Horses and ponies are popular animals; there are estimated to be between 600,000 and a million in the UK.
Individual horses and ponies, vary in size, body shape and temperament. Although their working lives, the period when they can be ridden or driven, may be much shorter, they can live well into their thirties or longer.
The five welfare needs
There is no one 'perfect' way to care for all horses and ponies because every animal and every situation is different. It is up to you how you look after your horse or pony, but you must take reasonable steps to ensure that you meet all its needs.
Your duty to care
Owning and caring for a horse or pony is great fun and immensely rewarding. But it is also a big responsibility and a long-term commitment, in terms of care, hard work and finances.
Read more about the Animal Welfare Act and your duty of care to your animals.