The New Right Horse Initiative Blog
Welcome to the new Right Horse Initiative blog.
As you may know, the Right Horse Initiative is a fairly new project and was only formally launched in February of 2017. Since inception, our main focus has been identifying and funding programs that would immediately elevate the number of horse adoptions in the United States. Our efforts thus far have been successful as our partner adoption numbers increased by 25% in 2017. As building adoption capacity is our number one goal, we feel very encouraged by the positive increase; but we know we can do even more.
Our focus in 2018 is continued effort in building collaborative partnerships and identifying and funding adoption capacity-building pilot projects. Additionally, in 2018 The Right Horse Initiative is committed to becoming more communicative with our supporters. The Right Horse Initiative was founded with the guiding principal of collaboration. This is a critical element that has been missing in the horse welfare/rescue space. The lack of collaboration amongst horse enthusiasts and horse welfare folks has hindered any real progress that could be made in this space if we all worked together.
There are endless topics that we can choose to debate when it comes to the horse industry and horse welfare. However, in all of my travels I have yet to meet anyone that doesn’t agree that we need a better system in place to provide the opportunity for humane transitions for horses falling at risk. While companion animal welfare has spent decades building the infrastructure needed to save homeless pets, we do not have anything like that in equine welfare, yet…
Our first order of business is creating more adoption opportunities so horses can transition (aka be adopted) into a new home with a new job. And yes, being a pasture pal to another horse is a new job -clearly an important one to that pal especially. A humane transition could mean a transition into a third or fourth career, a transition into a companion or even a humane end-of-life transition. There are all sorts of jobs a horse can take on when transitioning and we are taking the lead to promote and fund innovative programs that will create a strong infrastructure and safety nets for horses. If we can all agree on humane transitions as a common goal, we are confident we can accomplish this mission together.
The majority of horse owners simply do not consider adoption as a preferable means to acquiring a horse. We need the public to start thinking about adoption as a great option when adding a horse to their family. We will do that together by working to change the stigma that exists about “rescue” horses and by earning the public’s trust when they give us a chance and come to adopt a horse. We can do this by proudly presenting healthy, trained horses to the public in a hospitable environment that treats our adopters as partners in our quest to change the status of equine welfare.
Until we change the public perception of an adoption/rescue horse, we will never be able to truly save at-risk horses in this country. We hope that you will join us in this journey to change the status of equine welfare. This journey of ours is definitely not a sprint, so put on your running shoes as we start this marathon together.