On Giving Tuesday, Remember Equine-Based Charities

A therapeutic riding lesson. Photo: Flickr/Andrew Hutchinson/CC.

Happy Giving Tuesday: this growing annual movement reminds us to keep some room in our plans this holiday season for charitable giving as well as gift-giving to family and friends. If you’re looking for ideas or inspiration for an equine-based charity to support this year, we’ve highlighted a few of our favorites.

The Brooke

In developing regions of the world, equines are still a critical aspect of the workforce — an estimated 100 million working horses and donkeys support 600 million people in such tasks as carrying water, hauling fuel and feed or pulling loads. The Brooke seeks to improve the lives of these working animals through community-level change, including education, health care and networking with local veterinarians. The Brooke also works with governments in these countries to develop legislation to better protect working animals. Learn more about The Brooke.

US Equestrian’s Disaster Relief Fund

2017, frankly, was a terrible year in terms of natural disasters: from wildfires all across the American west to hurricanes in the Southeast and Puerto Rico, the United States was hit hard — and of course, where there are people there are horses. US Equestrian’s Disaster Relief Fund was a resource for horse owners in need in these times of crisis, providing funding for emergency veterinary care as well as feed. We’ll never know what tomorrow might bring, but the Disaster Relief Fund could very well be our parachute. Learn more about the Disaster Relief Fund.

Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation

The TRF is the largest and oldest organization of its kind in the world, devoted to protecting the Thoroughbred racehorse when his racing days are over to prevent him from possible neglect, abuse or slaughter. To this mission, TRF has sheltered thousands of animals, with many going on to second careers while some remain at sanctuary. TRF has also partnered with State of New York Department of Correctional Services to create a vocational training program for inmates, focusing on equine care and management. Learn more about Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation.

PATH International

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) is the credentialing organization for therapeutic riding centers and also certifies instructors and specialists. PATH International provides training and educational resources for therapeutic riding schools all over the world, insuring that students, teachers and horses are safe, healthy and happy and that the maximum benefit can be reached by all. Through PATH International, prospective students can find an accredited organization that will best match their needs to enrich their experience. Learn more about PATH International.

Your local rescue or therapeutic riding center

Keeping your donation in your own community can be one of the best ways to help affect change at the local level — search for reputable horse rescues or therapeutic riding centers in your area that could benefit! Keep in mind that donations don’t have to be in the form of cash: many rescues or programs are desperately in need of volunteer help, either for day-to-day operations or for larger projects. Your individual talents will be appreciated, whether you’re able to groom rescue horses, repair fence, repaint the barn, muck stalls, be a sidewalker champion, design marketing materials, write articles or build a mounting ramp.

Need more ideas? Check out our past weekly Standing Ovation by Ovation Riding columns, which spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world.

Go riding.

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