Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Horse People with Heart

With the news so regularly peppered by stories of humans and equines in conflict due to abuse, neglect or ethical shortcuts, it can be helpful to remember all those out there that are doing good for, or with, the equines in their life.

During this, the week leading up to the year's biggest showdown in horse racing, I'd like first to applaud the seven racing contingents that have pledged a portion of their earnings during the Breeder's Cup to assisting the New Vocations racehorse rehabilitation organization. Were every owner or breeder to donate just a small portion of yearly winnings in such a manner, organizations like New Vocations and the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, that ensure that racehorses continue to have productive lives off track, would be able to operate in much better stead.

On their Twitter feed today, TheHorse.com linked to a story that deserves attention, about an organization that is using horses to do real good via their Equine Assisted Therapy program. By taking their horses into the community and introducing them to autistic children, adults with eating disorders, nursing home patients and now hospice patients, the folks at Reins of Change are sharing the magic of their horses with those who could most benefit from their inspiring and hopeful presence. I have witnessed first hand the joy, independence and dignity that these gentle, patient creatures can imbue in anyone struggling to overcome life's hurdles, and truly appreciate the gift that Reins of Change is providing. Sick or well, able-bodied or not, I'd assume that many of us horse lovers can relate to the need to have our horses as support during emotional and physical challenges.

Does anyone out there have more examples of humans doing good with their horses? Feel free to leave comments and share your stories!

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