FACT: OTTB’s (Off Track Thoroughbreds) are super cool. They are funny, hard working playful, athletic, and sweet. Most of the exracehorses coming off the track are really young, just babies. But their large size sometimes can have people forget that! Here are a few things that helps the horses at our organization, if you are not close, I bet you can find one in your neck of the woods.
1. Showing up – When you show up, that is the best and biggest step. Our horses need care, they need attention. Our horses have been injured, sometimes neglected, they need physical and emotional support. That only happens when people put their boots on, and come out and help.
How to: Register for an orientation and then get on the schedule. Super simple Start here.. www.horserescueflorida.com/volunteer
2. Advocating. Racehorses can get a bad rap, often from those who don’t actually have personal experience. Follow us, ask us, learn from us, how amazing and wonderful these horses are. Learn what they know, what they don’t know. You might be surprised at how educated they are even though they are young. Walk, trot, canter, gallop, lead changes, turning, stopping, they do all of this every day in work outs. People see a race and think that is all there is- far from it!
How to: Do your research, meet our horses, visit the backside of a track but once you know, please be sure to spread the word! Every time we go to the track, we shoot some video of the work outs, you see horses going various speeds, directions or just standing still. Search our archives and then spread the word!
3. Adopt – if you are looking for a new horse, please consider an ex racehorse. Nearly everyone agrees that they should be saved. Sound or injured, but those same people often say, that is not a horse I want. See number 2 about really understanding the breed. We do kids and adult lessons on these horses.
How to: Come visit them, spend time, meet your match, its a bit like dating! There is an exracehorse out there that is perfect for you! Tbs have HUGE hearts. It is hard not to fall in love.
4. Sponsor – Whether you are local or not, you can sponsor a horse while it is in recovery and waiting for a home! Many groups have horses that can benefit from sponsorship, this is often from people who can’t visit, don’t live locally, and just really would like to help. That said, many of our volunteers also sponsor a horse! It’s a monthly contribution that goes to the care of one horse, or any horse that may need it.
How To: You can sponsor a horse right from our website! There are a few options, you can also arrange a visit if you are local to meet your prospective horse. You can choose which option you like! Check it out at www.horserescueflorida.com/sponsor
5. Start your own rescue! This is not something to take on lightly, but yet OTTB rehoming facilities do exists all over the country. Read books, visit rescues, learn, learn, learn. Have a long term plan, volunteer somewhere for a few years, learn what works, what doesn’t and then if you are still passionate, make the plunge! Start small, once you have had successes, then consider expanding, or just stay small and help a few at a time.
How To: Visit us, Contact your local rescue, there are books on Amazon, let yourself dream, and in the meantime, get your volunteer time in and keep learning! Educate yourself on Social Media, Marketing, Website Design, Accounting, Research how to start a Non Profit. The more prepared you are, the better equipped you are to be a success for the horses you take in.