Most horse owners are currently paying strict attention to the British Horse Society guidelines which state that “Horse welfare is critical and grooms or the sole carer for a horse should travel to provide care for horses. Where horses are kept in livery the BHS advises that horse owners respect the protocol put in place by the yard owner or manager and work as a team to agree a care plan for your horse(s).”

As is often the way with horses, we cannot always ensure everything with them goes to plan. After all, our horses do not understand that we are under lockdown and that they must be sensible.

Homebred thoroughbred, and ex-racehorse, Max proved the truth of this just last week. Whilst only being 6 years old, Max is the epitome of a sensible, well-behaved horse. His owner and breeder, Tim O’Callaghan said: “Max is ridden out daily and lives in his everyday surroundings, staying out in the field with other horses just over the fence. Last Thursday morning, after he had been ridden out, Max was moved to the adjacent field – where he spent a large part of the winter - still able to see other horses over the fence and no big change to his routine.” What started as a canter down the hill in his new patch, resulted in Max spooking, becoming unsettled, running at and trying to jump the field gate. Tim added: “In his whole life, Max has never done anything like this. Alarmingly, as he hit it, the metal gate bent violently and the horse got one of his hindlegs stuck right through it. As he struggled to get free, I feared the worst”.

Max was exceptionally lucky. He has some horrible scrapes on his legs that - owing to quick thinking, a lot of hosing and having a decent first-aid kit to hand - have managed to, so far, avoid a vet call out. But it is a stark reminder that horses can be very unpredictable. Even when at home, out in the field, unforeseen accidents can and do happen. It is when accidents such as this happen that effective horse insurance is so important to have.

In the current climate of lockdown and finances being stretched, cancelling or downgrading an insurance policy can seem a way to save a few pounds. Tim said: “Max has raced before and since retiring from the track has done a bit of show-jumping. You normally think that if an accident is going to happen, it’d be when you are out and about. Something like this field accident could have turned out really nasty for the horse. It makes me feel reassured that I haven’t considered changing Max’s insurance since we haven’t been able to go out competing this spring.”

About SEIB

SEIB have been providing insurance for horses for over 50 years. This experience allows us to tailor policies to suit your circumstances and ensure that you and your horses are covered should the worst happen. If you’d like advice on your insurance please call us on 01708 850000.