How time flies. It’s been almost six months since starting work as the Director of the Unwanted Horse Coalition. The transition from three years of rescue work with daily feeding, mucking, grooming, and sundry barn chores to sitting behind a desk has been a big one, yet considering last month’s heat wave, I’m quite thankful to be in an office again. After dusting off the old wardrobe from a previous life in higher education and adjusting to the 75-minute commute (instead of a 5-minute drive to the barn), it was time to sit down and reflect on working in a field that I never expected.
No doubt, there are plenty of things to love about the job. As a once horse-crazy kid, it is pretty cool to work for an organization that is all about horses, even now in my 40s. I’ve met incredible leaders in the industry - people who are poised to make a difference in the lives of unwanted horses. We have a wonderful staff, and we’re located in the heart of Washington, D.C.
The mission of the UHC is to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education and industry collaboration. In addition to creating and disseminating educational materials and engaging the industry in big picture discussions, I have the pleasure of working on tasks with a direct impact, such as distributing money to organizations that plan gelding clinics for horse owners in underserved communities and sending feed coupons to rescues who need help putting weight on neglected horses. A huge shout to Purina and A Home for Every Horse for their roles in the latter. A small part of the job, but one of my favorites, however, is to discover and share good news about unwanted horses becoming wanted again.
There are hundreds of organizations in the industry dedicated the welfare of the horse that offer programs large and small. There are wonderful stories about horses in second and even third careers. Many creative events exist to raise awareness and funds to address this important issue. From a large association’s Full Circle program to one girl’s corner lemonade stand, I enjoy reading and learning about the strides people are making to help unwanted horses. Sometimes I can’t believe I get paid to do it.
At the UHC, we want to harness the power of positive outcomes and encourage others to do the same, so we’re broadening the scope of our monthly news e-blast to do just that. The new UHC Roundup reports not only stories in the news media and other online sources, but highlights programs to help unwanted horses, shares success stories across all breeds and disciplines, and includes a list of events so anyone interested in helping unwanted horses can be a part of the effort. Look for the UHC Roundup in August.
If you have a success story or photos to share, send them my way. Reading and sharing good news really is the best part of the day. Want to sign up for the UHC Roundup? Just let me know.
Okay, the jury is still out on location. I’m not sure I’ll ever prefer the corner of H and 17th Streets to lush green fields with frolicking fillies. Maybe I can visit your barn sometime!