Horse Condition in Tourism
Striving to improve equine tourism standards
Why Worry About Horse Condition?
We believe that horse condition in tourism internationally is a very big issue. The number of horses involved runs into millions. Consider: horse drawn transport, pack animals as well as riding horses, mules and donkeys.
The vast majority of tourists who utilize horses on holiday tend to book impulsively while on holiday, and not to pre-book through a specialist operator. Most people who ride on vacation are not regular riders and have no idea of what constitutes a horse in an acceptable condition.
Reasons for Poor Condition of Horses in Tourism
In poor countries there is very little spare money for horse care, even though a horse may be the only source of income for an a poor person or family. Thus, horses are often used in conditions unacceptable by western standards, not out of cruelty, but out of desperation or ignorance. Where this is combined with an uncritical or uncaring tourist the result is cruelty.
What you can do about the Condition of Horses in Tourism
By using only horses in an acceptable condition and paying well (above the local rate) for horses in good condition, tourists will be voting with their money for an improvement in the condition of horses.
There is no way a starving man can afford veterinary treatment for his horse. On the other hand if the same horse, when well fed and cared for, can bring in a higher than average income, the attention given to the horse is dramatically improved.
Both I, and Unicorn Trails, the company I founded, believe it is the responsibility of tourists to inform themselves of acceptable standards before travelling.
Utilizing my background as a veterinary surgeon with wide equine, travel and third-world tourism experience, I have written an 8 page leaflet ‘Tourism Horse Condition Check’ which can be ordered FOC from Unicorn Trails or read and copied from our website here. I urge anyone who thinks they may ride abroad to read this and take along a copy.
Please read our the blog article with the full content of how to check the health of your horse before you ride: Check the Health of Your Horse Before you Ride.
In addition you might like to read our blog: When Is My Horse Too Thin?
We hope that this article has been insightful and, even in a small way. helps to improve the lot of horses in tourism. Please remember that this 8 page leaflet ‘Tourism Horse Condition Check’ is available free of charge from Unicorn Trails’ offices.
Wishing you all happy and safe travels