grazing and the difficulties of rehoming, the charity has had a busy 2014 — and the charity needs your help.

Watch Roly’s Christmas video message below

Roly’s five Christmas wishes

Wish 1 – Greater understanding of the crucial role working horses, donkeys and mules play in the world today

“With over one hundred million working equids around the globe, these animals are the keystone of communities and economies worldwide. Many families wish desperately for a better, safer future and rely on their working horse to make it possible for that wish to come true.”

Wish 2 — Each and every one of you will act further to help horses

“The charity’s Welfare Line (08000 480180) has received thousands of calls in 2014 and World Horse Welfare’s Field Officers have investigated an enormous number of horses in distress.

“The stark reality is that, in the UK and across Europe, horses have never needed our support more — and by that I mean your support and ours.”

Wish 3 — The increase in rehoming horses from charities will continue

“It is so important that we are able to take in welfare cases that so urgently need our care, and we can only do this if we are able to rehome more horses from our four centres around the country. Could you rehome a horse from a charity? If so, visit www.worldhorsewelfare.org/rehoming.”

Wish 4 — The welfare of horses involved in sport remains paramount

“The theme of collective responsibility is never more apparent than with the world of sport.

“We believe it is good news that horse sport is growing across Europe and around the world, but the importance of supporting and protecting horse welfare has to grow too.”

Wish 5 — Don’t breed

“The reality is that in the UK there are simply too many horses for too few loving homes. Please don’t make this situation worse.

“With 6,000-7,000 horses at risk of abandonment and neglect in the UK already, the charity would like to encourage any would-be breeder to make sure they have all the facts before they add to the horse population.”