Isolation Hospital Unit Refurbishment Appeal

Can you help newly rescued horses in their most desperate hour?

A time when their life hangs in the balance and our hospital facilities mean the difference between life and death.

HorseWorld’s Isolation Unit is the first port of call for rescued horses to be quarantined and receive potentially life-saving treatment on arrival at the charity.

The specialist equine hospital building is essential in nursing sick and injured horses back to health

The unit was built 16 years ago and the stable flooring selected was cushioned rubber mats which were then further cut down to fit exact stable and barn dimensions. At the time this was a safer option than a concrete floor but almost two decades of wear and tear nursing sick horses back to health has taken its toll.

Despite taking as much care as possible over the years, the mats are now badly worn. The resulting gaps allow urine to seep through and collect underneath causing bacteria and ammonia fumes that are damaging to the lungs of horses as well as humans.

Cleaning means that these extremely heavy mats must be lifted, dragged out and washed both sides with disinfectant as well as washing the concrete floor underneath. This is laborious, unhygienic and takes time away from working directly with the horses. It can only be done when there are no horses using the isolation facilities which are in great demand.

The mats need to go back in the exact order, or they will not fit leading to dangerous uneven sections and ridges. Any ridging means bedding and faeces fall under the mat causing a trip hazard for both the horses and the staff.

In addition to these hazards, the grooms often end up jarring their arms as the tools catch on the raised edges during mucking out.

Some horses are unable to stand at the time of their rescue. The rubber flooring provides warmth, comfort and hep prevent sores on a horse that is spending most of its time lying down.

Some horses will have foot conditions, injuries or neurological problems causing instability which may mean they could fall. The rubber matting is essential for horses like these.

Above: Buddy couldn't stand or even lift his head on arrival at HorseWorld. He had to be turned over every two hours day and night and needed to be physically lifted to his feet for the first two weeks he was with us. He is now fit and healthy and works with disadvantaged children on our Discovery Courses

The current mats have reached a point where they could be hazardous to both horses and staff but there is no other alternative option so must carry on using them. If we are unable to purchase and install new safer flooring, within a year we would be looking at removing the mats completely and the horses having to stand and lie on concrete floors.
In our hospital facilities, many horses are too weak to stand when they arrive so they always have very deep straw or shavings beds on top of the rubber mats. The problem is that as they scramble in their attempts to get up, they wear through to the mats or in the case of them having to be removed, the concrete floor. Many are very emaciated so the concrete floor is a problem as their bones are protruding so having the bed directly on the concrete floor means they can scrape their hips and shoulders while they flail their legs in an attempt to get up, no matter how deep it is. Also, for those who are too weak to lift their heads, the bedding can't be deep as they could suffocate.

Buddy in the video below is now fit and healthy and is helping vulnerable children in our Discovery Courses. This video of him on arrival at HorseWorld demonstrates the need for the cushioned floor under the bedding so they don't scrape protruding bones on the floor whilst trying to get themselves up when they are too weak to stand.

Here, he is being turned in preparation for lifting him to his feet. For the first two weeks after his rescue, he had to be turned and lifted every two hours to prevent pressure sores.

This appeal is to purchase new, sealed, cushioned rubber flooring that is expertly fitted to each of the three stables and barn, attached to the floor with resin adhesive and sealed all round. All perimeters and doorways would be sealed similarly with heavy duty doorway strips fixed down. We have trialled this system in our veterinary area and it has proved a great success.

During the Covid-19 health crisis, we find that donations have greatly reduced and we've lost all the income from our Open Days. We still however have our horses to care for and seek support to help us cover this essential element of their welfare costs.

Your support will make a huge difference to newly admitted horses, ponies and donkeys who are at a point in their lives when they have the greatest need.

Thank you

£6417.87 raised towards our target of £5,300

Thank you to...

Maeve Rochester10 months ago

For my great love and compassion of these beautiful animals.


Peta Rowley10 months ago

£25.00 +£6.25 GiftAid

Helen Dowzall10 months ago

Received an email requesting help

£20.00 +£5 GiftAid

HorseWorld 10 months ago

Donations received through phone call or cheque

Olive Mary Nichols10 months ago

To assist your brilliant work

£50.00 +£12.50 GiftAid