8 Ways to Give Back to the Horse Industry
- Giving back to the horse industry doesn’t have to be hard, or even time-consuming, and it’s 1000% rewarding. You can even give back without leaving your desk, or you can use giving back as an opportunity to get outside and meet some new people!
The most obvious way to give back is to volunteer.
- You can spend some time working at a horse show – these feats of complex orchestration rely on volunteers to run smoothly. And the beauty of volunteering at a horse show is that you often get valuable behind the scenes access. Jobs might range from office tasks, to jump judging, to working the gates, or organizing the parking.
- Therapeutic programs that involve horses need volunteers. You might even be able to find a therapy program that caters to your interests, like helping Vets or kids. These types of positions involve working with the horses, in the office, even fundraising efforts from your own desk.
- You can also find a horse rescue that needs your help. So many jobs here, from working on the property, to organizing rescues and adoptions, or even supporting social media efforts or fundraising.
You can give back by helping those at your own barn.
- Many barns organize clinics, which you can help to arrange. Or perhaps you want to put together a tack sale, or collect donations for a horse-related non-profit.
- I can also guarantee that at any given time, someone at your barn could use a hand. Be it cleaning someone else’s stall, or sweeping up after someone, or cleaning your friend’s tack. Just ask.
Youth clubs can always use some of your expertise!
- I’ve never met a Pony Club or 4-H or FFA group that couldn’t use a volunteer! Maybe you are cat herding at a rally, maybe you are sharing your particular horse expertise at one of their meetings, maybe you are volunteering your farm for a gathering.
- And I can absolutely guarantee that at least one kid will ask you a question that will both shock and delight you.
You can also donate your dollars to a worthy organization.
- There’s a lot to be said for helping worthwhile horse organizations pay the bills. Manual labor is great, but so is being able to feed the horses or pay the staff. There are lots of ways to give money. You can simply write a check. You might also donate items to be sold in a fundraising auction or an organizations resale shop. Attending one of their functions is also quite effective, and quite a bit of fun, too.
Many equestrian companies donate a portion of their sales to various horse organizations.
- My longtime partner, Shapley’s, donates a portion of sales during the early months of the year to the Equestrian Aid Foundation. C4 belts also give back to the horse world.
- Amazon has a program where you can have Amazon automatically donate dollars based on your purchases to charitable organizations.
Do you have the resources to foster a horse, donkey, or mule in need?
- This might be a sure-fire way to end up with many foster fails, but what a rewarding way to help a horse. Most reputable rescue organizations have networks of people to help them, it’s usually not just one location.
You might also give back to the horse world by making it your career!
- There are dozens and dozens of ways to work for horses. From show management, Veterinary medicine, Farrier work, GROOMING, media, product development, sales and training, the list is really long. The beauty of the horse industry is the overlap of so many other industries – with horses at the center.
A little bit more about the Equestrian Aid Foundation and how you can help them give back to the horse industry.
- This is an organization that has been supporting the horse industry since 1996!
- The Equestrian Aid Foundation provides emergency financial grants to horsemen and women from all disciplines within the US who are coping with catastrophic injury or illness. We help members of the equestrian community get through the crisis period and, ideally, back to doing the work they love.
- Does the EAF help Grooms? Yes, yes they do!
- Most grooms fall under the category of Equine Professionals, or individuals who directly make their living from horses and horse sports. Equestrians in this category can apply for a grant to compensate for loss of income due to a catastrophic injury or illness. The amount of grants awarded are determined by committee and given based upon a host of factors, including:
• Applicant’s health and disability insurance benefits
• Other potential sources of income (including other grant-giving nonprofits and/or government assistance)
• Extent of injury or illness and prognosis, as determined by a licensed medical professional
• Personal and business assets and savings, including tax returns and real estate holdings
• Ability to return to work once recovered, as determined by a licensed medical professional
How you can get involved to support the EAF:
The Equestrian Aid Foundation depends upon the community’s financial support to continue its mission. Because we are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, most donations are tax-deductible.
We accept online donations through our secure website or via mail (Equestrian Aid Foundation, 11924 W. Forest Hill Blvd. Ste. 10A-377, Wellington, FL 33414). We also have Horse Show Partner, Business Partner, and Stable Partner programs. The Stable Partner program is a fun and meaningful way for equestrians who ride and work together to earn recognition for their stable’s collective support of EAF. Email to learn more or to get your stable started!