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Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...

by EQUUS Foundation
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Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...
Can You Make A Horse Smile? You Bet! Here's How...

America's horses continue to be confronted with a disturbing reality. Over 65,000 horses were transported across our borders for slaughter in 2019. Tens of thousands more are abused, neglected and in need of rescue, rehabilitation and re-homing each year.

With so many people facing hardships, our fear is that many more of our four-legged equine friends may be subjected to abuse and neglect and the number of horses heading to the slaughter pipeline will increase.

For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, the EQUUS Foundation is committed to ensuring that donor dollars are being spent on programs with the greatest impact – programs that not only increase adoptions of at-risk horses and provide a safe haven for aged horses, but also increase opportunities for all people to engage and partner with horses in new, innovative ways.

At the heart of the EQUUS Foundation's mission is the EQUUS Foundation Guardians program. EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities undergo a rigorous vetting process annually to demonstrate that they are committed to the highest standards for horse care and are transparent and accountable by making their horse care practices and operations available to public scrutiny. Only EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities are eligible to receive financial support from the EQUUS Foundation. View our Guardian charities here.

On May 19, the EQUUS Foundation was issued a challenge! An anonymous donor inspired us to raise $25,000 between May 19 and June 30 to receive a $25,000 matching donation to help feed and care for the horses of EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are thrilled to report that we exceeded our goal -- thanks to the individuals and organizations who stepped up during this difficult time. It is our honor to recognize these donors on our website here.

It took just 43 days to be able to award $60,500 in grants to 121 EQUUS Foundation Guardian charities representing 2,665 equines.

We continue to be inspired by what can be accomplished when we work together!

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View-https://www.equusfoundation.org/video/behrs
View-https://www.equusfoundation.org/video/behrs

Helping horses in transition find their next chapter to be useful, protected and loved is what the EQUUS Foundation is all about.

That's why actress Beth Behrs ("Two Broke Girls", "The Neighborhood") who is also an equine/animal advocate and rescue horse owner, contacted the EQUUS Foundation for help in finding a solution for some neglected Thoroughbreds on the East Coast. View her video here.

All too often animals can become victims of unfortunate circumstances, even when their owners mean well – which was the situation with these unfortunate Thoroughbred horses who were owned by an elderly couple. When the husband passed way, the widow tried to continue to care for her horses, but with the arrival of winter, it became impossible.

"The horse community is unlike any community I've ever had the gift of being a part of," said Behrs. "The way that horse lovers show up to support each other and the animals always makes me so emotional. I love the community of horse people I've made in real life and on social media. When my friend Caitlin of Rancho Relaxo Rescue desperately needed help, I had no doubt EQUUS Foundation would be up for the challenge. I'm so happy I was able to help connect two incredible horse warriors in order to save these beautiful four-legged souls in dire need of help."

It was the best of social media at work. Caitlin Cimini at Rancho Relaxo Rescue had intervened, but they were at full capacity and could only take two. Valerie Angeli, VP, Engagement, EQUUS Foundation, immediately reached out to EQUUS Foundation Guardian, Rising Starr, and its founder, Kelly Stackpole.

Just like that, in a major team effort, two more horses, Jonathon and Drew, got their freedom ride out of a freezing cold, tumble down, makeshift barn to the safety and comfort of Rising Starr's brand new facility in Wilton, Connecticut.

Rising Starr is an outstanding example of the ever-growing list of EQUUS Foundation Guardian partners across the country.

The EQUUS Foundation Guardians program nationally recognizes equine charities dedicated to the highest standards for horse care that demonstrate their willingness to be fully transparent by making their policies and horse care practices available for public scrutiny.

"It is a very powerful force for good when people come together for horses in need and pool their expertise and resources," said Angeli. "We need to work together to save lives. All horses deserve hopeful, happy lives and a humane and dignified end of life."

Before and After
Before and After

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The EQUUS Foundation has been a proud, long-time supporter of the Washington International Horse Show (WIHS) that brings the magic of horses into the heart of DC so all can experience horsepower. But this year, the EQUUS Foundation spread the love of horses in its own unique way by having a rescued miniature donkey in the Kissing Booth at Kid's Day to help inspire horse welfare and adoption.

Blossom, a little, painted donkey with sight in only one eye due to a previous injury, is as sweet and docile as they come and was rescued in the nick of time by Kelly Smith of Omega Horse Rescue in Airville, Pennsylvania, an EQUUS Foundation Guardian, her husband Matt, and Blossom were on hand to encourage compassion for all horses. Blossom delighted all and gratefully accepted kisses and being brushed and petted gently by visitors of all ages.

WIHS was also host to our Rider's Closet Donation Trunk. The Rider's Closet provides donated riding apparel to equestrians of all ages and at every level of horsemanship who need the clothing to pursue their horsemanship dreams -- as well as equine charities, scholastic riding programs, pony clubs and equestrian camp programs.

By the end of the week, the EQUUS Foundation collected several trunks full of britches, shirts, riding jackets and boots. Founded by EQUUS Foundation EQUUStar, Georgina Bloomberg, in 2006, the Rider's Closet merged with the EQUUS Foundation earlier this year.

The EQUUS Foundation also presented the WIHS Honor & Service Award on Friday evening to two horses who give back every day to improve the well-being of people - Happy, a 22-year old leopard Appaloosa from the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program NVTRP) in Clifton, Virginia, and Reeses, a 27-year old Thoroughbred from the Project Horse Empowerment Center in Purcellville, Virginia.

The new, high-tech and stylish vegan paddock boots and tall boots by Der Dau to benefit the EQUUS Foundation were also sparking interest and special orders at the Der Dau booth inside the Capital Arena where the Washington International Horse Show competition took place. Gentle to animals and the environment, 20% of every sale of Der Dau's vegan boot line, made from non-animal leather (pineapple fiber and recycled rubber), is donated to the EQUUS Foundation, thanks to the generosity of renown lux boot maker, Der Dau, based in Brooklyn, NY, USA.

"Two Therapy Horses to Honor, A Donkey to Kiss, Lux Boots Made of Pineapple that Give Back to Horses, and a Trunk Filled to the Brim with Donated Apparel for Equestrians in Need ... That Was Our Week at the 2019 Washington International Horse Show!" said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP.

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Torrential rain couldn't keep horse lovers in the Hamptons from coming out on Wednesday evening, August 28, to join the EQUUS Foundation to celebrate a unique, new documentary by award-winning producer and director, Steven Latham, about the complicated and tragic dilemma facing America's Wild Horses while also highlighting some hopeful and triumphant solutions.

"After spending more than a year filming wild horses throughout the west, it was a privilege to have the first preview of my movie in association with the EQUUS Foundation," said Steven Latham, producer of 'The Mustangs: An American Story.'

The evening was educational as well as enjoyable. EQUUS Foundation VP, Valerie Angeli, shared highlights of the range of programs the EQUUS Foundation supports which focus on re-homing America's at-risk and transitioning horses and on the healing power horses provide to those who are hard to help through traditional therapies.

The magnitude of the Foundation's success in raising awareness of the issues impacting America's horses was brought home further through the viewing of Steven Latham’s beautiful movie clip which was so moving that even non-horse lovers could appreciate why preserving these amazing American icons is an obligation we all share. You can view the clip at https://www.equusfoundation.org/wild.

"The EQUUS Foundation supports second chances and new opportunities for all of America's horses. It is time to tell the story about these spirited and intelligent icons of the American West in a way everyone can appreciate and embrace," said Angeli.

"Steven Latham's film does an outstanding job of detailing the issue in the most beautiful and inspiring way, showing us that there are solutions on the horizon for these magical horses. Our intention for this special evening is to raise awareness about the issue and to step up our efforts to support programs for wild horses whose lives depend on our support," continued Angeli.


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Georgina Bloomberg with Petey
Georgina Bloomberg with Petey

The EQUUS Foundation is pleased to announce the merger of the EQUUS Foundation and The Rider's Closet, a charitable program founded in 2006 by philanthropist and professional equestrian Georgina Bloomberg. The Rider's Closet provides new and gently used riding attire free-of-charge to equestrians in need so they may pursue their horsemanship dreams at any age and at every level. The mission of The Rider's Closet is also to ensure riding apparel is accessible to equine charities, scholastic riding programs, pony clubs and equestrian camp programs.

"As a lifelong animal welfare advocate and equestrian, I couldn't ask for a better partner for The Rider's Closet than a nonprofit dedicated to the protection of horses," said Ms. Bloomberg. "Our merger with the EQUUS Foundation will provide limitless opportunities to benefit horses and equestrians around the country, and it's a natural fit that will increase the visibility and positive impact of both missions."

"The mission of the Rider's Closet aligns perfectly with that of the EQUUS Foundation — to increase opportunities for horses and people to thrive together. Our partnership will allow more people than ever to enjoy the magic of horses and the benefits of the equine experience," said Valerie Angeli, EQUUS Foundation VP of Engagement.

The Rider's Closet accepts donations from around the U.S., including adult and children's show shirts, breeches, show coats, schooling apparel, boots and half chaps. Demand is especially high for paddock boots and tall boots in adult and children's sizes, as these are the most expensive items that equestrians need to participate. For safety reasons, helmets cannot be accepted.

In its new role as a program of the EQUUS Foundation, The Rider's Closet will continue its day-to-day operations as a free equestrian apparel exchange. It will also increase its presence at horse shows and other equine-related events to support and promote the work of the EQUUS Foundation and the Rider's Closet, and provide a drop-off location for apparel donations.

"Given Georgina's passion for equine and animal welfare, this merger is an especially powerful alliance. We are excited to grow together — For The Love of Horses," said Angeli.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, all donations to The Rider's Closet program of the EQUUS Foundation are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law. Visit equusfoundation.org/riderscloset for information about donating or requesting items from The Rider's Closet.

Grayson, Rider's Closet Recipient
Grayson, Rider's Closet Recipient
Naya, Rider's Closet Recipient
Naya, Rider's Closet Recipient

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EQUUS Foundation

Location: Westport, CT - USA
Website:
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Twitter: @EQUUSFoundation
Project Leader:
Lynn Coakley
Westport, CT United States
$127,672 raised of $250,000 goal
 
583 donations
$122,328 to go
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