#GivingTuesday: Some of HN’s Favorite Equine-Based Charities

It’s #GivingTueday. Here are some (more) of our favorite equine-based charities that could use your support today.


I have to admit that I tend to roll my eyes at our #buymorethings days that follow Thanksgiving. Sure, Black Friday has been around since the 1950s, and I guess that one makes sense. A lot of people have the day off, so it’s a natural start to the holiday shopping season. And I definitely like the idea of making a point to support small businesses (something we should try to do year-round anyway). However, I get frustrated that every day of the long Thanksgiving weekend has to have a thing. Like Cyber Monday. Come on. Now we’re just trying too hard to get Americans to buy more stuff.

That rant aside, one aspect of all of this that even I can’t roll my eyes at is #GivingTuesday. Giving Tuesday is a mere nine years old — a baby, compared to Black Friday. However, it was started as a countermovement to the mass spending associated with Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It’s a chance to take a moment and give to charities that need our support. That’s something I can totally get behind.

There are so many organizations in need that it’s hard to narrow down which a most-deserving of our attention. However, here are some of Horse Nation’s favorite equine-based charities:

Foundation For the Horse

AAEP’s Foundation For the Horse provides disaster relief, veterinary relief in developing countries, veterinary scholarships, and equine research.

Appalachian Trainer Face Off

The Appalachian Trainer Face Off (ATFO) is a training challenge that brings together both professional and amateur trainers, all with the goal of finding suitable homes for horses that, previously, did not have much hope of adoption. Many of the horses that are rounded up are entirely unhandled. However, they are vetted and cleared before being made available to trainers. Today, the ATFO has set the goal of raising $10,000. You can help them reach their goal by visiting the fundraiser here.

EQUUS Foundation

The EQUUS Foundation is dedicated to ensuring the welfare of America’s horses and fostering the horse-human bond, through aiding horse rescues, equine-assisted services, and equine retirement.

Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue

Healthy, happy drafts in turnout at Gentle Giants. Photo courtesy of Christina Hajek and Gentle Giants.

Gentle Giants, a Draft Horse rescue located in Mount Airy, Maryland, focuses on the rescue, rehabilitation, retraining, and rehoming of Draft horses. The process creates literally enormous glow-ups. Through proper care, nutrition, and attention, Drafts and Draft-crosses gain a new lease on life in the rescue, and once adopted out to a qualified and well-vetted individuals, they get a chance to bond and thrive (and Gentle Giants staff check in regularly to make sure this remains the case). This year alone, Gentle Giants has placed 124 horses. And on Giving Tuesday, they can use your support. Find out more about how you can help here.

In Stable Hands

In Stable Hands is a nonprofit organization that offers equine-assisted therapy and personal growth programming. They pride themselves in offering services not only on the farm but also in the community. This decision was made in hopes to provide opportunities to those who may experience barriers due to transportation and finances. You can donate directly on the In Stable Hands website or by purchasing something from the organizations Amazon wishlist.

Montana Center for Horsemanship

The Montana Center for Horsemanship (MCH), is a nonprofit organization and is the first and only education center in the U.S. devoted exclusively to Natural Horsemanship, a philosophy and approach, based on understanding horse behavior and the horse’s natural instincts.  Its focus is on working with the horse to build a foundation of mutual trust and respect, enabling the horse to act and respond with willingness and a desire to be a partner. Natural Horsemanship or the La Cense Method of NH, developed more than two decades ago by a team of equine professionals, academics and researchers, under the leadership of William Kriegel, co-founder of MCH, bridges the gap between natural and conventional learning and training methods. Today, your gift to the MCH will be matched.

Operation Wild Horse

An example of the connection between veterans and Mustangs. Photo courtesy of Patti Gruber.

The aim of Operation Wild Horse is to provide a safe and measurably effective Military pillar program built by a community of Veterans and Military Families, enabling a life-changing partnership between wild horses, Veterans, Military Families, and their collective support network. You can learn more and donate here.

Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption

The Purple Haze Standardbred Adoption Program was formed to ensure that retired Standardbred horses find a second calling and profession. Many times owners and trainers send these horses to livestock auctions due to a lack of resources, farmland or funds necessary to maintain the retired horses. In some circumstances, the livestock auctions sell the horses on the open market and the retired “non-productive” horses frequently end up in the slaughterhouse in exchange for payment. You can donate here.

The Retired Racehorse Project

The Retired Racehorse Project uses a market-based approach to increase demand for Thoroughbred ex-racehorses in the equestrian industry.

This list is not meant to be all-inclusive. There’s no way we could list every deserving organization. However, even if you don’t chose one of our suggestions, please follow the Giving Tuesday trend and consider donating some resources to an organization in need near you. Remember, there are many ways to give. Donations don’t just have to be in cash (although there is no nonprofit out there that will refuse your donation on this day, or any day). Here are some other things you could give this season:

  1. Time. Volunteering for your favorite equine/equestrian charity can look like many things: mucking stalls, serving as a side walker, grooming rescue horses, hand-walking rehab cases, painting fences, weeding the garden, manning an information table, cleaning the office, working a phone bank, stuffing gift bags. For some tasks, horse experience isn’t necessarily critical.
  2. Supplies. Ask at your favorite charity and see what they need. A therapeutic riding center may need a new mounting block; a horse rescue may need its first-aid kit refilled. Everyone needs basic office and cleaning supplies. On your next feed run, throw a few extra bales of hay or few extra bags of grass pellets into your order for the local rescue.
  3. Services. Your unique set of gifts can go a long way to helping a nonprofit if you’re willing to donate your time or offer a reduced rate for your services. Accountants, lawyers, electricians, handymen, diesel mechanics… to system administrators, graphic designers, social media managers and more. Think outside the box and figure out how you can apply your professional skills to help your favorite nonprofit thrive.

Keep the spirit of Giving Tuesday in your heart this holiday season. Give what you can in whatever form that takes, because no contribution is too small.

Go riding!