Thanks to the efforts of the Society, there is a greater understanding of the specific needs of veterans both physically and emotionally.
We are now more aware of the nutritional requirements, and age related problems that those with veterans may face. We also have a better understanding of the psychology and emotional needs of our equine friends so that issues such as depression and pain management are taken seriously and as a result are better handled.
Just like elderly people, an older horse may have a very active mind but will become deeply frustrated without the necessary mental stimulation. And the staff have witnessed firsthand what it’s like when a horse ‘loses the will to live’. If a horse appears ‘down’ it may be because they can no longer be ridden and are frustrated and bored.
So at the Centre they are taken for walks on a lead, just as you would a dog, and offered a new paddock or even taken to a show for some stimulation. Simple things, but they can give the mood of an older equine a tremendous boost.
Above all, the Society maintains the importance of quality of life over quantity of years and will never keep a horse alive just for the sake of it. They aren’t in any competition to have the ‘oldest veteran horse’ – just the happiest veterans in the UK.
So much has been achieved, but as far as Julianne is concerned there will always be room for improvement, innovation and discovery.
The society also helps with research into different diseases and ailments connected with the veteran and is at present undergoing a national research programme with Hilton Herbs to assist in the debilitating ‘Cushings’ disease.