9/11 Day of Service

Horses for Hope was blessed with groups from Genworth, Kelaca, GNS, Personify and Fidelity who were volunteering through Activate Good on the 9/11 Day of Service. Volunteers are the heart of Horses for Hope. Groups like these are able to do special projects for us.

Their help couldn’t have come at a more opportune time! When they signed up to help us no one knew that we’d be preparing for Hurricane Florence to hit the coast. The work these groups did saved us thousands of dollars in potential storm damage. Some of them worked taking down two large dead trees that could have fallen, injuring horses or damaging shelters. Other folks cleared weeds and brush along our fencelines that could have knocked over or shorted out the electric fence.

                       

They made tags with our name and number on them and then braided them into the horses’ manes. If a horse were to get out during the storm this would enable someone to easily contact us.

             

They also did trail maintenance and helped build the fence around the new small arena. You can see both of these at Fall Hay Day coming up September 29th!

We could not serve the people we do without the invaluable help of groups like these!
                                        

                                                 

You don’t have to wait for a special day to volunteer at Horses for Hope. If you or your group would like to come out and help just email us and we will help you find a time and job that works for you!
#HorsesforHope #ActivateGood  #Volunteer

Keeping Our Horses Warm in Winter

People often look at horses in pastures and wonder why some horses have blankets and others do not. It’s a good question and hotly debated in equine circles.  You will see some farms where none of the horses are blanketed. You’ll see others where they all are blanketed. Then there are others like Horses for Hope where some of our horses wear blankets and others do not.

The first thing we do to help keep our horses warm is to feed them.  A horse eats 1.5-2% of their body weight in forage (grass and hay) a day. That’s 15-20 pounds of hay for a 1000 pound horse.  In addition to hay, horses get grain to provide them with vitamins, minerals, and, if needed, additional calories. The amount of grain is determined by the horse’s size, weight, if it is an easy or hard keeper, age, and the type of work it does.  Our horses get their grain divided into two servings a day.  Look at the pictures and you will notice that there are piles of hay all around.  That’s because their grain isn’t the main fuel for their internal furnace, hay is!

Then there are those amazing horse coats! Horses can move each hair on their body independently. When it’s hot they can slick their coat down against their body. When it’s cold they can stand each hair up creating a puffy blanket around themselves. Want to warm your hands up on a cold day? Slide them through a horse’s coat and feel the delicious warmth next to their skin. Other horses are thinner, have finer coats, health issues, or perhaps their hair is clipped and they need a blanket if they are turned out into a pasture.

Sox is in the first picture. He just turned 32 on February 1st and is the oldest horse in our herd! Look closely at his picture and you can see how heavy his coat is. He doesn’t need a blanket!

Valor is in the second picture. He has a very fine coat which means he has less natural insulation against the cold.  He is also a thoroughbred, a breed which is typically thin-skinned and hard keepers.  So, he wears his blanket to help keep warm.

Here’s some more information about those amazing coats!

 

Snow Days at Horses for Hope

While a snow day means some of us get to lounge around in our pajamas all day the needs of our horses don’t stop. We still need to come to the barn twice a day to give them their hay and grain.  Freezing temperatures mean that we need to break the ice on water troughs so our horses can drink. If it’s cold enough the water can freeze and we have to carry water to their troughs. That’s a lot of water!  Keeping the horses on a regular feeding schedule and making sure they can drink their fill helps to keep them healthy and prevents colic.

   

We Couldn’t Do It Without Our Volunteers!

Saturday was another hay delivery day and our fantastic volunteers worked under a Carolina blue sky to get this load put in the hay loft. Do you know horses need to eat 1.5-2% of their body weight in forage a day? All that hay keeps their digestive system working at peak efficiency. The digestive process generates heat and along with their remarkable winter coats keeps them warm even when it’s well below freezing.  During the winter our herd eats 8-10 bales of hay a day!

  

 

 

Check out Pete’s fuzzy wuzzy winter coat! Those warm winter coats aren’t as effective when they are caked with mud. Thanks to our volunteers for grooming Pete so he’s prepared for the cold temperatures.

 

Want to get involved? Email us at volunteer@HorsesforHope.org for information.