Student improving horse rescue with thesis

March 30th, 2011

This story just made my day. :) Jacie Cupertino, a student at Cazenovia College in NY, is about to complete her thesis, titled Rescue Me! A Collective Resource for Equine Rescue Facilities to Enhance Their Business Operations.

The project focuses on public perception of equine rescue facilities, and how rescues can become more successful with simple changes that:

  • enhance their perceived legitimacy
  • increase the public’s willingness to donate resources, and
  • improve the quality of the facility’s operations.

I think this approach is sheer brilliance on Jacie’s part, and I can’t wait to read her thesis when it’s published next month!

Education is key, and SDSU is doing it right

March 30th, 2011

As I’ve mentioned in the past, one of the keys to solving the unwanted horse problem is to educate the public. South Dakota State University (SDSU) has begun doing exactly that by offering a course called “Equine Issues and Leadership,” which examines the issues facing the equine industry.

The first semester’s students focused on the unwanted horse problem and presented their findings at the 2011 Black Hills Stock Show in Rapid City, SD. (Details of the presentation can be found here.)

Kudos to SDSU, Professor Rebecca Bott, and all the students involved! I’d love to see a class like this implemented at every college and university that offers courses in equine studies or agriculture.

How we can improve horse rescue

March 28th, 2011

A Google search on horse rescue news currently turns up page after page of stories about rescues gone bad, fake rescue organizations stealing money from well-meaning donors, and starved/neglected horses with nowhere to go.

These stories are incredibly disheartening– not just because of the suffering of the horses involved, but because they damage the credibility of all horse rescue efforts, making an already difficult task even more difficult.

As I was attempting to write up a post to cover the current issues and propose ways to prevent them in the future, I was thrilled to discover that someone else has already said it better than I could. Dr. Sheila Lyons wrote a lovely article last week for Dressage Daily, titled Equine Rescue Under Fire – How to Make Things Better.

Please read it when you have a chance. I’ve covered some of her points here before, but they’re worth covering again. Others are new to me, and I’ll be discussing them in detail here soon.