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Helping Rescue Horses

May 15, 2024

Do you have a passion for horses? There’s never a wrong time to show our equine companions some love. Whether you’re actively involved in the horse world or just enjoy watching these magnificent, fascinating animals from a distance, horse rescues are definitely well-deserving of your support. A local Lake Echo, NS vet discusses some ways to help Silver in this article.

Our Rich Horse-Related Heritage

Horses were first domesticated 6000 years ago. Their influence on civilization since then can never be overstated. Until just over 100 years ago, they were our primary means of transportation. They also assisted us in cultivating fields and carrying goods, and even transported us into battle. Horses possess remarkable intelligence and deep emotional capacity, allowing them to develop profound connections with their human counterparts. Unfortunately, Silver is often perceived as a commodity rather than a living entity. 

We believe that these magnificent creatures deserve a wonderful pasture, companions, abundant affection and attention, and, naturally, a pristine and cozy stall. (Oh, and carrots, apples, and mints, and face rubs and neck scritches …)

What Can I Do To Help Rescue Horses?

Adopting is one option, but it’s not the right choice for everyone. (We’ll get to that later.) It’s also not the only way to help. 

Here are some other possibilities:

Help a Horse Rescue

If you’re interested in adopting or supporting a worthy cause, you’ll find no shortage of dedicated rescues who are tirelessly saving horses.

Here are several different types of horse rescues:

  • Draft Horses: Draft horses are often overlooked and underappreciated in the horse world. Many work very, very hard all their lives on fields, pulling carts and logs, only to be thrown away when the years and hard work catch up with them. 
  • Wild Horses: Several organizations are committed to rescuing wild horses. There are various ways in which wild horse rescues can operate. Some places offer a safe haven for horses, allowing them to roam freely. Others are involved in wild horse training, with their hooved students eventually being put up for adoption.
  • General There’s also no shortage of general rescues, either. Note that even specialized rescues have a greater interest in assisting horses than in focusing on their niche. It’s possible to come across a mini donkey at a draft horse rescue, for example.
  • Donkey Rescues Let’s not overlook the smaller equines! Donkeys frequently find themselves in unfortunate circumstances. Regrettably, these adorable, vocal equines are frequently disregarded. In addition, many people lack understanding regarding the intricacies of their healthcare. For example, they are known for socializing and developing deep connections with one another.
  • International Rescue Missions The past few decades have been quite eventful, to put it mildly. That has resulted in grave circumstances in various nations. Rescues are present in almost every country and corner of the world.
  • Auction Rescues Although horse slaughter is officially prohibited in the United States, there may still be illicit operations taking place. Horses are frequently bought at auction by kill pen buyers who then transport them to Canada or Mexico. This is incredibly harsh, as the horses are often kept in deplorable conditions. In addition to being terrified, many of them are sick, wounded, and/or underweight. Several wonderful rescues are taking action to save horses from the pens.
  • Race Horse Rescues Regrettably, the racing industry often leads to unfortunate circumstances for many horses. Retired racehorses may occasionally be found at kill pen auctions. Several rescues specialize in retired racehorses and offer them for adoption. There are definitely advantages to adopting a rescued racehorse. Many are reasonably priced, relatively young, and incredibly beautiful. Silver may require some training to become accustomed to different styles of riding. However, that may actually be educational, rewarding, and fun for both of you.

These are just a few examples. There are plenty of other rescues. We recommend thoroughly researching a rescue organization before making any donations. There is no need to go overboard: simply visit their website and social media platforms to make sure they are active and trustworthy. Watch out for imposters, though: scammers often repost the content of popular pages.


If you already have a barn and hooved buddies, you might want to think about fostering a rescue horse. There will definitely be some additional costs involved, but you might discover it to be incredibly fulfilling.


Additionally, there are numerous rescued horses in need of sponsors. This is an excellent way to help a horse without having to make a significant long-term commitment. That freedom ride does not imply that rescues are out of the woods yet. Many are in wretched condition upon arrival at their sanctuary. Typically, they require pedicures, parasite control, and examinations, at the very least. It’s not uncommon for them to need surgery, physical therapy, medication, or nutritional therapy.

How Can I Advocate for the Protection of Horses?

Supporting and raising awareness about pending legislation that will help protect horses is a way for anyone to make a meaningful impact. Keep an eye out for pending laws that are meant to help protect horses.

Why Is There A Need For So Many Horse Sanctuaries?

Horses have always been in unfortunate situations. In 1866, for example, Henry Burgh, the founder of the ASPCA, intervened when he witnessed a cart driver mistreating his horse. This ultimately led to the first-ever arrest for horse abuse. 

In the past century, several factors have worsened the issue. These include the sale of horse meat, the prioritization of profit over protection in the racing industry, financial challenges, and the rounding up of wild horses.

I Love Horses! Should I Consider Adopting One?

We’d like to respond enthusiastically to this question, but offering a universal ‘yes’ on this topic wouldn’t be suitable. That is true for all pets, but especially for horses. Adopting a horse is a huge commitment! We can’t in good conscience advise anyone to adopt a horse without fully comprehending the significant commitment of time, effort, and financial resources they entail.

Horses require a significant amount of care and attention. Every day, Silver will need to be fed and have his hooves picked, his water bucket scrubbed, and his stall cleaned. Turnout time is also necessary. That’s a pretty significant time commitment already. Also, do not anticipate being able to casually drop in and spend just an hour or two per week with Silver. Horses have a special talent for taking up tons of our time. (This of course is one reason we love them, but it’s definitely worth thinking about.)

Then there’s the costs. Horse math is no joke! Regular farrier visits are essential for maintaining the cleanliness and health of your horse’s hooves. And don’t forget about dental care, veterinary care, the cost of feed and tack … the list just keeps on growing. 

That said, if you have the time and money, and feel that it’s a good move for you, then adopting a rescue horse could be extremely rewarding. For a comprehensive list of available horses, you may want to consider checking out the ASPCA-approved site MyRightHorse.org.

A word on the time commitment: if you’re pressed for time, boarding at a top-notch full-service stable might be a fantastic option. They will handle Silver’s turnout, cleaning, and grooming requirements, and oftentimes arrange or coordinate with you for tasks such as hoof trims and veterinary care. Of course, finding the right barn is half the battle. Ask your Lake Echo, NS equine vet for recommendations.


This is another option. There has been an increase in the popularity of horse leases lately. While various barns and owners may provide different options, you would essentially be renting Silver. One advantage of choosing this option is that you are not bound to a long-term commitment. There is a certain level of shared responsibility, but ultimately the responsibility falls on the owner’s shoulders.

Spread The Word

Just like any animal advocacy cause, spreading the word can have a significant impact. If you’ve been keeping up with any horse rescues, please consider sharing their posts.

Make An Appointment With A Lake Echo, NS Equine Vet

Are you in search of an exceptional equine veterinarian in Lake Echo, NS? Get in touch with us, your trusted pet hospital, today!