1. Speak up for horses
The best way to help horses is to support legislation that protects and preserves a high quality of life for both domestic and wild horses. As an informed and registered voter, you can use your vote to help ensure the interests of horses on issues such as environment and safety are heard. Make sure politicians and policy makers know horses are important.
2. Lead by Example
Don't support or attend activities that include the suffering of animals for entertainment.
3. Speak with Your Money
Some products actually are made from horses-and some, like the drug Premarin, are created through their suffering. Your spending dollar is a weapon-use it wisely!
Premarin is a hormone-replacement drug prescribed to thousands of women every year. The "magic ingredient" in Premarin is the urine of pregnant mares. Mares used in the production of conjugated estrogens are at risk for abrasions, leg swelling, excessive boredom, stress, and an early death, due to the conditions under which they are kept. If your doctor thinks you should try Premarin, please first consult with him or her about other available treatments in order to make an informed, safe, effective and ethical choice.
4. Share-and Wear-Your Knowledge!
Help spread the word! Not everyone is aware of what happens to racehorses after their days of competing are over, or where Premarin comes from.
5. Support Your Local Rescues
Do some research into your local rescues and find one that you would like to support. Most rescues focus on rescuing abused, abandoned, neglected or unwanted horses from owners or from the auction yard. One of the best ways to help horses in your area is to support your local rescue efforts through fundraising & donations, education or even adopting.
Helping horses doesn't have to mean manual labor in a barn, there are dozens of ways you can promote horse welfare. Maybe they need a graphic designer to whip up a new logo, a writer to help publish a newsletter, someone handy to make minor repairs, a photography enthusiast to take pictures for the group's web site, a good talker to staff an information table at an event.... You get the idea!
7. Report Cruelty
If you witness an act of cruelty to a horse, don't keep it to yourself. A growing number of studies show abuse towards animals often transfers to human beings, including spouses and children. Instead, take good notes of the event, such as the time, location, type of abuse and any other witnesses, and contact your local animal cruelty inspector.
8. Be Cautious Around Horses
Horses are a lot of fun, and deserve the same consideration as people when you are around them. They are naturally nervous creatures, and are edgier than usual when in a public place. Move quietly and slowly, speak kindly and give plenty of warning when you approach them so as not to startle them. Never pet or feed a horse without the owner's permission, for both your and the horse's safety.
9. Keep Your Companion Horse Safe and Healthy
If you are lucky enough to own a horse, you already know the importance of maintaining his or her health through regular veterinary care. But did you know that horses are very social animals, and that their emotional well-being is a big factor in their overall health? Behaviorists recommend getting your horse a buddy-equines don't like to be on their own. A horse or another equid, such as a burro or a donkey, makes the very best "best friend," but we've known goats to work out well, too.
Other ways to keep your horse safe and healthy:
- Guard against theft. Some horses are stolen and sold to slaughter. Maintain good security in your stables and fields so horses can't get out, and would-be thieves are deterred.
- Be prepared for a disaster. Every horse should accept being caught, haltered, led and loaded on a trailer-this could save his life. You may also want to set up an emergency phone tree with other horse owners nearby. A communication plan will prove invaluable if you, or they, need to evacuate animals or share resources like trailers and pastures.
Changes in your health, your horse's health or your financial situation are just a few of the reasons why you might need to find a new home for your horse one day. It's a good idea to research your options ahead of time. You also should think about providing for your horse with a pet trust and let your loved ones and family know what has been done to ensure a happy, healthy future for your horse.