Every Friday, Horse Nation teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization doing good work in the horse world. Today, we recognize the Homes For Horses Coalition.
In its own words, the Homes for Horses Coalition is a national coalition of horse rescues and sanctuaries taking a proactive stance in ending horse slaughter and other forms of equine abuse while promoting growth, collaboration and professionalism in the equine rescue and protection community. We caught up with coalition manager Cindy Gendron to learn more.
HN: How did Homes for Horses Coalition get started?
The Homes for Horses Coalition was started in 2007 by the Animal Welfare Institute and The Humane Society of the United States. They saw the need to bring equine rescue and retirement organizations together in an inclusive group to advance high operating standards for their facilities, promote adoption and responsible horse ownership, and be a unified voice against horse slaughter and other forms of equine abuse. The ASPCA joined as a sponsoring organization in 2010.
HN: Please describe the nature of the work of the Home for Horses Coalition.
Through our annual conference, webinars, weekly messages and our website, The Homes for Horses Coalition offers information and training at little or no cost to equine rescue professionals and advocates. From fundraising to emergency planning, from documenting cruelty cases to developing innovative adoption programs, we provide resources and education pertinent to the equine rescue community. We also actively support the passage of the SAFE Act that prohibits both the slaughter of horses in the U.S. for human consumption and the export of horses for this purpose.
HN: What is a “typical day” like for you? (If there is such a thing!)
I do a lot of research, read a lot of articles and blogs and watch webinars on sound financial and nonprofit management practices to inform myself and pass that knowledge on to our members. I write our newsletters, plan our webinars and our conference and keep our website resources up-to-date.
I also field a lot of questions from people that can no longer care for their horses or are concerned about neglect situations. One of the most rewarding parts of my job is being able to network horses in need and find places for them to go. That is a great advantage of the collaborative nature of our organization. I get a call about a horse in need and reach out to the rescues in the area. We have over 400 members representing equine rescue and sanctuary all over the nation.
HN: How are you funded?
We are supported 100% by the generosity of the AWI, ASPCA and HSUS.
HN: Can you give us more information on your upcoming conference?
It would be so great if every equine rescue and sanctuary could make it to our conference. It’s the only national event just for them. It’s amazing to see them all together sharing ideas, learning from each other and from our presenters, and getting that emotional boost to go home and continue the good fight for the horses that need them. Some great collaborations have grown from this conference.
We move it each year to try to accommodate travel for as many rescues as possible and the cost is highly subsidized by our sponsoring organizations to make it as affordable as we can. This year it will be in Los Angeles, CA on September 22nd and 23rd. We have some magnificent presenters lined up to teach us about compassion fatigue, wild horses, planned giving and equine trusts, fundraising, facility design and management and disaster planning. It’s so invigorating, so fun! You can find out more on our conference website.
HN: What’s one thing you wish people know about the work that you’re doing?
Our purpose is to help equine rescues and sanctuaries be strong, healthy, sustainable organizations that can help more horses and more people. We care. We worry about them. We know how strapped they are for resources, how hard they struggle physically and financially, and how they pour their hearts and souls into helping horses. We recognize and honor that work and hope that we are doing some small part to make it easier.
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.