Welfare of equidae: code of practice

This guide covers all domesticated equidae for which a person is responsible, including all horses, ponies, donkeys and hybrids and details a set of principles underpinning equine care.

The need to exhibit normal behaviour patterns

53. Horses and ponies require adequate exercise, or freedom to exercise, and this will require time and effort from the owner or keeper. Animals that are continuously stabled should be either exercised (ridden or in hand) or be given space in which to exercise themselves each day, unless under veterinary advice to do otherwise. Ideally all animals should be permitted a period of free exercise (i.e. not ridden or restrained by lead rein) every day, either via turnout or in a school.

54. Horses, ponies, donkeys and hybrids require calm, consistent and sympathetic handling by competent people. They respond best to a firm but gentle approach and to rewards for correct responses.

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