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Helping Horses

April 15, 2024

Are you a horse lover? Mark your calendars for April 26th because it’s Help A Horse Day! This is a great opportunity to show our horse friends some love! Whether you’re actively engaged in their care or just love watching these beautiful, fascinating creatures, there are many ways to promote awareness about the importance of horse sanctuaries and rescues, and show support for the hardworking folk who run them. In this article from Hassayampa Veterinary Services, serving Wickenburg and the surrounding communities, a local Wickenburg, AZ vet discusses this important topic.

What  Can I Do to Support Horses?

Fostering is one option. If you already have a barn or stable and a few four-legged companions, you might want to think about fostering a rescue horse. There will be additional costs, naturally, but you might find it incredibly rewarding. Many rescues can’t be ridden, but make great pasture buddies! 

Sponsorship is an option as well. Many rescued horses are in need of sponsors. This approach is a great way to assist a horse without requiring a substantial financial investment or long-term commitment. Just because a rescue horse took that freedom ride does not mean they are out of the woods yet. Many are in bad condition when they first arrive at the rescue facility or quarantine barn. Usually, they need pedicures and thorough checkups, at the very least. Some may need extensive veterinary care to recover.

Volunteering is another possibility. Many rescues always need help.

Another way to help? By promoting and spreading awareness about proposed legislation aimed at protecting horses. Just raising awareness can make a difference! 

What Are The Different Types Of Horse Rescues?

There are many different types of horse rescues. Some specialize in certain breeds or niches, while others provide assistance to a wide range of horses without specializing in any particular area. It’s important to mention that even specialized rescues often assist any horse they can, regardless of their expertise. A draft horse rescue may include a small donkey or a retired racehorse.

Here are a few types:

  • Rescues for Draft Horses: Draft horses work tirelessly in the fields, hauling carts and logs for their entire lives. As time passes and they can no longer put in their best, they are thoughtlessly cast aside. It is important to ensure that these magnificent creatures have peaceful and pleasant retirements.  It can be tremendously satisfying to assist in a rescue that makes that feasible.
  • Wild Horse Saviors: Wild horse rescue can be approached in different ways. Some people have plenty of land to provide horses with a secure living environment and allow them to roam freely. Some individuals dedicate their efforts to training untamed horses and finding them new homes.
  • Donkeys: Regrettably, these cute, vocal horses are frequently overlooked. These adorable equines are extremely sociable and form deep connections with each other, and their unique brays showcase their unique personalities.
  • Kill Pen Saves: While horse slaughter is officially prohibited in the United States, it is possible that there are some unofficial operations still ongoing. Many individuals who wish to slaughter horses often buy them at auctions and then transport them to either Canada or Mexico. Heartbreakingly, the horses are frequently kept in appalling conditions. Each and every one of them is terrified, and many of them are sick, injured, or underweight.  
  • Retired Racehorse Rescue: Numerous rescue agencies willingly accept retired racehorses, providing them with a second chance at life. These agencies often have a selection of these magnificent creatures available for adoption. There are clear benefits to adopting a rescued thoroughbred. They are usually affordable, relatively young, and absolutely gorgeous. Certainly, Silver will need some training, but this can be a pleasant and rewarding experience for both of you.

Worldwide Rescues: International rescue teams work on a global scale. In light of the numerous conflicts and unfortunate events occurring worldwide, there is a pressing need to provide assistance to horses in various locations across the globe.

How Can I Decide Which Rescue Organization To Support?

There is no shortage of great candidates. Any organization with a 501C3 designation is a good bet, but official certification is not always necessary. There are also smaller locations, as well as barns that may not typically function as rescues, but still step up to help horses in need.

Just be careful of scammers, especially if you are looking online. Some steal material from well-known pages and publish it as their own.

For a list of rescues organized by state, you can visit this website here. Your Wickenburg, AZ veterinarian may also be a great resource.

The Importance of Horse Sanctuaries

Regrettably, horses often find themselves in unfavorable circumstances. This is nothing new. In 1866, a man named Henry Burgh stepped in when he saw a cart driver strike his horse. In the end, this led to the first arrest for animal abuse. Burgh subsequently founded the ASPCA.

While there have always been horses that need help, several factors have made the problem worse over the past century, including the sale of horse meat, the prioritization of profit over horse welfare in the racing industry, financial challenges, disasters, and the management of wild horse populations.

Is It A Good Idea To Adopt A Rescue Horse?

While it would be great if we could give you a resounding “yes,” not everyone is ready for that kind of commitment. If you have the necessary resources, considering adoption might be worth your while. This can be an incredibly fulfilling experience!

This is the thing, though. Caring for horses can be quite demanding, and also requires a significant financial investment. On a daily basis, Silver needs food, hay, foot care, water bucket maintenance, and stall cleaning. It is also important to ensure that horses get sufficient turnout. Farrier appointments are crucial for maintaining the health of your horse’s feet. In addition to that, there are expenses for feed, bedding, tack, dental care, board, and other related costs.

Another thing worth considering? Rescues often need extensive training and effort to build trust in humans. Dealing with a scared and traumatized horse might be overwhelming—not to mention dangerous—for someone who is new to horse handling.

If you’re interested in purchasing a horse, but aren’t quite prepared to take on the responsibility, there are alternative options worth exploring. Leasing horses has become increasingly popular.  Ultimately, you will be renting Silver for a specific duration. One great aspect of this option is that you are not bound to a lengthy commitment. Responsibility is shared, but the owner bears the ultimate liability.

You could also consider adopting and utilizing the services of a full-service boarding stable. They will make sure Silver gets the food, turnout, stall cleaning, and care he needs. They will often help with organizing tasks like hoof trims and veterinary care. It is crucial to locate the right barn, of course.

That all said, if you’re looking for a list of horses for sale, you can check out the ASPCA-approved website MyRightHorse.org. Always approach adoption with responsibility in mind, and with the understanding that horses require a significant investment of time, love, energy, and money … as well as lots of carrots.

Contact A Great Equine Veterinarian In Wickenburg, AZ

Are you looking for a reliable horse veterinarian in the vicinity? Contact Hassayampa Veterinary Services, serving Wickenburg and the surrounding communities.

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