In the past, “horse rescues” or equine advocacy organizations have operated on the outside of the industry.
With the main goal of these organizations being to Get A Lot of Horses into Caring Homes, I’m glad the focus has began to shift to industry partnerships.
I believe horse advocacy organizations are starting to take a more clear leadership role nationally, and I believe this will prove to be in the interest of the horse world without a doubt.
Partnerships are springing up, growing and expanding across “borders” not normally crossed in the past. And the future of horsemanship and horses stand to gain a lot, as a result.
By the same token, it is my HOPE the industry realizes the EXTREME value in working with rescue and advocacy organizations, too.
With this “work in progress” change, it seems a good time to talk about how solid equine rescues and advocacy organizations have also helped support the HORSE Community:
So, just HOW have rescues been strengthening the horse world all along?
Not only do equine rescues spend a tremendous amount of their funding with vets at a time when large animal vet medicine is struggling, they also help facilitate a lot of research and knowledge by bringing in horses with conditions and injuries not often seen in these medical clinics. The treatment of these horses aids and expands knowledge in a much needed way for practitioners, which undoubtedly trickles down to help everyone with horses in any equine field or sport in the future.
Much like we see in vet medicine, the equine rescue community, a lot of funding coming into organizations is used to correct and maintain the hooves of the horses in these facilities. This is money going into the equine industry to support the families of the hard-working farriers nationwide. Additionally, the conditions farriers learn to address in the neglected horse ultimately aid in the knowledge base being expanded for this field in a remarkable way.
You can count on reputable rescue facilities to be power buyers in the hay, grain, mineral and supplement areas! These organizations will be supporting locals farmers, feed mills, feedstores and more in a tremendous way. They will be expanding horse ownership, encouraging others about solid nutrition, as well, so purchases of higher quality feeds should increase in areas where rescuers are actively promoting good nutrition. Many will keep hay supplier lists and be happy to help producers find buyers, and others maintain hay banks where they may buy even more hay to help struggling owners in winter months. For producers with excess and unsold hay, rescues that are 501(c)3 organizations provide an easy way to gain a tax write off if the producer donates unsold hay, as well.
Rescues also work hard to develop proven answers to equine feeding when there are issues present, be it starvation, mineral deficiencies, ulcers and more, so they will typically serve as a great source of information with a track record for their local communities when someone needs advice. Because they deal with horses from so many backgrounds, often disadvantaged, and of various breeds, it lends to an increased knowledge base that proves helpful to many other horse owners, we find.
Rescues often support trainers in their entire region, and not only by sending rescued horses to the trainers to become better partners, but they will usually encourage and direct adopters to work with a trainer. Often, rescues are a driving force behind the belief on continual education for ALL riders, and this helps promote the services of trainers and riding instructors. Rescues will often have a list of reputable, excellent trainers they share when people approach them with questions and suggestions. Additionally, many trainers that work with rescue groups report that their own knowledge base, much like that of farriers and vets, is expanded by encountering horses from so many different pasts, breeds and experiences. Most trainers we know have said they feel they are “better” because of their work with rescued horses.
Expanding good horsemanship is a goal of rescue, as we know that better horsemen and women means more horses stay in good homes with a solid foundation and fewer bad habits and injuries. Rescues should and often do create relationships with CLINICIANS to bring world class horsemanship training clinics to their areas which are open to the public throughout the year, thus promoting a higher quality of care and growing the interest of a casual rider, which aids the horse community in a tremendous way. Rescues are always there to offer help if an owner encounters issues with their own horse to help that person find a way to overcome and keep their partner!
THE NEXT GENERATION
Equine advocacy means ensuring a future generation of skilled horse people. Promoting horse ownership through public events, open houses, festival attendance, parades, school visits and beyond means children have more opportunities to develop a love of horses that carries them through for decades to come.
Many organizations will organize shows, trail rides, endurance races and more in order to engage those who enjoy horses in a unified way. The fact is, these types of events help keep a sense of community throughout the horse world alive and well, which we need when the number of people sticking with horse ownership continues to grow smaller year after year.
SAFE NET PROGRAMS
Anyone can run into an unexpected hardship. Rescues are there if someone in the community runs into a need of short term hay, grain or emergency vet care, including euthanasia assistance. They also host gelding clinics at lower cost, sometimes free, to help owners have access to services when they are in need of a helping hand. Finally, rescues always try to offer people a safe option for their horses should they find a life situation where keeping their horse isn’t possible.
BEYOND THE Basics. . .
Rescue organizations impact so many professionals and industries and lives either by giving back to them, employing them or allowing them to expand their horizons, it is really pretty incredible!
- grant writers,
- therapy programs for foster children, veterans and the disabled
- equine massage therapists
- and beyond!
So take a moment and consider how you can help your local rescue. You will find that by doing so, you are ultimately creating a better tomorrow for the horse industry, as a whole!