History and Popularity of the Arabian Horse Rescue:As an equine enthusiast, you understand the deep bond that can form between human and horse. For some, that bond drives a passion to help horses in need. Arabian horse rescues are nonprofit organizations dedicated to rehoming and rehabilitating Arabian horses that have been neglected, abused, or abandoned.
These rescues take in horses from desperate situations and provide them quality care and training to prepare them for adoption into forever homes. By supporting Arabian horse rescues through donations or adoption, you have the opportunity to transform the life of a horse and bring joy into the lives of their new owners.
The History and Popularity of the Arabian Horse
The Arabian horse is one of the oldest and most popular breed of horses, valued for its beauty, speed, and stamina.
Native to the Arabian Peninsula, the Arabian horse has a long and rich history spanning over 4,000 years. Originating as a warhorse and used by nomadic tribes, the Arabian horse aided in long distance travel and trade. As early as 1,000 BC, the Arabian horse spread through trade and war to Egypt, Greece, and Rome where they were treasured and bred with other breeds.
In the 8th century AD, the Arabian horse rose to fame as it spread through military campaigns into Europe and helped establish Arab rule. The Crusades further promoted the spread of the breed, and European nobility prized the Arabian horse for its grace and spirit.
Today, the Arabian continues to be one of the most popular light horse breeds in the world. They are intelligent, gentle, and bond very closely with their owners. The Arabian horse has also been used to develop and improve many other light horse breeds.
Common Reasons Arabian Horses End Up in Rescue Situations
As majestic as Arabian horses are, unfortunately many end up in dire circumstances through no fault of their own. Owners may become unable to properly care for them due to illness, financial troubles, or lack of understanding of an Arabian’s complex needs. Some of the common reasons Arabian horses end up in rescue situations include:
1. Health Issues
Arabian horses require specialized veterinary care to monitor for genetic diseases they are prone to, like cerebellar abiotrophy. If left untreated, these conditions can become debilitating or even fatal. Owners may surrender their Arabians to a rescue group when veterinary bills become unaffordable.
2. Behavioral Problems
Due to their intelligence and sensitivity, Arabian horses require patient, experienced handling and training. Inexperienced owners may find an Arabian’s behavior too challenging to manage and give them up. With rehabilitation and retraining, these horses can thrive in the right home.
3. Changes in Living Situation
Moving to a new home without adequate facilities, lack of time due to a job change, or other lifestyle changes can force well-meaning owners to give up their Arabians. As Arabians form extremely close bonds with their people, this can be traumatic for the horses.
Spotlight on Top Arabian Horse Rescue Organizations
There are several organizations dedicated to rescuing and rehoming Arabian horses in need. These groups provide essential services to help Arabians from neglectful, abusive, or otherwise harmful situations.
1. Arabian Rescue Organization
This all-volunteer group has rescued over 1,000 Arabian horses since its founding in 1989. They work to rehabilitate and rehome Arabians from auctions, private owners, and law enforcement seizures across the U.S. and parts of Canada. They offer rehabilitation, gelding, and medical care services to get horses healthy and ready for adoption.
2. CANTER USA
CANTER USA is a nationwide network of volunteer-run organizations focused on rehoming and retraining retired or rescued Thoroughbred and Arabian racehorses. Local chapters work directly with racetracks and owners within their areas to help transition horses off the track and into new homes. They also help connect new owners with these horses through their online listings.
3. Days End Farm Horse Rescue
While primarily focused on abused and neglected horses of all breeds, Days End Farm Horse Rescue also helps rehome retired Arabian horses. They work directly with animal control officers and law enforcement to assist in cruelty and neglect cases, providing rehabilitation and medical care for horses in dire need. They adopt out over 100 horses each year, including purebred Arabians and Arabian mixes.
Adopting an Arabian Horse From a Rescue
If you’re interested in providing a loving home for an Arabian horse in need of rescue, there are a few things to consider before adopting.
1. Research Arabian Horse Rescue Organizations
There are many non-profit organizations focused specifically on rescuing and rehoming Arabian horses. Do some research on groups in your area to find one that matches your values and has a good reputation. Ask if they have any Arabians currently available for adoption that would suit your experience level.
2. Prepare For Responsible Horse Ownership
Caring for an Arabian horse requires a major time commitment and financial resources. Make sure you understand all that is involved in responsible horse ownership before adopting. Prepare to provide quality feed, shelter, grooming, hoof care, vaccinations, and regular veterinary checkups. Consider the costs and factor them into your budget.
3. Visit With the Horse
If possible, visit with the Arabian horse you’re interested in to evaluate if you’re a good match. Observe how the horse interacts with the handler and if you feel comfortable around the animal. Ask about the horse’s background, temperament, training, and any health or behavioral issues. Be willing to consider horses that may require rehabilitation or retraining.
4. Commit to Lifetime Care
When you adopt an Arabian rescue horse, you’re making a lifetime commitment to care for that animal. Prepare to keep and care for your Arabian for the next 20-30 years. Have a plan in place for who will take over care of the horse if you’re no longer able to do so.
5. Complete the Adoption Process
The specific adoption process will depend on the requirements of the rescue group. Be prepared to fill out an application, have a property check, pay an adoption fee, and sign an adoption contract. The contract will likely require you to provide basic care, not sell or give away the horse, and return it to the rescue if you can no longer keep it.
With the right preparation and commitment, adopting an Arabian horse in need of rescue can be an extremely rewarding experience. Opening your home to an Arabian rescue horse in need of a second chance at a happy life is a wonderful thing.
Caring for a Rescued Arabian Horse
Caring for a rescued Arabian horse requires patience, time, and commitment. Many rescued Arabians come from neglectful or abusive situations, so they may be fearful or distrusting of humans initially. Gaining their trust and providing a safe environment are top priorities.
Feed a rescued Arabian a high-quality diet of grass hay, alfalfa, and a concentrated feed formulated for Arabians to help them gain weight. Divide feedings into multiple small meals throughout the day until the horse is at a healthy weight. Fresh, clean water should be available at all times.
House the rescued Arabian in a large stall or paddock with shelter. Soft bedding like straw will make the space comfortable. Spend time with the horse daily to help socialize them, but also provide opportunities for solitude when needed.
3. Grooming and Exercise
Gently groom and handle the Arabian to help them get accustomed to human contact and build trust. Start with just a few minutes of brushing or petting, and slowly increase the time over days or weeks as the horse relaxes. Daily exercise like lunging, longeing, or light riding will help rebuild muscle tone and release excess energy, but start slowly and avoid overexerting the horse.
4. Medical Care
Have a vet examine the rescued Arabian as soon as possible. They can check for any medical issues, test for diseases or parasites, and address conditions like malnutrition, lameness, or behavioral problems. Follow any treatment plans to nurse the horse back to full health.
As you have learned, Arabian horse rescues play an important role in protecting this majestic and historic breed. By opening your heart and home to an Arabian in need of rescue and rehabilitation, you have the opportunity to experience the joy of saving a life. Though the road to recovery can be long, the rewards of seeing a neglected or abandoned horse transform into a healthy, trusting companion are immeasurable. When you adopt an Arabian, you become part of a long tradition of preserving and protecting one of the most influential horse breeds in history. Make a difference in the life of an Arabian today.
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