The number of unwanted horses in the UK has increased in recent years. It is therefore important to identify factors that indicate whether a horse can be rehomed and how long it takes to be rehomed. Data from 1 January 2013 until 30 March 2014 were extracted from an equine rehoming charity’s database. Exposure variables were examined using multivariable logistic and Cox regression. In total, 791 horses were included in the study and 410 (51.8%) were rehomed during the study period. Median time until rehomed was 39 days (IQR 24–75). Horses whose owner was prepared to transfer ownership were nearly three times more likely to be rehomed than those available for loan. Horses deemed suitable for beginner riders had higher odds of finding a new home, compared with those needing an advanced rider. Horses that were only suitable as unridden companions took longer to find a new home than rideable horses. A restricted rehoming radius (<50 miles) also resulted in longer time to rehoming. Findings from this study can be used to inform rehoming strategies but also to identify horses less likely to be rehomed, and thus where alternative options should be considered.
- unwanted horses
- equine charity
- logistic regression
- survival analysis
- equine welfare
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Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Ethics approval This study received ethical approval from the Royal Veterinary College’s Social Sciences Research Ethical Review Board (SR2018-1700).
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
Data availability statement No data are available.
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