During lockdown, the majority have walked more than we have in our lives, desperate to get as far away from the house as possible. Our lovely ‘Leafy Lytham’ is just off the country lanes with a fair few horse roaming the fields.

Recently however, there have been increasing reports of horses being seriously injured, and some having to be put to sleep. The government believe that this is due to the public taking country walks in lockdown.

Horse owners and the BHS (British Horse Society) have sent out a plea to stop feeding their horses, it is important to understand the consequences, unfortunately it is too late for some.

Beth had to make the terrible decision to put her beloved horse to sleep after a stranger walking past the field fed her horse a mystery food. Beth has shared her experience in the hope that she can raise awareness of the dangers of feeding horses.

“Two years ago I lost my pride and joy because someone fed my horse something. My neighbour had seen someone feeding her food from out of a bag but like other non-horse folk, he didn’t understand the consequences and understandably didn’t tell me straight away.

Within the space of a week, my strong-minded mare turned to skin and bone. She had severe diarrhoea, swollen lumps all over her body and I was having to watch the life drain out of her as I desperately held on to the hope that all the medication she was being given, would fix her. The vet attended almost every day to monitor her and complete blood tests. In the end, it became too much for her as she could barely walk, and her immune system effectively shut down.

I had to make the worst decision to have her put to sleep knowing it could have all been prevented.

Nothing in this world can bring her back. But what I can do in her memory, is to educate members of the public to understand that feeding an animal that is not theirs, is not acceptable. It may seem harmless to feed them treats, but please be mindful that it could have severe consequences and could rip someone else’s world apart, like it did to mine.”