When I was a little girl, my friends and I noticed that sometimes horses seemed to just ?disappear.? ?We never fully understood what happened to them, just that they had “moved on.” This was probably because parents wanted to protect children from the hardships of life and the poem “The Rainbow Bridge” wasn’t written yet, unable to soften the blow.
I now realize that the reason was usually due to a difficult decision made by a caring adult, but brought about due to the lack of veterinarian options at the time. ?The available diagnostic and therapeutic resources veterinarians had at the time were very few and largely ineffective.? The nutritional data, farrier technology and veterinary advancements we now take for granted hadn?t even been dreamed of yet, and an ?old horse? was pretty much any horse who made it to the ?teen years.? ?There were no nutraceuticals to help keep an arthritic horse sound. Geriatric horse care articles were rarely written, mainly because there was no need.
Today, few people consider anything under 20 to be ?old,? and most will consider purchasing a horse that is 15+ years old, if it’s sound and healthy. My own mare, Sally, turns 19 years old this month , and you?d never know it. While her supplements cost me a pretty penny every month, they’re the difference between a sound and unsound horse. But not all horses are so lucky.
As you may know, Horse Journal is a strong supporter of the ?A Home For Every Horse Program? and, from time to time, we bring you information on another rescue horse that seems too good to be true, hoping someone reading the description will adopt the horse.
For instance, consider Elegance. SHe’s a beautiful Haflinger mare, just 7 years old, and you can’t help but wonder why sHe’s in a rescue facility. ?Brandi?s 20. She was in a trailer accident, which damaged her front leg, and sHe’s now in a rescue facility, wishing there was a home for her somewhere. ?Fine thanks for what was probably years of good service.
?A Home For Every Horse? has hit the hearts of people across the nation, and many large corporate sponsors have come on board to help the program, most recently, Purina Horse Feed. The company donated $125,000 worth of feed to rescue facilities all over the nation. ?If you have a rescue facility, you can contact [email protected] about this program. Note: You will be required to show a 501(c) (3) form or verification letter in order to be eligible.
But we’d like to stop horses from ending up in shelters in the first place. Concerned about the lack of hay in drought areas across the nation this summer, one of our Veterinary Editors, Dr. Deb Eldredge, is asking those in hay-rich areas to consider sending some of their access to horse owners in areas that have been hard hit by this year?s horrible drought. ?let’s work together to help save the horses, because, while we firmly believe in the ?A Home For Every Horse? program, we also know it’s just as important to ensure tHere’s hay for every horse, too. If you want to help, you can email us at [email protected].