Anyone with any experience with horses knows two things: Horses can be as addictive as cocaine, and horses can far more expensive than a cocaine habit. Perhaps that’s why so many horses wind up in the slaughter pipeline.
The owner who dumps a horse for slaughter may see the end of the financial blood-letting, but the horse’s needs don’t stop. Once that owner’s responsibility ends, rescues all over America get saddled with the expense of cleaning up irresponsible owners’ messes. Rehabilitation, picking up dropped socialization and training balls, fixing neglected feet and teeth that sign horses’ death warrants.
Swingin’ D Horse Rescue gives horses the lives they deserve. We can’t do it without the generous support of donors who believe in our mission.
Donate monthly or in a lump sum and help us give our rescues the quality of life they deserve.
Sponsor a horse’s monthly expenses and we’ll send you a beautiful piece from our Mane Event Jewelry, from the horse’s mane, tail and hooves! Every masterpiece has a tale.
Our healthiest horses require hoof trims every 6-8 weeks, annual dental procedures and vaccines, and quarterly parasite control. Healthy horses require daily grain and hay, periodic supplements, fly spray, bedding, bathing, and grooming. In addition to the routine expenses, it costs money to maintain fences, repair shelters, and ensure the herd’s safety. No matter how healthy the horse, adopters and owners should plan on spending a minimum of $2,500 per year on each horse in their care.
Swingin’ D has several horses that will never be adopted. Healthy horses are expensive enough to maintain. The sad fact is that owners discard horses with even the most minor health issues. They either don’t want to spend the extra time it takes to keep the horse healthy, or they can’t afford the extra expense required to maintain the horse. Ignorant to each horse’s medical history when they arrive, it can take us months (in Anastasia‘s case, years) to figure out what’s causing their problems.
Horses are as adventurous and accident prone as toddlers. You can look around your property and make a list of three spots you absolutely do not want a horse to approach, and those are the first three places the horse will immediately go. Whoever coined the term, “healthy as a horse,” never paid a vet bill. Here at Swingin’ D, we’ve had eyes poked out, face gashes requiring stitches, hoof abscesses, colic, choking, and all manner of emergency veterinary visits. Our vet bills run in the thousands per year.
Horses like Wilma and Howie, dumped for slaughter together. Knees so ravaged from overuse, the joints are fused together. Do they deserve to die cruel, inhumane deaths, just because an owner decided they were no longer useful?
Anastasia requires a special diet, supplements, daily prescription medications, special farriery, wooden clogs, and a climate controlled stall. Her monthly care and treatment costs approximately $400 when things are going well. Between figuring out her ailments, medications, and building her special stall, Swingin’ D has spent well over $30,000 keeping Ani comfy. She’ll likely be with us forever. No one is looking for a beautiful high maintenance horse!
Ralphie broke his tail somewhere in the slaughter pipeline, which left him with a year of serious infections while pieces of bone worked their way out. Every day, sometimes twice a day, for over a year, we washed, treated and wrapped his tail to try to avoid amputating it. It’s hard enough to adopt out a normal horse, let alone one without a tail. Turns out, no one wants a precious horse with a crooked tail that doesn’t swish, so Ralphie will likely be with us forever.
Howie was one of a trio Swingin’ D rescued around Christmas of 2020. He was in such poor condition and so profoundly lame, we honestly believed we were pulling him from the kill pen only to immediately humanely euthanize him. He has a hard time getting around because his knee joint is fused together, and we have to have him sedated to have his feet trimmed. As long as we feel Howie has more good days than bad, he has a home with us.
Wilma came to Swingin’ D with Howie. For months, she struggled to get along and failed to put on weight. Her furry coat and bulbous belly made us wonder if we had another Cushing’s horse. We debated whether to have her tested because she was having such a hard time, and wasn’t improving. Little did we know, Miss Wilma had a HUGE surprise brewing in her belly! Nearly 30, the crooked little mare gave birth to a perfect little filly that lights up our lives.
Swingin’ D is also home to some perfectly healthy horses that just aren’t quite ready to go out into the world.
Winston came to us as a baby in 2018. He was the first baby and among the first horses we’d ever rescued. With his inquisitive nature and gigantic personality, he quickly became a favorite around the ranch, among humans and horses. He was too young to adopt out the first three years. After that, he became such a beloved part of the family, with such a vital role in the herd, letting him go became too painful to even consider.
Jozi was a much-needed surprise when she was born at Swingin’ D Horse Rescue on July 9, 2021. We had just lost a beloved mare to colic and we were preparing to euthanize Howie and Wilma due to their poor condition. We could not believe when the vet revealed the reason for Wilma’s discomfort and failure to thrive. The nearly 30 year-old mare had a bun in the oven, and she was just about ready to pop! Within a few hours of finishing Wilma’s birthing pen, she blessed us with this little bundle of joy. Jozi is well on her way to being a calm, social, smart and versatile horse with a huge future.
Little Miss Pebbles is a lucky litte mare. Barely 2 and wild as a March hare, the little filly latched on to an ancient pair of work horses at the kill pen. (As smart as she is, I would not be surprised to learn she planned it all.) Wilma and Howie had a ticket to leave hell on earth, and Pebbles had bonded to them so tightly, the donors raised enough money to save all three. We didn’t have room for one, let alone three, but that was the deal. The donors would only save the three together, so if one was going to a rescue, the rescue had to agree to accept all three. So, we made room. Little did we know, three was about to turn to four with the addition of Jozi!