When planning your horse’s retirement, it is good to begin thinking about it early. This can help make the process easier, especially if the day comes suddenly, as through an injury. Early consideration of the options will ensure his safe and comfortable transition or retirement.
“Some horses will need to literally be retired. With others, you’ll be planning the transition to their next career, but either way, it’s critical to plan,” Lynn Coakley, President of the EQUUS Foundation, told US Equestrian magazine. She cautions owners to not take for granted that a horse will end up in a safe retirement or second home when the time comes.
The EQUUS Foundation’s Mission Nationwide
The EQUUS Foundation works nationwide to ensure the welfare of America’s horses and to help foster the bond between horses and humans. This wide mission includes all kinds of programs dedicated to protecting horses throughout their lives, which includes a mission to share the innate ability horses have to empower, heal, and teach people.
Some of the EQUUS Foundation’s efforts help equine charities to operate at their best with funding, information, guidance, and resources. Others help to inspire horse lovers to join them in protecting horses through volunteerism or advocacy, or to educate the public about the value of horses.
Safe Landings is an online network from the EQUUS foundation that features organizations that are looking for horses in their programs. This program, which is under development, differs from many others in that most programs seek to home horses in need, whereas this will double the potential for connection by allowing the homes to find the horses as well.
The resource will become a part of the Next Chapters online center from their website, which also includes a showcase of horses in need as well as a section on transition success stories called Happy Endings.
For Best Results, Ask Your Horse
“Knowing your horse’s temperament and talents and what career he could transition to that would be mutually beneficial will help you do what’s best for your horse,” Valeri Angeli, EQUUS Foudnation’s vice president explained to US Equestrian magazine. Is your horse cut out for therapeutic riding? Is he likely to be able to continue working over fences? If he ends up in a program that doesn’t suit him, he could end up moving again, this time without you there to know it’s safe.
With a vision to help all horses transition from one career to the next without the risk of abuse, neglect, or even slaughter, the EQUUS Foundation hopes to use this new platform to raise awareness among horse owners of the available opportunities for horses that are in need of a new career.
To help owners considering what the next steps for their horse might be, the EQUUS Foundation has curated a list of organizations that can help them to decide. The Equine Welfare Network is a great place to begin the search, by researching equine organizations in your local area. The Equine Welfare Network is designed to connect individuals with equine organizations.
Other organizations include PATH International, a credentialing organization that accredits centers and certifies centers to work with therapeutic horsemanship, the IHSA and colleges and universities that have equine programs, mounted police units, and Certified Horsemanship Association certified equestrian facilities.