With the economy the way it is, that third category is growing every day. People really want to keep their horses, and they don't understand that you can't just turn them out in a field full of weeds and expect them to live happily "off the land." The individual stories are heartbreaking, as are the pictures.
(photo from the Heart Land website)After Heart Land takes the horses in or finds a foster home for them, the horses are nursed back to health, which means plenty of feed and hay, having the vet check them out and treat any wounds and medical problems, getting their hooves trimmed, and resocializing and retraining them to make up for any abuse and neglect they have suffered. It's a long, sometimes difficult process.
Some rescued horses are not rideable anymore, although some of them are just fine doing some work, once they are healthy again. When the rehabilitation process is finished, the horses are placed with a suitable new owner.
Now there's a way you can help out and have some fun (and maybe do a little holiday shopping?), all at the same time! Heart Land is just one rescue organization participating in an on-line auction at Special Horses.org. Think of it as an on-line yard sale, because there is a real mixed bag of stuff!
What kind of stuff? I'm so glad you asked! Here's just a small sample:
Wedding gown, for a starting bid of $15 (anyone need a Halloween costume?)
Books, for a starting bid of $1 (c'mon, you know there are often gems in surprising places)
Custom pet portraits, for a starting bid of $10 (I won't even grouch if you top me in the bidding for these--go for it!--though I would really like to win)
Vacation at Panama City, FL or Destin, FL, for a starting bid of $750 (what an awesome place to visit in the wintertime!)
Plus jewelry, hand-knitted items, dog and cat things (and lots of horsey items, if you're so inclined)--all at super-reasonable starting bids! All told it's over 300 items. The bidding ends September 30.
Please give this some thought if you have a little jingle to spare, even with times as they are.
If you want to link to this post or directly to the auction, to help get the word out, that would be wonderful, too!
Remember, so often it's true in this life: You get back what you give, multiplied.