Second Life Equine Program
Learn more about our Second Life Equine Program, and if you want to donate specifically towards helping us support this program, make sure you mention that in the comment section of Paypal's donation page.
What is the problem?
Your daughter is ten years old and has her heart set on getting.a pony for Christmas. You scramble together enough money to buy the one she has fallen in love with and you surprise her Christmas morning by bringing her to the barn where her pony will now live. What happens next? Have you budgeted to be able to afford the monthly board, hay, feed and care as well as the yearly farrier and veterinary bills for the next 15+ years if not longer? If the answer is no, and you are not able to afford the care of the pony, what will happen to them? You can try to find them a home, but what happens when no one wants to buy your pony and you have run out of time and money to support them?
This story is all too common across the country. There are not municipal animal shelters required to take in owner surrender horses the same way they take in cats and dogs. Instead, many of these horses, ponies, miniature horses, donkeys and mules end up at livestock auctions. Here they are sold to the highest bidder, whether the person bidding is a loving home, a family that will work the horse into the ground with no care for them, or a "kill buyer." Kill buyers purchase horses to sell to Canadian or Mexican slaughterhouses, where it is still legal for horses to be slaughtered for meat. This process is abusive and horrific for any animal.
Horses are such regal animals that we have domesticated to be our partners. They work alongside us; they carry us through goals and help us achieve dreams. Many of these horses are then tossed to the side and end up with horrible fates they do not deserve. For more information on the horse meat industry, we suggest watching the following video (caution, the video is graphic):
What is our solution?
Wayward Ranch attends these livestock horse auctions whenever possible to save horses, donkeys, mules and ponies from potentially abusive homes or from slaughter. We can only save a few at a time, just a drop in the bucket, but for those animals it is worth it to know they will never be in danger again. We call this program "Second Life" because many of these animals are brought to auction because they are no longer considered useful. We can create an individualized training program to help them discover their new life's purpose, whether that is as a therapy horse, a riding horse, a driving horse, or just a companion horse. There is a home for every horse and each deserves the chance to find that!
What animals are helped by this program?
The following types of animals are most at risk, in our opinion, when brought to livestock auctions.
Special Needs Animals. Many of the horses brought to these auctions have special needs which means they are no longer useful to their current owners. These horses may be at a good weight but not currently rideable, which makes them most at risk for ending up being purchased by a kill buyer. Horses that are lame fall into this category, as well as horses like Orion, who we rescued in February of 2018 when he was brought to the auction blind. Orion was definitely used as a riding horse in his previous home, but when he went blind they decided he would no longer be useful and they brought him to the auction to be sold to the highest bidder.
Older or Neglected Animals. Many of the horses that come through these auctions are seniors or very underweight. Private buyers who are looking for a great horse to buy at these auctions will overlook these horses, instead bidding on the younger and healthier animals. This leaves the horses with very little chance of a happy ending. When we are able, we like to rescue these horses, nurse them back to a proper weight and find them loving homes.
How do donations help us to continue this program?
Your donations to this program will go towards helping us to purchase these at risk animals at auction. An auction price can range anywhere from $10-$1000 depending on the horse. Donations also help us to provide the horses with veterinary care to get them back to health and personalized training to help prepare them for adoptive homes.
Donations also help us to provide daily care in the form of food, enrichment, farrier care, and basic veterinary care to the animals that we rescue until they find their loving homes.