Over the years, I’ve developed a fondness for rescue animals.
All three of my dogs are rescues, as are several of my cats. And since the area where we live seems to be prime “dumping” grounds for unwanted animals, I’ve also taken in and re-homed a number of other dogs. I must say it’s a pretty gratifying experience.
Many of us don’t think of horses in the same way as our smaller pets, but my views on horses have changed over the years, and I see them more as family members than commodities now. I don’t ride much these days, but I would never dream of giving up my three horses.
After losing our eldest mare this past spring, I began to consider adopting a horse from a rescue. The more I’ve thought about it, the more I like the idea of supporting a rescue organization, as well giving back to a horse who’s already dealt with some harsh realities in life.
I know adopting a rescue horse isn’t for everyone, but here are a few reasons why you might want to at least consider it:
1. Let’s not kid ourselves, the horse industry is teeming with unwanted horses.
Thousands of horses end up at slaughter each year, but a lucky few are taken in by rescue organizations all around the country. The majority of these organizations operate solely off donations and are often overflowing with horses. When we adopt from them, we are helping to make room so that other horses can be taken in.
2. Rescue animals are special.
I know this because every rescue dog or cat I’ve ever taken in has had a distinct and often, very lovable personality. Call me weird, but I think these animals often know how lucky they are to have been adopted.
3. You can adopt a horse for much less than you can usually buy one.
Rescue organizations want to see their horses find a home, after all.
4. The majority of horses who end up in rescues are “safe.”
Rescues usually refrain from taking in dangerous animals because they want horses who can be re-homed.
5. Horse rescues are often a “one-stop shopping” experience.
If you’re approved, you can often pick from a wide variety of horses: young to old, pony to draft, sorrel to spotted.
6. Reputable rescue organizations are honest.
In other words, they don’t hide a horse’s problems or known history from you. They want to find good matches for their horses.
7. Rescuing an animal is a rewarding experience.
Just ask anyone who’s done it!
8. You are setting an example for the rest of the horse world, and maybe more will follow suit.
Trends tend to catch on in the horse world, whether it’s a certain type of saddle, headstall, leg wrap, or training style. Maybe you can help promote rescue horse adoption.
Many of us have heard at least one rags-to-riches story about a rescue horse who turns into champion. These stories are both heartwarming and inspiring, and maybe that’s your end goal when you adopt. But it’s perfectly okay if all your rescue horse ever does is act as a companion to your riding horse(s). In the end, what matters is that you’re making the world a better place for a well-deserving horse.
About the Author
Casie Bazay is a freelance and young adult writer, as well as an owner/barefoot trimmer and certified equine acupressure practitioner. She hosts the blog, The Naturally Healthy Horse, where she regularly shares information on barefoot, equine nutrition, and holistic horse health. Once an avid barrel racer, Casie now enjoys just giving back to the horses who have given her so much. Follow Casie at www.casiebazay.com.