The Right Horse Initiative awards $50,000 to help at-risk horses

by | Apr 2019 | News

KATONAH, NEW YORK –  Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, Love this Horse Equine Rescue and the West Virginia Rescue Network have been selected to receive Innovation Grants from The Right Horse Initiative, a program of the WaterShed Animal Fund. Through The Right Horse Initiative, The WaterShed Animal Fund seeks to fund smarter thinking and innovation by rewarding organizations for thinking creatively about how to help at-risk horses.

From a pool of over 40 applications, five finalists submitted their most innovative ideas for increasing their adoptions and helping horses in transition. The winning ideas had to be focused around increasing adoption; each horse adopted into a loving family of their own allows for another at-risk horse to come into the care of the adoption organization.

Drifter’s Hearts of Hope brought a well-broke, sweet mare into their care after finding her falling at-risk at a local auction. “Annie” wore a brand that connected the organization to a local dude ranch and helped forge a relationship between the two groups that led to 35 retiring dude ranch horses safely transitioning into new homes through Drifter’s program. Drifter’s Hearts of Hope looks to expand the program, called The Annie Project, to encompass all 55 Colorado based dude ranches and is laying the groundwork to expand the program nationally.

Misperceptions about rescue horses often prevent horse owners from considering adoption to get their next competitive mount. To dispel these myths, Love This Horse Equine Rescue looks to increase visibility for their adoptable horses by getting their adoptable horses to local competitions and events. They will increase the frequency of hunter/jumper and endurance that they attend and expand their attendance to Western events. The grant would also support riding lessons offered to adopters to match the right adopter to the right horse

The West Virginia Horse Network aims to formalize and expand an existing program designed to engage and educate first-time horse owners interested in adopting. The expanded program would contain a ten-month course with formal lectures and demonstrations on veterinary care, training, farrier work and other basic horse knowledge. Graduates of the program would receive a $500 voucher to adopt a horse through The West Virginia Horse Network.

With a little bit of innovation, we can transform equine welfare and massively increase the number of adoptions taking place in the United States. The Right Horse Initiative congratulates each of the Innovation Grant recipients and is excited to continue to support the great work being done by adoption organizations around the country.

About The Right Horse

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of industry professionals and equine welfare advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition through a dialogue of kindness and respect. Through collaboration with over 50 industry and adoption partners, The Right Horse is able to innovate new and better adoption standards and practices. Together, the goal is to shatter the stigma and reframe the conversation around equine adoption in order to massively increase horse adoption in the United States. To learn more, visit

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Haleigh + Peter

Haleigh + Peter

Peter has been home for a week now and we know he will be here for life. He has been everything we expected and more. He is kind, sensible, quirky, and adorable.