It is like a snowball/avalanche, it only takes one flake to start the process but a bunch can change the world.
Let’s face it horses are expensive, they often spend way more time in shelters than; a cat or dog. Horses also require an insane amount of land or access to land.
As a non-profit we are often told about the 80/20 rule that 80% of all funds or actions will come from 20% of the people. I recently watched a vimoe from the Kentucky Humane Society that horse rescue models are often funded the reverse of a small animal shelter with the majority of the funding coming from grants. But theres a catch to that, there really are not a lot of grants out there for horse rescues, I have managed to find a total of SEVEN and TWO we don’t qualify for due to current lack of funding.
Our current lack of funding makes it too difficult to help as many horses as we need to to qualify for many of the grants targeted towards equines, many of the grants require us to rehome 12 or more horses a year and maintain a shelter population of at least 5 at all times, the last time we had 12 horses it was disasterous, we haven’t had that many since then.
Now back to the Horses are Expensive part, we have 2 locations, one is where our most recent intakes reside, they cost an average of $400/horse, that $400 is spent on boarding ~$100; Hay $12.50/bale x 15 Bales a month = $187.50; Grain we use TC30 for the majority of our horse which is $40/bag most horses will only use 1 bag a month as it is a ration balancer designed to provide the vitamins and minerals that the hay does not. Just those main 3 core items cost $327.50 a month and we havent paid for the annual vet care, barefoot trimmer ($50 every 6 weeks ~$400/yr), paid the dentist ($150/year).
Our Pasture Lease is a little cheaper but still expensive, our lease allows us to feed round bales in the winter – which are significantly cheaper than square bales, and the mares can graze in the summer eliminating the need for hay from April until October nearly 6 months. We also rent by the acre instead of the horse so our lease is $200 ($20/acre for 10 acres) regardless of if we one, two, or three horses on it.
Cost Sharing; cost sharing is important to rescues and sanctuaries, we rely on the general population to keep us open, while the herd manager (also co-founder) has historically shoulder the burden of keeping us open and running, the time has come where we need to seek alternative sources of financial help or risk being relabelled a Private Foundation by the IRS, yes those pesky rules. The IRS requires that less than 33 1/3rd percent of our funding comes from the “board” and for an annual budget like ours that grand total is a max of $604 a month with our current herd and costs, which pretty much allows the board to cover the pasture lease only. That means the Rehab unit needs to be supported by donations and grants, unfortunately we have not been able to find grants of sufficient availability or funding to cover the burden for that segment of our organization. We are asking for our Followers, Friends and Dragon Stables Equine Center Family to consider a regular monthly gift of $20. This might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things but with enough helpers we should be able to cover the rehab unit. It is like a snowball/avalanche, it only takes one flake to start the process but a bunch can change the world.