The Perfect Storm

The perfect storm has arrived.

Over the past couple of decades, a number of things have caused major shifts in the number of horses in the US needing homes. These are, in no particular order: the overbreeding of poor quality horses for which there is little demand, the dumping of PMU horses onto an already saturated market, the demographic changes associated with the “Baby Boomer” generation (substantially reduced income, health problems in horse owners), and this past year, a major worldwide recession.

The combined effect of the economic crisis, a market saturated with horses, the low meat price, (the bottom of the horse market) and increased fuel costs for transport to Canadian and Mexican slaughterhouses, is that some horses now bring less at auction than it costs to even send them to slaughter. There is almost no demand for them and it is getting hard to even give them away.

What does this mean?

Mom and Baby

With a little help from their friends at White Bird, this mare and foal were moved from a dangerous situation into a new home.

It means that many horses are going to die needlessly this year and in the foreseeable future. The majority of these horses are not owned by “bad” people. They are owned by your neighbors, your friends and even your relatives, who cannot afford to feed them, cannot care for them, can no longer sell them and either cannot or will not euthanize them. You probably drive past some of these horses on your way to work and don’t realize that the overgrazed fields they are standing in no longer provide any nutritional value. Without help they will die a slow death by starvation, quietly, painfully and often unnoticed.

Some of them are lucky. Their desperate owners will call us for help. Or concerned neighbors will recognize that something is wrong and want to do something. We are there for as many of them as we have the resources to help. But this year, their numbers are staggering. We have never received as many calls for help as we are receiving right now. We need your help to reach the population that this perfect storm has created.

We need cash donations for vet and farrier costs, hay, feed, wormer and any of that extra tack that’s been gathering dust in your tack room. We want to answer your questions about what we can all do to help and we want to combine everyone’s resources, talents and time to make it work. We specialize in Appaloosas, but we will not turn away other breeds.

Will you help us to help them? Please consider contributing by hitting the “Make a Donation” button at: http://localhost/horseOriginal/help.htm

Are you a Virginia state employee? Please see us on the Commonwealth of Virginia Campaign web site at: donate on-line! We are Charity #3388.

Are you a federal employee in the DC area? We are members of the National Capital Combined Federal Campaign at: You can donate on-line.

Are you a federal employee in the Central Virginia area? We are members of the Central Virginia Area Combined Federal Campaign. You can donate through payroll deduction.

Got any other ideas? Call us! The rescue can be reached at: 434-767-2839.

We would love to hear from you. Not a horse person? Not a problem! We will be happy to bring you up to speed and answer any questions you might have.

These horses can go on to live good lives, lending beauty and dignity to their surroundings, performing jobs, or serving as companions to people or other horses. Together, we can save them.

We thank you so much for your support.

Jorg Huckabee-Mayfield
White Bird Appaloosa Horse Rescue