Planning for the Worst

Image 1 in In Memorium RodneyIn the last few decades, the products and services developed to keep our equine companions healthy and happy have vastly improved. As a result, horses are living longer than ever. At White Bird, we have several residents in their 30s and even 40s. But few of us know what twists and turns our lives are going to take over this long period of time. Suppose the unthinkable happens. Suppose you lose your job, your farm, or even your life. What will happen to your aging companion?

People with foresight and resources sometimes provide for their horses in their wills. These folks are doing the best thing possible for their equine friends and they are to be applauded for their good planning. But most of us don’t do that. Why? Because we just don’t believe anything bad is going to happen to us! And it might not take anything more than the loss of a good job or an illness to make caring for your horse impossible. If you have no friends or family willing to care for them, at some point someone will think to contact an equine rescue.

We get these kinds of calls frequently. “Owner died” or “serious owner health problem” are surprisingly common reasons for people to request our help. But all over the country, equine rescue groups struggle to make ends meet. The fact is, without support, they cannot be there for either you or your horses when you most need them.

Supporting your local rescue is an insurance policy. It ensures that if something happens to you, there is a healthy organization there to step in for your horses. Developing and maintaining a good relationship with your local rescue can be lifesaving if disaster strikes.

For your horses’ sake, we ask that you:

1. Make prior arrangements for your horses in case of your death.

2. Consider leaving a contribution to an equine rescue organization.

3. Donate regularly to your local rescue to keep it strong and functional.

4. Volunteer! This will also help other horses who may not be as lucky as yours.

The world is an uncertain place. That is part of its beauty. But if tragedy strikes, you will want to be sure that your horses remain safe and cared for.  Please support the rescues that will be there to help, when others cannot.

Top: Our beloved Rodney Dangerfield, who passed away in his mid 40s. Below: Oreo, also in his mid-40s, enjoys his retirement at White Bird.



2 comments to Planning for the Worst

  • Excellent article. I have made provisions in my will for my appys and dogs. Also I have revamped my rescue work and still assist in finding placements but no longer take permanent sanctuary horses due to my age and bad knees.

    Our animals need the same “what if” planning for their care that you would do for a child. In some ways it’s more difficult to find someone who will take care of your pets should that need arise so working it out beforehand is very important. Also including funds in your estate planning for their care is a must so that they do not become a burden and end up where you never intended.

  • You make a good point in that this kind of planning is needed for organizations, too!

    All of our horses have histories and many of them had caring owners who loved them, but could no longer keep them. Fewer people can take on the horses of their loved ones than can care for their cats or dogs. The horses who landed here were able to find a safe haven when there were no other options. But remaining with their families would have been even better. In either case, it takes resources to safeguard their well-being.

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