Sometimes, with all that we have going on, the non-traditional rescue work we do gets overlooked in the shuffle.
Some of the helpful things we’ve long offered in terms of assistance and programs are listed below:
- Owner Assistance Equine Placement: Since 2010, we have offered this type of service to owners who need to find safe homes for their horses. While we do not factor the horses placed in this manner into our “saved” numbers, if we did, I suspect the number would rival the 400 we’ve “hands on” rescued to date
- Horsemanship Instruction: We want to see horses within our communities able to stay in their homes, if possible, and we have always offered instruction, hands on or via email or phone, to lend a hand to an owner ready to throw in the towel. This has lead to horses staying in their homes and more owners learning to be better horsemen for many years.
- Health, Gelding and Euthanasia Assistance: We have hosted two large one day events in the past 3 years that covered dental, teeth, gelding and farrier care of horses with owners who needed a helping hand, but outside of those large events, since our founding, we have reached out and offered these services on an “as needed” basis.
- 4H, Therapy, University and Lesson Program Partnership: Since 2013, we have partnered and continued to grow a Lesson and Training barn program where horses are fostered and used within facilities well known in our communities to increase exposure, training and interest in our horses. We now cover 4 states through these types of partnerships. Since early spring 2017, we have expanded to working with both Ohio State University through speaking engagements to their equine program students to offering HOP horses to be used through their semesters to accomplish the goals of exposure, training and showing the value of horses within rescue to a whole new audience. We are going into our second year and expanding with 4H collaboration by fostering horses into active 4H programs, like Sunni Bell Stables in PA, to be partnered with 4H children who used the rescued miniature horses through their program, showing them all over the state, and in the end, many end up adopted, but all end up with significantly more training than when they came to HOP. This program is expanding into Ohio with another barn in 2018, if all goes well. As of 2018, we’ve became a new partnership with a children’s group home that focuses on using horses to heal children in foster care in West Virginia, as well.
- NETWORKING: We have partnered with others looking to assist horses in transition since 2014 by both accepting horses other groups could not place in their area and then allowing horses within HOP to be networked onto those that had a better adoption base for them, and as a result, we have found more horses able to find the right placements.
- TRAINER PARTNERSHIP: Having a social media base that is large and active and using it to feature those assisting in our work, as well as sharing their clinics, training efforts outside of rescue and so forth, has shown industry trainers across West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and Pennsylvania that partnering with HOP is valuable and worth their while and rewarding!
- Animal Control Training: Going into our 4th year in 2018, we offer West Virginia’s first and only EQUINE based training. Our program is certified for In Hours Service by the state. It is free to the state. We include a whole day of training, lunch, a vet seminar, farrier segment, much hands on training, training materials, lead ropes, halters, a direct number to our director and a list of resources for our sheriff’s departments and animal control officers across the entire state. Additionally, we offer and have met with these officers in person in their counties to offer suggestions how they can better cope with equine cases.
- Clinic Hosting: We work to build better horsemen and women. We know that goes a long way it keeping horses in homes and in creating more homes. We are ever expanding the offerings yearly, but in years past, our clinics have covered a multitude of topics. Yearly, we host Patrick King for a 3 day weekend of horsemanship instruction. We have clinics that covered nutrition, ground work, farrier care, dental care and more in the past 3 years that are always open to the public.
This isn’t an exhaustive list, but we sure hope it helps you see just how far your support goes to address the needs of the equine world from the ground up. It has never been just about coming in once a horse has been neglected.