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.
The images I have seen and the stories I have heard are shocking and disturbing. When I first learned about kill pens and slaughter auctions, I couldn’t even believe it was legal. Horses too emaciated to stand up are whipped across the auction stage and bid on for a couple hundred dollars, so they can be sold for meat. Young horses who had once raced or competed but sustained an injury that rendered them no longer able to bring in money or ribbons are sent to the auction block. Horses who have been deemed “dangerous” because they have NO trust in humans as a result of the way they have been abused. And not a few. Thousands. The pictures flood my news feed weekly now.
Nalani is sort of a work program for horses. We aren’t a sanctuary for the sick and dying. Our focus is re-training and rehabilitating horses and getting them back to work BEFORE they are in danger of heading down the slippery slope. Work equals safety. The wait is over! We are excited to announce that Nalani is officially a not for profit corporation and your donations are tax deductible. We can’t save them all, but together we can make ALL the difference in the world to a few. Let’s do this!