How to Start a Horse Rescue
 By Winniefield Park   •   27th Jun 2015   •   1,569 views   •   0 comments
How to Start a Horse Rescue

Have you ever wanted to rescue horses? Iíve rescued a few. I bought them at an auction, brought them home, made sure they were healthy and found them a new owner or kept them for myself. Most horse owners with the means to do so have done something similar. But if you want to run a horse rescue on a larger scale, itís a slightly different process than simply picking up a horse here or there and looking after it until it finds a new home. Starting a horse rescue isnít something you do on a whim. It takes planning, and perhaps most importantly, detailing how the rescue will be funded.

Those of us who already own horses know how much a horse costs to keep, and what getting feed into our barns and pastures entails. A very lucky few will have enough pasture year round to keep all of their horses well fed. Rescuing horses may mean they simply turn them out on good pasture and watch them bloom. The rest of us will have to buy hay and perhaps grain for at least part of the year. But, the expenses donít stop with feed. Many rescue horses will need veterinary and farrier care. There may be transportation and equipment costs. You may need additional stabling and fencing. And, there is always the chance you may run into legal costs. Hopefully, this will never happen, but itís best to be prepared if it does. This can get costly. The first thing youíll need to do is make sure you can fund your project. It may require some creative thinking to find ways to raise money, if your own income isn't sufficient.

Related: The Five Dollar Horse In The Shed
Related: What Happens When A Horse Starves
Related: How to Feed a Starving or Malnourished Horse

It is possible to become a registered charity or non-profit organization, and this may enable you to raise funds and get some tax breaks. Get legal advice. You need to know the by-laws in your area. Talk to a lawyer about protecting your personal assets and other legalities. You should talk to a book keeper. Horses should come and go with bills of sale and appropriate contracts. Keep all of your paperwork under control from the beginning, like any other business.

Once you know how youíll cover your costs, youíll probably want to start with one or two horses. How do you find horses to rescue? Unfortunately, it isnít hard. Attend auctions, tell friends and put flyers up in tack and feed stores. You can also put up a website and use online social networking. You may find there are too many opportunities to get horses to rescue. Starting out too big may lead to financial distress and you may find your time is stretched thin as well. You donít want your own horses, as well as those you are rescuing to end up in another rescue!

Before you begin, youíll also want to have an understanding of how to feed starving or sick horses, how to deal with difficult horses and know that there will be some horses that will force you to make difficult and sometimes unhappy decisions. You will also run into difficult people who do not share your vision. Some people treat rescuing horses as a vigilante type activity. Remember to respect private property, and work with authorities, not against them. The passion in your heart for rescuing horses isnít enough. Youíll need a cool head for the logistics and legalities if you want to succeed.

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