Helping Horses

Do you have a fondness for horses? Whether you’re currently engaged in equestrian activities or simply appreciate these magnificent creatures from afar, now is the perfect opportunity to express your affection for our equine companions. April 26th is Help A Horse Day! This event was established as a way to unite horse enthusiasts and work together to raise awareness about the importance of horse sanctuaries and rescues. It’s also a chance to show support for the dedicated individuals who run these organizations and, of course, the beautiful animals they save and care for. A local Holly Springs, MS vet discusses ways to help Silver in this article.

Mankind’s Long Journey with Horses

Horses were first domesticated 6000 years ago. The impact they have had on civilization since then is truly incredible. They used to be our primary mode of transportation until a little over a century ago! In addition, they provided valuable assistance with plowing fields, hauling goods and messages, and even bravely accompanied us into battle. 

Horses possess a remarkable level of intelligence and emotional depth, allowing them to develop profound connections with their human counterparts. Every single one of these magnificent creatures deserves a wonderful pasture, companions, plenty of affection and scratches, and, naturally, a clean and cozy stall. Regrettably, it is all too common for Silver to be seen as an object to be utilized, rather than a living being.

Why Is There Such A High Demand For Horse Sanctuaries?

There have always been horses suffering from neglect and abuse. As an example, in 1866, Henry Burgh, the founder of the ASPCA, intervened when he witnessed a cart driver mistreating his horse. As a result of this incident, the very first arrest for horse cruelty took place. 

Several factors have made the issue worse in the last century, including the sale of horse meat, the prioritization of profit over protection in the racing industry, financial challenges, and the rounding up of wild horses. Sometimes, even beloved, well-cared-for horses end up in dire situations. This may happen if an owner dies, gets sick,a or suffers a financial hardship. 

I Love Horses! Is It A Good Idea For Me To Adopt One?

Of course, we would love to encourage horse adoptions. At the end of the day, the best way to help horses is give them great homes. However, it would not be suitable to simply respond with a yes. Horses require a lot of care and attention. It’s important to think very carefully before adopting one! 

On a daily basis, you’ll need to make sure Silver gets his meals, has his hooves taken care of, his water bucket cleaned, and his stall tidied up. Turnout is also a must: it’s important to give horses some time and space to roam and stretch their legs. Regular farrier visits are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and health of your horse’s hooves. Then there’s dental care, veterinary care, the cost of feed, tack, board … the list just keeps on growing. It’s definitely not a good idea to jump in without fully understanding the amount of time, effort, and financial commitment required.

If you’re considering purchasing a horse but are unsure whether to go all-in, there are a few other options you can consider. 

Leasing horses is becoming increasingly popular. Each barn and owner may have their own terms and conditions, but in essence, you would be renting Silver. One of the advantages of choosing this option is that you are not tied down to a long-term commitment. There is a shared responsibility, though this ultimately falls on the owner’s shoulders. This can also work as a try-before-you-buy method.

If you have the time and funds available, then adopting and boarding could be a great option for you. Though the options will vary, many places will ensure that Silver’s turnout, cleaning, and grooming needs are taken care of. Ask your Holly Springs, MS vet for tips.

Aside From Adopting, How Can I Help Horses?

Fostering is one option, though this is of course best for experienced equestrians. If you already have a barn and hooved buddies, you might want to think about fostering a rescue horse. There will be some additional costs involved, but you might discover it to be incredibly fulfilling. For a list of available horses, you can visit the ASPCA-approved site

Sponsoring is another way to help. There are numerous rescued horses in need of sponsors. It’s a fantastic way to assist a horse without having to make a huge commitment. Rescues often arrive at their sanctuary in a less-than-ideal condition. Many still have some significant challenges ahead, even after that freedom ride. Even those that are in good shape will require pedicures and comprehensive examinations. You can sign on to sponsor a specific horse, or contribute to a fundraiser.

Your Holly Springs, MS may be able to point you to a great organization. 

Help A Horse Rescue

If you’re interested in adopting or supporting a great cause, you’ll find no shortage of dedicated individuals who are rescuing horses. Many of these are always looking for volunteers. Donations and fundraisers are also greatly appreciated. 

Let’s go over some different types of horse rescues:

Auction rescues are becoming more prevalent and, unfortunately, more necessary. Although horse slaughter is technically prohibited in the United States, there are still illicit operations taking place. Buyers who specialize in acquiring horses for slaughter also often participate in auctions, with the intention of transporting the horses to Canada or Mexico. This is incredibly sad, as the horses are often kept in extremely poor conditions. Many are unwell, wounded, or not at their ideal weight, and they are also just terrified. 

You’ll also find lots of racehorse rescues. Regrettably, the racing industry often leads to unfortunate outcomes for many horses. There are several rescues that specialize in saving retired racehorses, rehabilitating them, and offering them for adoption. Retired racehorses can even sometimes be found at kill pen auctions. If you are considering getting a horse, adopting a rescued thoroughbred comes with several advantages. Many are affordable, relatively young, and incredibly beautiful. Silver will need some training to become comfortable with different styles of riding, but that can be a fun and enriching experience for you both.

Then there are draft horse rescues. These gentle giants truly are the unsung heroes of the horse world. There are still many horses who spend their lives toiling at very physically demanding tasks on farms, only to be cruelly discarded once the years of hard work take a toll on them.

We also can’t forget the various wild horse and mustang rescues. Some places offer a safe haven for horses, allowing them to roam freely on their land. Others focus on training wild horses and eventually putting them up for adoption.

Donkey rescues! Let’s not overlook the smaller equines! These adorable, braying equines are at just as much risk of neglect or abuse as horses. Donkeys are highly sociable and develop strong connections with one another. (They’re also really cute.) 

There are plenty of rescues that don’t have any specific focus aside from helping our equine pals. You can also find plenty of international organizations in places like Ukraine, Europe, and, well, pretty much anywhere except Antarctica. 

Here is a great list of rescues organized by state.

Advocate for the Protection of Horses

Supporting and raising awareness about pending legislation that will help protect horses is something that anyone can do to make a difference. Just spreading awareness about the issue can help. If you’ve been keeping up with any horse rescues, please consider sharing their posts.

Are you looking for a great equine vet in the area? Contact us, your Holly Springs, MS pet hospital, today!   

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