Inside everyone who’s ever loved a horse is a would-be rescuer with a soft spot for equines that have fallen on hard times. Few have the resources to help such horses, but that doesn’t stop equine rescue groups from trying—and succeeding. At the core of these groups are volunteers with big hearts who devote time, effort and passion to helping horses in need, no matter the hurdles.
And yes, it does take heart. Many rescue cases start with a tragic story, something that should never have happened … but did. Too many have seen a beloved backyard horse lose his longtime owner, a hard-knocking campaigner abandoned when he’s no longer winning races, or a time-worn school mount run out of luck and options. Perhaps you’ve dug deep into your pocket to help unwanted horses or ponies. Indeed, many rescue groups struggle to feed and clothe their charges while scrambling to find room and resources for still more. This is why we are proud to partner with A Home For Every Horse (AHFEH) – this program was created to connect rescue horses with potential forever homes while supporting rescue groups with contributions from corporate partners.
But it’s those selfless caregivers who rise early to break ice on buckets, muck stalls, repair fences and help rebuild equine health and trust who deserve our warmest thanks. They do it purely for the love of horses and in the face of obstacles galore, their only reward being the successful adoption of animals they’ve brought back from the brink.
Their calling is far from easy, involving hard work and endless patience, often with devastating setbacks along the way. But the thrill that comes when a rescue horse finds his forever home is priceless. Without committed volunteers, moments like these would be impossible.
Giving even just one day to help a local rescue can make an impact and be a rewarding experience. Amy and Sara from our marketing team volunteered at New England Equine Rescue North, an AHFEH member rescue in West Newbury, MA, as part of Absorbine’s service program. This nonprofit rescues horses and donkeys from many dire circumstances, as well as from owner surrenders due to major life changes or hardship. Thanks to NEER North, animals whose future may have been uncertain have a safe haven and a chance at adoption after rehabilitation—a chance at happy life. Equally as important, the organization helps horse owners avoid crisis situations, networking with other rescues and educating the public about equine abuse and rescue.
“We have long admired the work that they do to support horses in our community and the hard work they do to get horses into their forever homes,” Amy said. Especially vivid among the memories of her time at NEER North: the “great, compassionate energy” with which that rescue’s “incredible” volunteers carry out their mission.
Happy endings for rescue horses can’t happen without fresh beginnings. While groups like NEER, programs like AHFEH and partners like Absorbine help make these beginnings happen, it’s the volunteers themselves who, toiling tirelessly day in and day out, really turn these horses’ lives around. Every time you read about a successful adoption, remember the sweat equity and sheer love that made it possible.
During this season of giving, join us in offering thanks for these amazing volunteers, with sincere appreciation for all that they do. And if you’d like to give back in a meaningful way, why not consider joining their ranks by donating your time? It takes heart, make no mistake; but, as Sara reflected, “I think it’s really important to volunteer and support what you love, and to give back to the horse community that means so much to all of us.”
Watch the video below to learn more about NEER North and what it’s like to volunteer at a horse rescue.