If you’re seeing more rescue horse operators asking for sponsorship dollars or free hoof care, you aren’t alone. With more folks getting involved in rescuing horses, several farriers have told me that they’re getting more requests than ever before.

It’s important for farriers to give back to the equine industry not only because of the need for better footcare for rescued horses, but also because you can get a great deal of satisfaction from helping these animals. In fact, there are many great experiences across the country of farriers helping rescue operations.

Yet a few rescue operations appear to be taking in every horse that comes along without being able to say no to owners, even when they don’t have the needed dollars, facilities and manpower. Like the original owners, some aren’t able to afford the basic care needed by a growing number of horses.

Growing Financial Concerns

As more well-intentioned people get involved with rescue operations, there’s more need to raise dollars to properly care for these animals. Just like owners who gave up their horses because of rising feed costs, rescue operators face the same concerns. An example is having to buy high-priced hay due to drought concerns in some areas.

Farriers I’ve talked with suggest that you think through what you would be willing to do before you get a phone call from a local rescue horse operator that is seeking free hoof care for a few horses or a donation of dollars or feed. Decide before you get asked how much time and effort you would be willing to devote to providing free footcare.

Have A Plan In Place

Due to both financial and time constraints, you certainly can’t handle the hoof-care work on every rescue horse that comes along. Don’t fall into the trap of feeling bad when you have to say no to a rescue operator who is in bad need of a farrier. You can’t do it all by yourself, so think about what you want to do in terms of working with rescue horses before you get asked to help.