March 2020 – National Horse Protection Day

2020 National Horse Protection Day

National Horse Protection Day

Originally published at

What is an “Unwanted Horse”?

In 2005, the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) formulated a definition for an “Unwanted Horse.” This definition includes any horse that an owner no longer wants. Horses may be old, injured, sick, or unmanageable, because of lameness, behavior problems, or poor performance as a race or show horse. But, it also includes horses that are unattractive, unhandled, are the wrong color, or cost too much to care for. An owner’s financial situation could change, and a horse that was wanted yesterday could be unwanted today.


What can you do?

Rescue Groups can always use help financially or physically. Donate money, supplies, or feed. Volunteer to feed, move hay, groom horses, or just ask what they need. You may also foster a horse until the shelter or rescue group can find the horse a home. Of course, if you have the resources to adopt a horse, that is a good way to help a horse long-term.

Unwanted Horse

Photo taken by Jake Mosher Photography

In Montana Rescue Groups include:

EquiSave Foundation in Livingston

United in Light Draft Horse Sanctuary in Livingston

Western Montana Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation in Corvallis

River Pines Horse Sanctuary in Missoula

Horse Haven of Montana in Frenchtown

Montana Horse Sanctuary in Stevensville


Any of these groups could use your help. Some of these groups provide grants for assistance with hay or medical care for horses.

In your neighborhood

Look around. Who needs your help? Is there an owner who has experienced recent illness or disability? Maybe your neighbor that has trouble right now at the end of winter could use some help applying for a grant from one of the rescues listed above. Maybe she just needs a helping hand with barn chores.


Observe National Horse Protection Day and help a horse!


By Stacie G. Boswell, DVM, DACVS


March 2020 – National Horse Protection Day

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