Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Saved from Slaughter and Given Another Chance

The phrase "horse slaughter" can make even the toughest person shudder, but this phrase is particularly heart-wrenching for people who see horses as companions. Unfortunately, many people in North America see horses as a commodity. The United States in particular stands out for its record number of horses bred for recreation and racing, which has led to the US being the largest horsemeat exporter in the world.

Until society shifts its view and stops overbreeding horses, the problem of horse slaughter is not going to die away. However, the positive side of this story is that there are many people stepping up to the plate, especially horse rescue organizations that are working diligently to save horses from slaughter, educate the public about the problem of overbreeding, and advocating for equine adoption.

Our Equine Wellness Rescue of the Month for August, Another Chance Equine (ACE) Rescue, is one organization that has a great track record for rescuing horses from slaughter and pairing them with forever homes. ACE Rescue is a certified non-profit that operates out of Ohio. They also rescue horses suffering from abuse and neglect. 


ACE Rescue has numerous rescue stories on their website. For example, there's a horse named Chance, who  was in so much pain that he couldn't move, wasting away, and prepared to die. With the generous help of Shannon Cessna of Cessna Stables, her boarders, and her riding students, this horse was given a new name, and a new life. Chance has many old racing injuries and conditions that resulted from the hard running he did. So he will never be ridden, just loved by many people, especially by his sponsors.

Another one is Fiona, a Walker mare, saved from slaughter at Sugar Creek, who has been adopted and is being spoiled rotten. She is being ridden on trails almost daily and is in training for her Mom to take over soon.


ACE Rescue presently has two horses that came from starvation situations and both are ex-race horsesTally was part of a seizure and Landy was saved from Sugar Creek (horse auction).

Like most equine rescues, ACE Rescue is run by volunteers and relies on funding from donations. Currently, they have a hay drive through which every $5 (or more) donation will buy a bale of hay for their horses. More info on their website: http://www.acerescue.org/index.html

If you would like to nominate a rescue, leave us a comment on our Facebook page!

Many thanks to the companies who donated to ACE Rescue with Equine Wellness Magazine through our "Rescue of the Month" program. Companies who help benefit the lives of horses warm our hearts!


Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Horses Healing Heroes

When a horse is past its prime, or when it's been neglected or abused, there can be the unfortunate perception that the horse no longer has value. Some people think, if you can't ride a horse then what is it good for? This sad reality means that many old or abused horses end up in slaughter houses.

Thankfully, not all people share this viewpoint. Numerous horse rescue organizations take in horses that have behavioral problems, need medical attention, or have entered into old age. A lot of these horses spend their lives at horse sanctuaries, since people can find it daunting to adopt a horse that cannot be utilized for activities like riding and farm labor.

However, horses that suffer from abuse, medical conditions, neglect, or old age actually do have important purpose. Organizations like Horses Healing Heroes have created programs centered around Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. For example, the  H.E.A.R.T. Program (Home for Equines Abused or Retired for Therapy) places horses with veterans, police officers, and people suffering from traumatic events. The horses are often rescued from negligent owners or are surrendered by owners because of their old age or medical problems.

Through utilizing Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, these horses are providing comfort and healing for people suffering from trauma and post traumatic stress disorder. Horses Healing Heroes witnesses the healing power of these horses on a regular basis. One of their favorite stories is about a young man who had been deployed to Afghanistan. He found the equine therapy sessions and interaction with the horses so calming that he bought a horse and is now learning how to ride. Prior to his involvement with Horses Healing Heroes, he had never been near a horse. Horses Healing Heroes referred him to a local trainer, who paired him with the perfect equine companion. He recently wrote Horses Healing Heroes to thank them for leading him to his new "horse therapist," and for making a difference in his life.

The effects the horses have on the people they are assisting is incredible. Just being around the horses creates a calming environment of love and comfort. Building a bond of gentle and nurturing friendship with a horse provides a companion that can simply be there for comfort when people need it the most.

Horses Healing Heroes often receives support from the people they help because people are so grateful for the differences the therapy has made in their lives. Recently, a group of soldiers in town for a couple of months came out five Sundays in a row and put in a perimeter fence with dozens of railroad tie posts, hundreds of t-posts, no-climb, and fence posts. The wire used was mostly recycled Blackhawk helicopter cable donated by a local Army Medevac unit!

Fundraising support also comes from soliciting grants. Horses Healing Heroes recently received a grant from Home Depot for the construction of a covered deck where their clients and therapists can meet before they head out to the arena. The property had been a bare, unfenced pasture two years ago and they had been meeting under a popup stall with mats before they received the grant.

However, the organization relies heavily on donations and is hoping to find a wood or pipe company that can help replace the paddock with permanent fencing. With just two staff members and twelve volunteers, Horses Healing Heroes is always looking for more support.

If you would like to donate to Horses Healing Heroes, the money goes to both saving horses and people who have put themselves at risk to defend the rights of their fellow citizens. You can make a donation at horseshealingheroes.org or you can purchase a subscription to Equine Wellness Magazine and we will donate 40% to Horses Healing Heroes! Just use the code EWA035 here:

Visit Horses Healing Heroes on Facebook to learn more: Facebook.com/HorsesHealingHeroes

And please LIKE Equine Wellness on Facebook and help us spread the word about equine rescues! Facebook.com/EquineWellnessMagazine