Monday, October 12, 2009

Hard Questions to ask Yourself if Interested in Horse Rescue

Often times I am asked "How can you do horse rescue?". Truthfully, I don't "rescue" horses, I facilitate their (the horses) placement, transition or adoption from the race track into a new home or career. I have chosen this niche, as I would like in my efforts to try and "save" a horse from an uncertain future or from the auction lot by working with owners, trainers, jockeys and race trackers as the first line of defense for our equine athletes. Having said that I do on occasion volunteer my efforts, money, or resources to those that do "rescue". I found a group that networks for horses, one horse at a time, and on their website there was a checklist or a "gut check" of questions that a responsible person or group should ask themselves PRIOR to becoming involved in equine rescue. The questions are:

Checklist for Potential Rescuers

- Am I physically/mentally up to this challenge?
- Am I strong enough to take criticism for what I am doing?
- Do I have the time to dedicate to saving this horse?
- Can I decide between rescue and euthanasia with the signs the horse is giving?
- Am I committed to following the guidance provided for the horse’s care?
- Am I organized enough to document what is being done to care for the horse (both
for “proof” of care should I be reported for neglect myself and to keep track of meds, weights, feed routines, etc.)
- Do I have friends/family that can help me care for the horse in my absence?
- Do I have the money to pay for food, vet bills and necessary supplies?
- Do I have the necessary equipment (feed buckets, water trough/buckets, weather
appropriate blanket, halter, lead, sling for raising a horse)?
- Do I have a clean, warm/cool, dry and safe place to nurse the horse back to health?
- Do I have room for the horse to get exercise?
- Do I have a good relationship with my local vet?
- Is the vet willing to make farm calls quickly?
- Do I know how to check the horse’s temperature?
Do I have stomach/skills for administering feeding tubes, shots, doctoring wounds?
- Can the horse eat without assistance?
- Do I have any clue on what to feed this horse?
- How bad off is he/she? (Body condition score)
- Does the horse drop feed when trying to eat?

The mission of One Horse At a Time, Inc from it's website states:

One Horse at a Time, as our name implies, works with one horse at a time either through a bonefide rescue organization or one on one with individuals.

We provide a network of resources scattered throughout the country. Through our affiliated groups, we can direct resources to where it is needed. In the short period of time we’ve been an organization, we’ve contributed to the rescue and rehabilitation of many horses. We’ve had yard sales, lemonade stands, conducted on-line fundraising to generate the funds needed to help these horses.

In addition to sponsoring a horse, One Horse at a Time also donates to horses with special needs or helps in equine emergencies (such as raising funds for a hay shortage drive or hurricane damage).

To reach One Horse at a Time go to


  1. This group, quoted here, is a powerhorse among the herd out there. Dedicated and driven. A lot like the author of THIS blog, as a matter of fact. :)

  2. Dear Wegwag, thank you for the post. I am constantly encouraged when finding networking contacts such as One Horse at a Time. I hope to feature more and more of them as I use the internet and references to find them.


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