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Monday, September 05, 2011

World Horse Welfare Launches Inaugural Farriery Education Program in Saudi Arabia

The King Abdul Aziz Arabian Horse Centre, where the first World Horse Welfare farrier training program in Saudi Arabia will take place (photo courtesy of the charity)
The British-based charity World Horse Welfare has been called upon to share its expertise in farriery and hoof care for the first time in Saudi Arabia.

Two British farrier representatives, Tom Burch and Mark Watson, have been invited to share their knowledge and skills with existing farriers, veterinarians and horse trainers in the Middle Eastern country next month. The farriery trainers have been asked by the Saudi Ministry of Agriculture to carry out an intensive course called Introduction to Basic Farrier Practices to a group of 12 students.

During the course, the students will increase their knowledge in subjects such as basic horse anatomy, shoeing faults, conformation, horse handling and body language, as well as foot balance and trimming.

HRH The Princess Royal meets World Horse Welfare Dan
HRH Princess Anne is President of World Horse Welfare. In July, she visited one of the charity's farms where British horses are rehabilitated and offered for adoption.
(World Horse Welfare photo)

The aim of the course, which takes place in the city of Riyadh on October 17-18, 2011, is to teach the group the basic theory behind the importance of correct foot shape and shoeing to therefore help horse owners care for their animals.

Burch and Watson will act as key speakers and trainers, conducting lectures, performing demonstrations, and providing opportunities for the students to work closely with their horses.

It is hoped that the program will be extended into other areas in the future as the partnership between World Horse Welfare and horse owners in Saudi Arabia will continue until December 2017.

London farrier Tom Burch with the Metropolitan Police
Farrier Trainer Tom Burch said “We are really pleased to have been asked to assist with the program.  It is rewarding to know that we have been approached for our expert advice and skills and that we will be able to make a positive difference to the horses and their owners.

“There are also plans for the partnership to continue for many more years, providing us with an opportunity to get out into the communities and help the local people and their working horses in the future.”

Ian Kelly, Director of International Training at World Horse Welfare said, “This is the first time that an international horse charity has been invited to Saudi Arabia so we are extremely honored to be taking part in the program.”

Note: this article was received as a press release from World Horse Welfare, a charity that Hoofcare & Lameness has supported for many years. Tom Burch RSS has a long connection with London's Metropolitan Police horses as farrier and has been involved in charitable farrier training programs all over the world for many years. Tom was my tour guide of the military and police horses of London one day years ago--a day I will never forget! Farrier Sergeant Mark Watson AWCF trains British Army farriers at the Melton Mowbray Animal Defense Center. 

This type of program is proof that everyone, regardless of his or her profession, has some way to give back to society and to the world's horses. There are many programs around the world that would welcome the help of professionals experienced with horses.  

Best wishes to Tom and Mark for their involvement with World Horse Welfare.


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