“Hel a horse, lend a hand.”
That’s the ultimate objective, and there’ll be considerable more for anyone interested in horses.
Most importantly, it’ll be a day of information for those who know nothing, little, or have a definite desire to learn more about horses. Specifically those horses that don’t have a home, their owners want to get rid of them, and the ones that are hungry, have been, or are being mistreated in any way.
“The B&C Equine Rescue, Inc., at Carbondale has planned our second annual Horse Rescue Open House in celebration of the ASPCA (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) Help A Horse Day on Sunday, April 26, from 11 a.m., to 3 o’clock in the afternoon,” announced Brenda Grimmett, who with her husband, Cecil, are hosting the program at their horse rescue unit, appropriately named after their first names.
“Our program last year went so well, that we decided to have another one, and make it even bigger and better,” she added.
“Spotlights of this program will include educational information on horse rescue, horse rehabilitation and therapy programs as well on how to properly care for a horse’s needs,” explained Grimmett, who has operated the 501C3 not-for-profit facility since 2007.
“Most importantly, those attending the Help A Horse Day will learn how they can lend a hand to the continuing problem for horses and the industry every day in the future,” Grimmett clarified.
“The Kansas Pride and Glory Riders will be doing a flag ceremony to background music honoring our veterans and servicemen, including a rider less horse,” the host said.
There will also be demonstration of side saddle horsemanship, along with The Real Women of the Frontier mingling among the visitors.
Dale Moulton is coming from Texas to talk about nutrition and Thrive Horse Feed. “I cannot say enough good about Thrive Feed. It is amazing and has saved so many horses lives, because it is the best and safest feed, especially for starving and near-death horses like we’ve taken in. You can see results in seven to 14 days. It is the only feed we feed here,” Grimmett said.
Terry Yordy, Master Certified Hoof Care professional from Alma, will discuss parts of the horse’s hoof, differences in horses’ hooves, and provide advice about horse feet and their care. “Terry is a remarkable barefoot trimmer and has helped me in many situations with our rescue horses,” Grimmett said.
To enhance attendance, there is completely free admission, with refreshments and raffles for a number of quality prizes for horse lovers and owners. “We have several items that businesses and friends have donated for our raffles, and it includes a little bit of everything for all ages, kids too,” Grimmett said.
“Donations to our cause are always appreciated, and we have had some donations come, as there are some supporters who cannot make the event. Receipts are sent out so donations can be recorded as a tax deduction,” Grimmett pointed out.
“There will be plenty of food and drinks for everyone to enjoy. People can pet the rescue horses, and there will be before and after pictures of the horses we have here, as well as pictures of the horses that have been adopted,” Grimmett noted.
Idea to host their own informational activity came when Grimmett was researching details about the ASPCA Help A Horse Day.
She explained, “The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), founded in 1866 in New York City, was the first humane organization in the Western Hemisphere. The mission, as stated by founder Henry Bergh, is ‘to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States.’
“While there are humane societies all over the country, the ASPCA is not directly affiliated with them. However, the ASPCA works nationally to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with many shelters across the country.
“We believe that animals are entitled to kind and respectful treatment at the hands of humans, and must be protected under the law,” Grimmett added.
Actually, a significant incentive for Grimmett to host the educational horse activity this Sunday came from the ASPCA. “They have offered a major grant for having a Help A Horse Day open house, and our rescue could sure use every bit of assistance we can get,” Grimmett emphasized.
In 2015, there will be seven winners. Three grand prize winners will win $10,000, and four runners-up will receive $5,000, each. “By joining in the ASPCA Help A Horse Day, we are trying to be one of the winners of $10,000 or even the $5000,” Grimmett said.
“However, donations to our cause are always appreciated,” Grimmett stated emphatically.
With 21 horses housed now at the 14-acre B&C Equine Rescue, Grimmett said that is near capacity, but emergency situations can certainly alter that in specific situations.
“There are some sanctuary horses that are here for the rest of their lives, but we do adopt horses out to owners who meet our stringent criteria,” she said.
Horses come from many locales, including those who contact Grimmett to take the horses when they no longer have a means to care for them. “While there are instances when we have purchased horses, we definitely do not want to buy horses,” she stressed.
Some of the horses have been those which have been starved or abused and confiscated by law enforcement.
“We have generally been able to get the owners to surrender the horses to us, rather than having them seized by law enforcement officials,” explained Grimmett, who has been involved in horse rescues for nearly eight years.
Surrendered horses are signed over and become the property and responsibility of the rescuers.
“However, if the horses are seized, it can become a long drawn out legal procedure, and the county becomes responsible for care of the horses,” said Grimmett, who has received imbursement for care of horses seized in Osage County.
“It’s not as simple as getting a starving horse and giving him feed. These horses often require veterinary treatment and parasite control. Putting food or even water in front of a horse that has been without for an extended time can be deadly itself,” Grimmett contended.
Volunteers and donations are essential to the unit. “We are fortunate to have people who will donate feed on a regular basis, and there are individuals who offer to assist with chores and overall care of the horses and facilities. More people have been generous in cash donations since we’ve become non-profit,” Grimmett credited.
“We appreciate all of the assistance we can get, but the burden of care is still our responsibility,” Grimmett contended.
“Because we are called ‘horse rescues,’ some people think we are government supported, but that’s far from the way it is,” she reiterated.
As if all this aren’t enough burdens, government taxation rules even can add considerably to financial stress, but the not-for-profit 501C3 status qualification has reduced the added dilemma.
“Rehabilitation of malnourished, injured or abused often requires considerable time, let alone money, and this does not even take into consideration young and even quite mature horses that have never been handled,” Grimmett commented.
“Then, we try to adopt the horses to suitable new homes. We want to make sure the horses are adopted by someone who has the knowledge, desire and financial capabilities of caring for the horse,” Grimmett explained.
One of the most controversial issues today is legalization of horse slaughter. There is an animate opposition.
“Horse slaughter is not an alternative to the overpopulation and mistreatment of horses. I’ve seen how horses bought for slaughter are mishandled, how they are abused during transportation and have seen examples of the inhumane treatment at slaughter houses.
“Horses are not like cattle. They are not considered food for human consumption in this country. They should not be slaughtered,” Grimmett said.
“Education is the only possible solution,” Grimmett reiterated.
“Buying a horse is the cheapest part of ownership. When somebody sees a horse for just a few hundred dollars, they buy it, because they ‘always wanted a horse.’ That’s when their expenses and problems really begin. There needs to be a place to keep the horse, feed and water, and he can be dangerous if not handled properly,” Grimmett said.
“Our intention is to educate more people about horses and their care. Everybody is welcome to come,” Grimmett invited.