Support Your Local Equine Rescue

Throughout the winter months Equine Rescue Centers need all the help they can get to feed and house their charges. Here are some ways you can help. By Jayne Pedigo for EquiSearch.
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Throughout the winter months Equine Rescue Centers need all the help they can get to feed and house their charges. Here are some ways you can help. By Jayne Pedigo for EquiSearch.

Equine rescue centers do such a wonderful job all year-round. They take in horses in need and provide them with shelter, feed and medical care. But all animal rescue centers operate totally on donations of cash and needed items.

Winter time can be especially difficult. Hay and feed are often hard to come by, and more expensive just when the horses need them most.

So what can you do to help? Most equine rescue centers have "wishlists" posted on their Web sites, which outline their specific needs. However, below I have listed some general items that will be welcomed by any and all rescue centers.

All you have to do is contact your local rescue and ask them when they want it delivered!

Medical Supplies
As you can imagine, rescue centers get through phenomenal amounts of medical supplies. Items that will be welcomed include:

  • Dewormers.
  • First aid supplies, such as disinfectant, wound powder, banadages etc.
  • Fly repellent.

Feed and Bedding
It's wise to check first before pulling up with a truck full of feed or bedding. The rescue you plan to donate to may have a special need for Senior feed, or straw or peat moss, rather than regular shavings.

  • Bags of sweet feed or pellets. (as mentioned above, check first to see which type would be most welcomed)
  • Bales of hay. (check first, to make sure that there's ample storage space, or your donation may get spoiled by standing out in the weather)
  • Bags of shavings. (Or peat moss, or bales of straw, as appropriate)

General Barn Care Items
As you can imagine, caring for large numbers of horses means you need extra supplies of all those things we all use around the barn on a daily basis. Items that will be welcomed include:

  • Buckets and feeders.
  • Wheelbarrows.
  • Shovels, rakes, manure picks.
  • Brooms.

Some larger facilities would also welcome equipment such as tractors, trailers, manure spreaders etc. If you've purchased a new tractor, consider donating your old one.

Tack and Equipment
Even if a rescue center only takes in retired horses, they often need tack and equipment for everyday use. If the center works to rehabilitate horses and find them new homes as working animals, they'll need tack in order to be able to train and bring the horses back to fitness. These items don't need to be new, but they should be in good repair.

  • Halters and lead ropes.
  • Bits and bridles.
  • Saddles and saddle pads.
  • Blankets (old, infirm horses often need more help getting through winter than do younger horses.)
  • Polo wraps, standing bandages.
  • Grooming kit.

In addition to the items listed above, rescue centers often have need for specific items such as a computer for the office, general office supplies such as envelopes etc., lumber for building stables, field shelters and fencing, trucks and horse trailers. The list is almost endless.

By contacting your local rescue center, you can determine what their specific needs are and make an appropriate donation.