Many of us go through that “I want a pony!” phase. For a lot of us, that dream is never fulfilled. However, there are many horses out in the world who are considered “unwanted” or “extra.” Many of these are perfectly sound, healthy horses.
When looking for a horse to buy, many good options are not even considered. Rescue horses are most commonly overlooked. This is because rescue horses are usually believed to have problems. These problems could include the horse not being perfectly sound, having small health problems. The horse could even have trust issues or be spooked easily due to neglect from past owners. Their owners may have been unable to give them proper care, and so they gave them up. There’s a chance that the horse just wasn’t able to perform in the discipline their owner rides in. Sadly, even a small problem like this causes careless owners to send their horses away.
Eighty percent of first-time horse owners reportedly get rid of their horse within 5 years. Many of these horses are sent to auctions, and some are purchased by buyers who intend to kill them. Often such buyers can outbid those interested in giving a horse a good home.
Horses can be saved from such a tragic fate, however. Horse rescues across the United States work hard to save these animals from being slaughtered. Lots of rescue horses are available to adopt for a reasonable price, and it only takes a little research on the Internet to find one near you.
When considering a horse, you first have to decide if you are ready to take on the responsibility. Owning a horse is a lot of work, but by taking that work on, you gain an amazing friend and companion. Aside from that, you save the life of an innocent animal.
Next you have to decide where the animal will stay: on your own property or boarded at a nearby stable. Wherever your new family member is living, make sure to clear up some time in your schedule to spend time with the horse and gain its trust. Depending on the horse’s past and what information the rescue center provides, you may be able to ride the horse after he or she settles in. Even if a horse is not rideable, it is still a great companion for anyone. Just spending time with horses is shown to help people relax and may even lower blood pressure, improving overall health and mood.
Horses that are not rescued usually end up in the slaughterhouse. Even though horse slaughter has been illegal in the United States since 2008, many horses are sent across the borders to Mexico and Canada, where slaughter is legal. Any horse can be sent to slaughter. Ferdinand, a famous racehorse who won the 1986 Kentucky Derby, was sent to Japan in hopes of having better luck in breeding. When only eight of his 247 foals in the United States became stakes winners, he was sent to Japan.
IT’S A 9TH BIRTHDAY BRANDON HEYMAN WILL NEVER FORGET.
IT’S A 9TH BIRTHDAY BRANDON HEYMAN WILL NEVER FORGET. AS NEWSWATCH’S JONNA SEMPLE EXPLAINS, THE KINGSTON-AREA BOY DECIDED TO USE HIS BIRTHDAY MONEY TO MAKE A MIRACULOUS RESCUE.
IT’S EASY TO SEE THE BOND BETWEEN 9 YEAR OLD BRANDON HEYMAN AND HIS HORSE KARAZAN.
HEYMAN HAS GROWN UP AROUND HORSES SO WHEN HE SAW HIS MOM LOOKING AT A HORSE RESCUE WEBSITE, DESIGNED TO SAVE THEM FROM SLAUGHTER, HE HAD AN IDEA.
“I TOLD HIM ABOUT KARAZAN AND WHAT HAPPENS WITH THE HORSES WHEN THEY DON’T GET A HOME. HE WAS QUITE CONCERNED WITH IT AND I COULD SEE IT WAS WORRYING HIM AND THEN HE JUST KIND OF CAME OUT AND SAID MOMMY YOU CAN USE MY BIRTHDAY MONEY TO PUT TOWARD THE HORSE.”
THE NINE YEAR OLD SAYS IT WAS AN EASY DECISION TO DONATE HIS BIRTHDAY FUNDS TO SAVE THE EX RACE HORSE.
“WELL SHE LOOKED LIKE SHE WAS AN AWESOME GIRL ON THE CAMERA SO I WANTED TO GET HER AND BECAUSE SHE HAS THE SAME COLOUR HAIR AS ME ALMOST.”
“BRANDON’S MOM MJ SAYS THAT IF IT WASN’T FOR HIS GENEROSITY KARAZAN PROBABLY WOULDN’T BE PART OF THEIR FAMILY.”
“SHE WAS THE LAST ONE THAT DIDN’T HAVE A HOME AND SHE PROBABLY HAD ABOUT 15 HOURS LEFT BEFORE SHE WAS GOING OFF TO SHIP AND WHEN HE SPOKE UP AND SAID MOMMY I REALLY, REALLY WANT HER I HAD TO SHUFFLE QUITE QUICKLY TO GET THE FUNDS TOGETHER.”
HEYMAN SAYS HE LOVES TAKING CARE OF KARAZAN AND LOOKS FORWARD TO THE WARMER WEATHER WHEN HE CAN START RIDING HER MORE. HE’S ALSO LOOKING FORWARD TO BEING ABLE TO HELP MORE HORSES IN THE FUTURE.
“IF I GET ENOUGH MONEY I’LL MAKE MY OWN FARM AND GET TONS OF HORSES FROM THE SLAUGHTER AND IF I COULD I WOULD GET MOSTLY EVERYTHING THAT’S IN THE SLAUGHTER SO THAT THEY WOULDN’T DIE.”
A BIRTHDAY GIFT FOR A LITTLE BOY, AND A NEW LEASE ON LIFE FOR ONE LUCKY HORSE. JONNA SEMPLE, CKWS NEWSWATCH – HARROWSMITH.
I know this story is not recent, but I thought I'd share it anyway because it is so inspiring and makes you smile! It is so very kind of Pandora to be brightening the lives of kids who have disabilities. I love reading stories about kids helping other kids through animals, it is inspiring! ~Declan
The sick little girl saving horses to brighten lives of kids with disabilities
Pandora Humphries suffers a mysterious and debilitating disease that causes her red blood cells to attack each other and not regenerate. As her mother Amber Hendry and her step-father Anthony Swords explain, Pandora's love affair with a pony named Bella has helped save unwanted racehorses from the knackery and brought joy to dozens of children with disabilities.
My daughter Pandora is a beautiful girl. She's nine and weighs just 19 kilograms but she has a heart as big as the world.
In 2006, when she was two, Pandora had a bone marrow transplant. She was immune-compromised when she was a baby with haemolytic anaemia, which caused her red blood cells to attack and destroy each other.
She spent her first two years of life in hospital with cardiac and respiratory problems and needed a blood transfusion almost every day.
Doctors don't know why this is happening and so she remains undiagnosed. I call it Pandora's Box Syndrome.
When Pandora was six, she had the bone age of a two-year-old. Today she is a totally different child. Now she has the bone age of an eight-year-old, so she's only one year behind.
She is still small and doesn't gain weight like other nine-year-olds but she's a bright, bubbly kid. We love people who give blood because without them, I wouldn't have my daughter.
For Pandora's eighth birthday, we bought her a white Welsh pony named Bella. She loves horses.
Pandora with her mother Amber, stepfather Anthony and stepbrother.
Pandora, her pony Bella and some We Were Champions volunteers.
Soon after she got a place in the local Riding for the Disabled program.
Pandora decided to give her place to another child. She said: "Mum, I can walk and I can talk. I want someone who really needs it to have my place".
Pandora also wanted to share her pony with the other kids she had met at the hospital. That touched me.
I'm her stepdad and I wasn't around when she spent all her time in hospital but what she's been through breaks my heart.
We noticed that having a pony was having a positive effect on Pandora. She seemed to grow and catch up with the other kids when she was around horses. She has a horse whisperer personality around them.
At the same time we heard about how racehorses were often sold off at the end of their careers. A lot of times they end up being bought for the slaughterhouse.
By this time, because of Pandora, I was a real horse lover and I thought maybe we could save some of them.
I called up some family and friends and we decided that we could do something that might help both the racehorses and the disabled and sick kids that we knew. We started We Were Champions.
I went along to a horse sale. I intended to buy a horse. I came back with three. We invited the kids from the hospital out to our property.
You can't imagine the joy they get from being on a horse for the first time. I'm a pretty big fella and I work in the debt collection business. But I don't care how tough you are, you can't see those smiles and not shed a tear.
We have kids with Tourette's Syndrome, autism and all kinds of conditions. And they are all different people when they are in a paddock with a horse.
Today, we have 19 racehorses, a couple of ponies as well as Pandora's pony Bella and Amber's horse. When we started We Were Champions, it was just our family and friends.
Today, we have more than 10,000 members and we're waiting for approval as a registered charity.
Every weekend we have car loads of kids out here, all with smiles because they're on the back of horse. And none of it would have happened if it hadn't been for Pandora and that big heart of hers.
Kid Heroes for Animals: Kind Teens Save Shelter Animals
Here is my next story for my growing series, "Kid Heroes for Animals" on my Children 4 Horses Facebook page. In this story from December 2012, 3 compassionate teens are featured doing what they love, helping animals. I really hope you enjoy this story!
I will be posting a bunch of amazing stories of kids helping or saving animals from all over the world! You can also help me by submitting or suggesting your own stories by sending me a message on my Facebook page. I am hoping the stories I find inspire people, especially kids to be compassionate and caring towards animals and even to be brave and strong! ~ Declan
Animal Rescue Started By Teenager Has Helped Save 20,000 Animals
December 3, 2012 Posted by ADMIN in Dog News
As Posted on Life With Dogs
He may not be old enough to vote, but he’s making a difference. Lou Wegner is the person behind one of the fastest-growing animal rescues in the country. His Kids Against Animal Cruelty uses social networking to encourage adoptions at high-kill animal shelters. In the past two years it has helped 20,000 pets escape euthanasia.
A few years ago Wegner believed shelters were safe havens. After he volunteered at one he learned that in fact many dogs and cats have to be put down at shelters. “It was heartbreaking. All these dogs crying in their cages. Knowing they would be put down broke my heart,” he said. Lou started Kids Against Animal Cruelty when he was only 14 years old with some of his friends. His Facebook page started out with just 47 friends and now two years later boasts over 15,000 likes on Facebook.
Wegner, who is an actor, uses his public appearances to bring awareness to his cause. If he’s attending an event where photographers and paparazzi are likely to attend he’ll try to wear a Kids Against Animal Cruelty t-shirt. His goal is to get more people to adopt from shelters, to spay and neuter pets and to educate them about pet responsibility.
Wegner efforts have saved dogs like Tommy Joe, an 11-month-old black lab. When Tommy Joe’s photo was posted on the group’s Facebook page it didn’t get much attention, with no likes or comments. “I thought he was doomed,” said Wegner. Tommy Joe was on death row in a rural shelter in South Carolina. Wegner started writing on Tommy Joe’s post and spreading the word about him. Wegner’s extra effort paid off when a group called For the Love of Dogs in Chester, South Carolina saved Tommy Joe.
Since Wegner’s starting of Kids Against Animal Cruelty, other teens have set up chapters of the group around the country. Wegner hopes to have a chapter in every state eventually and make a bigger difference. “They euthanize just as many animals every day as we have saved. It’s like throwing a Band-Aid in a river,” Wegner said. In addition to trying to save as many animals as he can, Wegner hopes to educate children who commit cruelty to animals. Lou would like to make the children who commit cruelty to animals have to witness what happens in the euthanasia room at a shelter.