After almost twenty years of rescuing and rehoming horses across the country, Copper Horse Crusade has created a new method of “rescuing” horses – different from other horse rescues. They pioneered the concept of “sustainably saving slaughter bound horses” and are on a mission to help as many horses as they can through sustainability.
Their organization focuses not only on the horses, but also on resource management. According to owner and founder Julie Copper, “saving horses takes more than good intentions, it takes sound principles, responsible resource management and a lot of commitment.” And at CHC, they are doing just that.
As a sustainable rescue, management at CHC has to decide what horses to help based on their mission and sustainability efforts. Their goal is not to save every horse, but rather, Julie says “to use the resources that are available to do the most good for the greatest number of horses.” Their goal is not just saving the horse from immediate danger, but also making sure that the horse will have long term placement available.
In fact, CHC is less of a horse rescue in the traditional sense, and more of a “halfway house for slaughter bound horses.” Most of the horses that come to CHC come from kill sales. Once they arrive at CHC’s barn, they enter a 30-day training and evaluation period, when they receive vet and farrier care, training (if necessary), and visits from potential new owners. During this time, the staff works with the horse to determine the type of work and rider that will be the best match for the horse.
This method has proved very successful and effective, especially for horses like Kizzi, Cactus, Valentine. They are all older, well-broke horses who have found new homes with young riders – and then went on to show-ring success. Julie says that at CHC, they “get the most joy out of seeing older, seasoned horses get saved and then go on to success with young riders.”
Another one of CHC’s success stories was about a young horse named Lady Jane. In March, Julie saw her at an auction. A two-year old filly, she didn’t look like much in a pen full of horses, but she was so friendly. She followed Julie around the pen, photobombing in half a dozen pictures they took. Luckily, Lady Jane passed all the tests CHC has for young horses – she was “quiet, sound, good minded, friendly, picks up her feet, leads and allows a rider.” After her few seconds in the auction ring, the only bidders were the kill buyers. Luckily, Julie and CHC jumped in and saved Lady Jane.
At CHC’s barn in Ohio, they are able to house about 20 horses at a time. As a result, each year they have around 80 horses come through their barn. The horses that spend time at CHC are trained to lead productive lives and, as Julie says, become “contributing members of equine society.” Currently, there are 7 beautiful horses available for adoption at CHC. When you adopter a Copper horse and give it a forever home, you allow CHC to rescue another slaughter-bound horse. To adopt a Copper horse or get involved, check out the information below.
Copper Horse Crusade
If you are interested in loaning or donating your horse trailer to this particular organization, then check out details of our Horse Trailer Donation and Sharing Program here. Then, post your comments below to help out!
Also, learn more about horse rescues in these two articles: