Unwanted Horse Coalition partners with industry groups, educating on ownership

This resource, and others, works to supply comprehensive information to equine owners and enthusiasts.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition (UHC) is a national, industry-driven effort that is the result of an alliance of equine organizations concerned about horses “falling through the cracks” because of economic, political and other pressures. According to their website, “The mission of the UHC is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education and the efforts of organizations committed to the health, safety and responsible care and disposition of these horses.”

The UHC provides a wealth of information for current and future horse owners. One tool the group provides to encourage responsible horse ownership is a list of questions those considering horse ownership should ask themselves; included in the list are questions current horse owners should also consider. Such questions include, “What are my options if I can no longer care for my horse?” and “What will I do if my horse dies?”

The coalition also contains a wide variety of downloadable resources, including the Own Responsibly booklet – an excellent piece for anyone considering horse ownership, because it delivers a wealth of information on a variety of important topics related to caring for and acquiring horses.

The group also points to outside organizations because of the helpful information they supply; for example, the UHC partners with the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP), celebrating the resources it offers. The AAEP has created Care Guidelines for Equine Rescue and Retirement Facilities, an excellent tool to reference should you have to consider placing your horse in such a facility. It also contains a directory of facilities that accept horses in need of homes.

My Horse University, another group UHC points to, supplies information on horse management and care, as well as other topics. Both this resource and the UHC help all gain access to information necessary for making decisions about the care of a horse at any point in its life. They both aim to help horse owners make appropriate and humane decisions.

Owning and caring for a horse is a huge undertaking that requires serious commitment. These resources, and others, can help you navigate both making the decision to become a horse owner and managing the responsibilities that comes after choosing to become one. Michigan State University Extension educators can also offer guidance and assistance as you care for your horses and make some of those tough decisions. Additionally, the Michigan Equine News website and Facebook page focus specifically on topics related to Michigan Equine enthusiasts.

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