Why fewer owners are replacing their horses *H&H Plus*

  • It seems fewer horse owners in Britain are replacing their horses than in the past. But why? Lucy Higginson, who recently lost her own horse, thinks she may know

    It’s one of the first questions people hear after news breaks that their horse is gone: “Will you get another?” In the space of one brief, awful phone call, I joined that club last September when my livery yard owner phoned to tell me the mare I’ve loved and owned for more than 12 years had been found dead in her box that morning.

    As the rain began falling (relentlessly) in October, “a winter off” seemed in order before deciding how I’d answer that question, fairly certain that the new year would see me plotting to buy and co-own another horse with a fellow rider, as I’ve done successfully in the past.

    But fast forward six months and I’m facing up to life as a “former horse owner”, at least for the foreseeable future. The funds that financed my mare each month seem simply to have evaporated. And as a 40-something woman, I fit both the classic horse-owning demographic and the “sandwich generation”, juggling work with caring for growing children and increasingly frail parents.