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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...

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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Nancy  with Mighty
Nancy with Mighty

Horses have played a significant role in advancing civilization and continue to positively influence our happiness and our health as athletes, companions, teachers, and healers. But, tens of thousands of horses become at-risk for abuse and an untimely and inhumane end of life. Over 81,000 of America’s horses were shipped across our borders to be slaughtered in 2018. Most were young, healthy and had untapped potential.

Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) offer a boundless opportunity for people to engage with horses in new innovative ways and help them lead responsible and productive lives. Yet, while there are over 48 million people with disabilities in the US, only 7,800 horses are currently serving only 66,000 people with special needs.

There is something incredibly empowering and inspiring about earning the respect of an animal that weighs over ten times more than you. Here’s Nancy and Bill’s story . . .

Nancy always had a passion for horses, inspired by childhood visits to the farms of her relatives in Minnesota and nurtured by horse activities at summer camp. In her twenties, she was lucky to own a beautiful palomino Quarter Horse mare but had to give up riding when the demands of childrearing took priority.

It wasn't until many years later in 2015 that she and her husband, Bill, a veteran, happened upon BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center and learned that as a veteran, Bill could participate in their programs for free. BraveHearts has the largest equine-based program in the nation for military veterans comprised of riding, ground activities, carriage driving and gentling wild mustangs.

Nancy said, "I jumped in with both feet to volunteer, dragging Bill along with me. It wasn't long before "my" passion became "our" passion and we found ourselves spending quality time together doing things we enjoyed."

Then, Nancy and Bill's world was shattered in 2017 and they plummeted into deep grief after finding their 28-year old son lifeless and unable to be revived from a drug overdose. It was the horses that horses opened their hearts and ears and were available to absorb their tears and sobs as they walked through that deep valley of darkness. "It was through this tragedy that we personally experienced the God-given, healing qualities of the horse," said Nancy.

Nancy said, "Bill is now a certified riding instructor, and a day doesn't go by that we don't thank God for putting us in touch with BraveHearts and these wonderful horses. It was the horses that helped us cope with our future and showed us how we could help others."

The EQUUS Foundation is the only national animal welfare charity in the United States 100% dedicated to protecting America's horses and strengthening the bond between horses and people. At the core of our mission is safeguarding the comfort and dignity of America's horses throughout their lives and sharing their ability to empower, teach and heal with as many people as possible by:

• INSPIRING horse lovers to become horse protectors by stimulating advocacy and volunteerism;
• EDUCATING the public on the impact of horses in our lives; and
• EMPOWERING equine charities to operate at the highest standards for horse care and service and be fully transparent by providing them with recognition, guidance, resources and financial support.

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Big D and Sergeant Russell Robar
Big D and Sergeant Russell Robar

Big D, a 16-year-old palomino draft cross named in honor of fallen officer Forrest Edward "Dino" Taylor, is a wonderful example of a horse who found a meaningful second career. Big D pulled farm wagons and plows before joining the urban Baltimore Police Mounted Unit as a peacekeeper.

Baltimore's mounted police unit has helped keep the city's peace since 1886. As the unit's leader, Sergeant Russell Robar makes sure the unit continues to serve as a positive and efficient force in Maryland while maintaining its recognition as the oldest continually operated unit in the United States. The pair leads the unit in over 170 community and service events each year. 

Dino and most of the unit's horses came from Amish farms and were retired after years of pulling plows and farm wagons. They are well suited for the routine patrols of city streets and their crowd control duties. Big D and the seven other equine members of the unit also serve as a model to teach Baltimore youth about the value of public service. "Dino's our alpha lead horse and a no-nonsense workhorse," Robar said. "The children on the Amish farms would be climbing all over them. They're used to people."

Big D and Sergeant Robar received the Klinger Perpetual Award for Honor & Service sponsored by the EQUUS Foundation at the Washington International Horse Show on Friday, October 26, 2018, in recognition of their service. 

The EQUUS Foundation is committed to ending the abuse and neglect of America's horses by providing opportunities for horses to thrive. 

Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography
Photo by Shawn McMillen Photography

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EQUUS Foundation

Location: Westport, CT - USA
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Twitter: @EQUUSFoundation
Project Leader:
Lynn Coakley
Westport, CT United States
$127,437 raised of $250,000 goal
 
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