The Clearwater Times is teaming up with a local and registered non-profit Appaloosa Allies Foundation to raise funds for the winter season.
For every new or renewed subscription during the month of December, The Times will give $10 to AAF to help pay for the high cost of taking care of a rescue horse.
The foundation has been running for about a year, and was established as a way to help unwanted horses find new homes, instead of finding their way to an auction. Despite the name, the foundation does try to help any breed of horse in need.
Six horses are currently under the care of AAF, run by Rowan Borneman, and are prepping for the arrival of two more in the near future. Some horses on the land are personally owned.
During the winter months, each horse costs about $200 minimum to feed to maintain their body weight and fuel their ability to keep warm. In addition, there are many other associated costs, such as veterinarian visits, teeth and health check-ups or any supplements or medications.
Some horses may also require blankets to keep warm and AAF tries to use second-hand as much as possible, as they can be about $150 when purchased new. Each horse requires hoof trims roughly every other month.
Basic maintenance takes a few hours each day, and doesn’t include extraneous tasks such as tending to minor injuries or the on-going maintenance of fencing and other equipment.
The colder it is and the more it snows, the longer and more challenging their care becomes. (As all livestock owners know well!)
Borneman says it is “truly a labour of love” and the efforts taken in the winter months are reciprocated by the “jolly nickers and muzzle nuzzles” given by the happy horses.
For the foundation to house more rescues over the winter, they would need to purchase more hay, as well as cold-weather farm equipment, such as water trough heaters, outdoor extension cords and potentially wood material to build an additional shelter.
Considering the foundation is along Dunn Lake Road, which some may be understandably anxious to drive, AAF is willing and able to pick up donations and make use of items that may require some minor repair.
While the summer months are ideal to house horses as the expenses are drammatically lower, some horses need more time to adjust and to be ready for a new home. This year, for many of us, said Borneman, has been more challenging and uncertain, resulting in more owner surrenders due to lack of hay funding and other unforeseen circumstances.
“We hope to continue to be available to help any horse that needs it, year-round.”