Before you read this please agree with yourself to read this. To the end. Too often in our fast-paced lifestyles we block out and ignore anything that takes us out of our comfort zones. However, in order to invoke change we must be willing to venture beyond our comfort zones. Growth and understanding happen there. Change happens there too.

“Ships tomorrow.”

Two little words. Ships tomorrow, could mean many things to many people. To a kill pen horse it means… a horrific end of life starts now. Actually though, a kill pen horses end of life, usually started months before. About the time those who were supposed to be responsible for that particular horse, and it’s care, dropped their duties, like a pair of worn shoes, at the front door.

Ships tomorrow means… this horse has been abandoned by humanity. It means no thought will be given to all the hard work or service this horse may have done… or all he might be capable of if given a chance. In short, it means this horse is doomed. If Ships Tomorrow meant euthanasia that would…sadly, be better. For anyone who may be familiar with the difference between what a kill pen horse must endure before its final moments, and a humane euthanasia…they would plead for the horse to be euthanized.

Isn’t that both sad and disturbing? To anyone and everyone? What is seen as intolerable for our dog and cat overpopulation would be a preferable choice for over 140k slaughter bound horses each year. The fact that dogs and cats are still being euthanized is sad, don’t get me wrong. There is still much work to be done in that regard. However, through understanding and awareness, folks are now choosing to adopt and rescue, rather than breed and shop. It is a great start and we all must strive to do better by the creatures entrusted to our care. In gross comparison, our overpopulation of horses are ignored, neglected, passed over, exploited, transported badly, treated inhumanely, and then killed barbarically.

The horse is the ONLY animal capable of competing at the Olympic Games as an athlete. How can that same species be also considered livestock and sent to die such a horrible death? We are said to be a nation of horse lovers. Do we demonstrate that? To all horses? We cannot do what is right only when it is convenient for us. That is not love. Love helps in good and bad times, in sickness, health and yes even in retirement. Love is not so selfish to make sure one horse has so much while 140k have, “Ships Tomorrow.”

What we must do as a nation of horse lovers is educate ourselves, embrace this problem and figure out what each of us can do to make a difference. There are over seven million Americans actively involved in the equine industry in some fashion. What if every one of these people did what they could? Those sad, forsaken horses, would NOT be crossing our boarders. We would breed less, take responsibility, care for our older horses instead of selling them cheaply because we do not want to have the expense that goes with responsibility. We would volunteer, donate goods or services, help all horses in need as we could. We would do these things because to love one horse is to love all horses. Then we could truly be proud to call ourselves a nation of horse lovers.

Here is some information about what we have going on at Horses without Humans. With the help of a grant from the Right Horse Initiative we are building a training center to rehab and repurpose young passed over horses so they can have a chance at a productive life with a caring family. We are developing a National Championship for Rescued and Adopted horses so folks have a way to shine a spotlight on the work they do with these fine horses. Further, a Natural Horsemanship Training Course is underway, so folks can come learn, take clinics and work with rescued and adopted horses through these obstacles, right here at Rock Bluff Ranch in Bell Florida. We already teach and train classical and western dressage so the rescues and their people will have access to that training as well as ground control, trick and liberty training and eventually a working equitation course.

Most of you reading this are in a position to help in some way even if it is just sharing and spreading the word. Some of you have money, goods or services you could donate to Horses without Humans or another progressive rescue group. There are people showing up at Rock Bluff Ranch just to help. They contribute one of the most valuable assets they have. Time.

What can you do? Foster or adopt if you can. Be on the look out for horses in need. Care for your horses for the entirety of their lives. Do not breed unless you are willing to keep what you produce for the entirety of their lives. Donate, volunteer, help, Educate yourself. If you email me at I will send you links to both of our Spotlight Movies free. Maybe watching and learning as we did will inspire you to help those with no voice of their own.
It did me!

Cheers all!
Yvonne Barteau
Founder, Horses without Humans

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