As I walk into the barn each morning and breathe in the smell of horses, my blood pressure drops. The hustle bustle of life and all of my worries go away as I stand next to an animal who can read my feelings. Winston Churchill said it best: “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.”
I always believed that horses were beloved, majestic creatures that only a lucky few could enjoy up close. If you’ve heard my story, you know that it was a life long dream of mine to learn to ride a horse. My dream came true a few years ago, but it was also met with a harsh reality that has profoundly changed my life. It turns out that far too many horses wind up abandoned, starving, neglected, or headed to a kill auction. Let’s face it it. Horses are incredibly expensive to care for. They are fragile and require a lot of hands on, daily care. If a horse isn’t “earning his keep” whether in the racing world, the show world, or as a beloved pet, he is in grave danger. Thousands of horses are slaughtered every week because they are no longer useful. A horse’s best shot at safety is to have a job; it’s not as easy as it sounds. A lot of training goes into making a horse desirable or even rideable. Injuries sustained at the race track, bad habits acquired through lack of good training, and so many other factors can send a horse down the path to destruction.