Year of the Horse: Celebrating Our Equine Adoption Initiative!

November 16, 2020

a woman with a horse

You’ve likely adopted, or know someone who has adopted, a dog or cat—but do you know anyone who has adopted a horse? The answer is probably “no,” because adoption is not yet a mainstream way to acquire a horse … and on top of that, lots of people may not even realize it’s an option. But we’re working hard to change that. Shifting the perception of equine adoption is a major priority for the ASPCA, along with increasing rehoming options for horses in transition.

One year ago, we took a big step forward in amplifying this focus by welcoming The Right Horse Initiative into our barn. Founded in 2016 and previously a program of the Arnall Family Foundation, The Right Horse Initiative is a collaborative movement with the singular goal of massively increasing horse adoption nationwide.

By spreading awareness about equine adoption and bringing together diverse groups to collaborate and develop innovative new programs that benefit adoptable horses, The Right Horse Initiative has already made huge strides toward that goal. Please join us in celebrating!

During a year when we were physically distanced and surrounded by uncertainty, the program nevertheless made tremendous progress under the ASPCA:

18 new Partners joined The Right Horse Initiative

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective made up of equine welfare organizations and industry leaders divided into two groups: Adoption Partners and Industry Partners. Our Adoption Partners are reputable horse rescues and adoption groups who provide outstanding equine care and are committed to increasing their adoptions. Our Industry Partners are equine-related corporations, governing bodies and associations who believe in giving back to horses by promoting adoption.

Since joining the ASPCA, 18 new Partners joined the Right Horse Initiative. Here are some highlights of the collaborations that took place with our Industry Partners:

  • Industry Partner Boehringer Ingelheim donated several hundred cases of UlcerGard to our Adoption Partners to help their horses stay healthy during rehabilitation.
  • Industry Partner Zoetis donated 1,500 CORE EQ INNOVATOR® vaccines and dewormer coupons to our Adoption Partners to help keep their horses protected from the core equine diseases and threatening parasites, as adopters prepared to bring their new horses home. 
  • Horse Illustrated magazine introduced thousands of people to equine adoption through a series of articles exploring the topic and through weekly online promotion of adoptable horses.
  • World-renowned horse trainer Monty Roberts trained nine adoptable horses from five of the adoption organizations we work with in a nationally viewed and televised training program.
  • Acclaimed horse trainer Julie Goodnight fostered and trained an adoptable horse, Doc Gunner, on her ranch and shared his journey and the benefits of adoption with hundreds of thousands of fans on social media.

Adoption Partners and Industry Partners, along with social media influencers and celebrities, raised their voices and captured national attention. As a direct result, hundreds of horses found loving homes through our online adoption listing platform, My Right Horse.

More than 156,000 people searched for their #RightHorse

In 2018, The Right Horse Initiative created a standardized horse adoption platform, My Right Horse, to efficiently streamline the adoption process and connect good people to good horses.

This year, more people than ever found their Right Horse online. In the past year, more than 156,000 people have used the site to find adoptable horses nationwide. That means adoptable horse listings have been viewed more than 1,340,000 times.

How did that translate into adoptions?

Adoptions increased by more than 20%

In a year of uncertainty, our collective of partners and supporters stepped on the gas and accelerated toward our goal of massively increasing horse adoption. Our Adoption Partners increased their adoptions by 20% and helped more than 2,600 horses transition into new homes since the start of the year. Beyond that, thousands more lives have been impacted by the joy these horses are bringing to their new families, and more horses will now be able to receive help as a result of adoption groups’ resources and space being available.

It’s been an incredible year—and we’re just beginning.

We need your help to continue the momentum and help more horses find adoptive homes. Visit My Right Horse and share adoptable horses with your community to help connect the Right Horse to the right person and bring awareness to equine adoption.