Horses Are Not Disposable Tools

I saw an online comment about horses that really upsets me.  The comment was, “a horse is just a tool”.  The writer also reminded the reader that when a horse is no longer fit you just get rid of them.  In fact, he said back “in the day” unwanted horses were sent to the zoo! As a manager of a non-profit horse rescue, we see the personality of each horse and we also are keenly aware of how they fit into a herd.   There is no such thing as an unwanted horse! Step back and think like a horse for a minute.  A foal has a mare and a stallion for parents.  It is a family unity. Both parents raise the foal, they protect it and care for it.  As it grows up it learns the rules of the herd and where it fits in the social structure.  A mare can bond for life with a stallion.  They also have “marital” disputes and will often show their displeasure with the other by ignoring them.  We have one mare, Tess who, for 2 days, was recently mad at the Espejo.  Why you night ask… well he was paying too much attention to another mare!   J-Lo and Buttercup Here at Richardson Equine Rescue Inc., we have 10 horses and 5 donkeys.  We know each of them individually.  Our oldest is Buttercup, at 19 years old, she is a sanctuary horse from El Paso who has severe arthritis in here rear foot.  She can’t be ridden and is quite moody.  We worked with her to find what she can do, what does she like.  We learned she likes children. She now the star of our program Children Without Horses.  With a weight limit of 100 pounds she is excellent giving children rides and introducing them to the world of horses and riding. Buttercup has a purpose now.  She is happy and will never be considered unwanted again.    Buttercup has a best friend, J-Lo.  J-Lo is also from El Paso and is 19 years old.  She was trained in Charro.  A Charro Horse is trained to ‘dance’ wearing a heavy saddle, often adorned in silver. The rider sits on the horses back while the horse dances.  This activity is terrifying for the horse, as the training they receive is cruel and brutal.  The horse is left with scars, broken down bodies and emotional trauma.  We have seen all this with J-Lo. We have gradually encouraged J-Lo to allow riders with ‘soft’ hands and she is responding. We are grateful for her friend Buttercup who has given her the companionship and the calmness needed for her to recover from the brutality. J-Lo is a sanctuary horse.  She is too fragile to be adopted.   Caring for horses is what we do.  They have value and are not tools to be thrown away or taken to the zoo.  If you care about animals like we do, please find it in your heart to donate to our rescue. We have been a nonprofit rescue since 2012.  Our 501c3 status enables your donation to be tax deductible.   We run the rescue with 2 elderly volunteers and 2 part-time volunteers.  We have no employee and all money we receive is used to buy feed and provide medical care.  We have no other expenses.    Please support the work we do by going to our website at:

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