Irish Horse Welfare Trust Becomes FormaHoof Partner

Discover FormaHoof's partnership with Ireland's largest equine charity, IHWT. See how they're advancing horse welfare and education in Ireland.
Irish Horse Welfare Trust

FormaHoof Ltd is pleased to announce it’s support for The Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Ireland’s largest dedicated equine charity.

Sharon Power, Co-Founder & C.E. of the Irish Horse Welfare Trust, comments:

“We are delighted to have FormaHoof join our Welfare Aware Scheme. Companies that join up support the work of the IHWT and demonstrate to their customers and the public that they have a commitment to equine welfare. FormaHoof is a company committed to the welfare of equines and care of the equine hoof. As the old saying goes ‘No hoof, no horse’.”

FormaHoof CEO Alexander Papantoniou comments:

“Formahoof is extremely pleased to announce our support of the IHWT. We have been impressed by the organisations efforts in promoting horse welfare in Ireland, and have found that it’s progressive goals reflect our product ethos, which is “to provide next generation and compassionate, non-invasive treatment for most equine hoof pathologies” contributing to an overall increase in horse welfare. We look forward to the possibilities for further collaboration in the space of compassionate hoof-care education in the future.”

About IHWT

The Irish Horse Welfare Trust, Charity No. CHY14634 was established in 1999 and formally set up in 2001 to help the plight of neglected horses in Ireland and was Ireland’s largest dedicated equine charity.

It was established to provide a dedicated centre that is equipped for dealing with the rehabilitation and re-homing equines. We care for an average of 65 horses and ponies at our Equine Centre in Woodenbridge, Co Wicklow. In recent years we have had up to 100 rescue horses in care and the IHWT has become a specialist rehabilitation centre for Thoroughbred type horses.

At our Equine Centre we deal with many rescues most of which have suffered from severe neglect and cruelty. Our staff will work with local Gardai, NGO’s and Government authorities when necessary.

The cost of running IHWT is over €300,000 per annum so we rely on grants, fundraising and donations from members of the public to continue helping horses that have suffered. The length of rehabilitation of equines at IHWT will vary depending on injury and the condition of the horse/pony when they are rescued. IHWT has a huge rescue and re-homing success rate with hundreds of horses and ponies re-homed in Ireland, all who would have died through neglect if it had not been for intervention. In some cases, decisions have to be made to put an equine to sleep, in order to minimise an ongoing disease or serious complication.

We are grateful to the Department of Agriculture for an ex-gratia grant in 2019 of 75,000 and Horse Racing Ireland for a grant of 70,000. This is an essential support for our operations.

You can make a real difference by making a donation or by re-homing one of our rescues.

More information can be found on

IHWT – Retraining Racehorses Ireland

IHWT through THE THOROUGHBRED CLUB aims to support owners, loaners and riders of former racehorses and to promote the re-training and re-homing of ex-racehorses throughout Ireland. Hundreds of horses leave racing each year. Many of these horses could be re-schooled for other disciplines. The Thoroughbred horse is intelligent and versatile and can be re trained for many other disciplines including Dressage, eventing, hacking, showjumping, Polo.

It takes a minimum of 6-9 months to re-train and re-school an ex-racehorse and this time can increase depending on the individual. Racehorses come out of a highly stressful career and it takes time for them to settle into a new type of work. Most horses adapt happily given the chance and can go on to do other disciplines such as Hacking, Dressage or Show jumping. They are however not suitable for novice riders and need a lot of care and attention.

Ex-racehorses should be assessed during the first few weeks for any behavioural or other problems. They should be visited by the dentist and chiropractor. The horses have to adjust to a new diet and routine (especially those coming straight out of racing). Individual diets need to be formulated. Only when all of the above is done can the re-schooling begin.

Re-training starts with weeks of long reining and then some lunging before a rider is introduced. Once ridden work commences horses are worked with 3 or 4 times weekly in a combination of short flatwork sessions and hacks out – in company first and then hacking alone. Although some ex racehorses find this very stressful.

The horse should get lots of daily handling and grooming and daily turnout in preparation for a new career living in a new home.

Many ex-racehorses that have come through the IHWT have gone on to have successful careers in show jumping and as leisure and riding club horses.

IHWT Retraining of Racehorses Ireland also offers support to people who have taken on ex-racehorses and may be experiencing difficulties. Master Classes and training clinics are run and anyone who is interested in attending these events should email:

IHWT Educational Courses

Over the last ten years the Irish Horse Welfare Trust has developed a number of Education Programmes aimed at horse owners.

We have worked in Limerick in Moyross changing lives of horses and children and young adults with an interest in equines. Working with the Garda Youth Diversion Project the IHWT courses have proven to be one of the most successful of the projects. Courses act not only to improve equine handling and care skills but also motivate each and every one of the participants. Many have successfully graduated the equine programmes with a FETAC qualification and a greater understanding and love of the horse.

Courses in Horse Care & Welfare have also been run in Wicklow, Darndale and Finglas (Dublin) with many young people and adults gaining new skills and a deeper understanding of caring for their horses and ponies.

In addition the IHWT has developed a new online e-learning training course in HORSE CARE & WELFARE. The course comprises 8 online modules with 2 optional practical days also available. Modules cover legislation around horse ownership, Horse Behaviour & safe handling along with feeding, stable management, first aid and much more.

The course has been developed is association with Horse Racing Ireland and RACE. A quiz after each modules helps to assess the learning and participants receive a certificate on completion of the course. Course details can be found at:

Further information about IHWT can be found on

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