Listen, I loved the above video. In all that I see, mostly little more than a dystopian view of the horse world, I sometimes feel I’ve gone beyond carrying around that soft heart that can be broken at the plight of rehoming a homeless horse.
I suppose now right before Christmas 2016, I am glad to tell you I am clearly not.
We have over 30 horses waiting now. Some have waited over 2 years.
We have to, as an equine community, do what the small animal community has done and step up as a collective to find these horses, horses some person out there bred and raised, homes.
We have to decide to put forth adoption as a viable option for whatever you are looking for in a horse. Be the need a trail warrior, a barrel prospect, a dressage candidate, a hunter/jumper, a cart pony or a 4H mount. . .there is no reason rescues need ever be counted out.
If we, as the horse community in the United States, start to defer to adoption as the first option, much like we have seen in dog and cat placement, you will see a turn in the tide for the benefit of horses being discarded.
We have to start thinking much like the pet community of 2 decades ago when we think of breeding. What benefits does this breeding give the community of horses and horsewomen and men? Any? Can I buy or adopt a horse as likely as the result of this breeding to fulfill this same goal as well or better (the answer is usually a huge, “Yes!”)?
Before we decide to become owners, have we empowered ourselves with a solid foundation of knowledge to keep us from turning lovely horses into unconfident, dangerous or unsound and then undesirable equines?
Sure, it isn’t as simple as buying a horse, but you are building a partnership with something of such Value. If you’re dealing with a reputable rescue, you gain such much more than an horse when you adopt. You are always paying a fee well below the fair value of the horse in the rescue. You have a group of people who have worked hard to “know” that horse’s good and not so awesome qualities, who have invested in the horse’s long term outlook with training, hours of rehab and appropriate vet and farrier care, and this has a lot of value. It goes beyond financial investment. You have a group there able to take the horse back should you encounter financial hardship, and you’ll know the horse will stay safe.
Until then, Gemma, Lettie, Claire, Holly, Macey, Rita, Sophia, Flash, Violet, Clyde, Dale, Emmy, Brandi, Dori, Juno, Olaf, Drogo, Midge, Vivienne, Lannister, Iris, Aster, Sophia, Legend, Paladin, Soleil, Sansa, Link, Dempsey, Annie, Luna, Ripley and Blaze will be waiting.
And please remember we understand many horse lovers aren’t in a position to adopt now or in the future. You can also help tremendously by giving a gift to help support your favorite horse in a rescue or consider becoming a monthly sponsor!