Each Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize TheraPony and its “30 Geldings in 30 Days” program.
Choosing to geld intact horses is one of the most basic and helpful steps in reducing the population of unwanted horses in the United States: geldings are easier to place, house and usually train than stallions as well as removes the potential for accidental breeding to produce yet more unwanted horses.
That’s why TheraPony, a horse rescue and sanctuary based in Ramona, California, decided to host a “30 Geldings in 30 Days” ongoing clinic for the month of April. We spoke with Lana Russell of TheraPony to learn more.
Tell us a little bit more about TheraPony and how you came up with this idea.
TheraPony is an all volunteer run horse rescue and sanctuary. We were brainstorming how we can help our community better and keep horses from needing rescue and gelding was one of the top ideas. We presented this idea at Homes For Horses Coalition conference in Nashville in September and it won the approval of about 180 attendees. We decided to provide 30 free in-home castrations during the month of April in the San Diego area as part of this year’s ASPCA’s Help A Horse Day Celebration. Our 30 Geldings In 30 Days campaign has been a big hit in the community. In-home castrations reduce the stress and lessen the chances of complications.
Are you partnering with any other organizations to help fundraise this program?
Operation Gelding is a collaborative effort among TheraPony, local veterinarians, and the Unwanted Horse Coalition. Volunteers organized the month-long event to help owners who might not otherwise be able to afford the procedure. The program not only benefits owners, who may not have the proper facilities or knowledge to care for a stallion, but it ensures the horse cannot be bred, and often results in a horse that is much calmer and easily trained, which means he is more likely to find a new home if the owner can no longer care for him.
So far, we have castrated 13 horses and donkeys. We only have two or three spots left to fill before we reach our goal of 30.
That’s great news! How did you get the word out to owners about the clinic?
We posted a flyer on Facebook and our website, left flyers in local feed stores, talked to a lot of horse owners in the community and asked them to let their friends know. California Riding Magazine did an article on the program in March as well.
Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.