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Expo hopes to highlight responsibilities of horse ownership

 

Sarah Fowler

 

Since the Golden Triangle Horse Rescue was formed two years ago, it has taken in more than 100 horses. 

 

Teresa Scott said the GTHR was formed by a group of horse owners after more than a dozen horses were seized by local law enforcement. Scott said her organization doesn't seize horses, they only provide care for animals that wouldn't receive it otherwise. 

 

"There's no place for the horses to go," she said. "No humane society has the setup and capability to take care of these horses. Boarding, the time it takes to recoup and...a lot of these horses have not been trained." 

 

The GTHR is hosting a horse expo on Saturday, June 7, to educate people on the responsibilities that come with owning a horse. 

 

Scott hopes to help stop the problem of horse starvation and improper care before it starts. 

 

"If people would just take care of them in the beginning we would never have this problem," Scott said. "There is a serious problem so we're hoping to bring some awareness. This is not only for current horse owners or for kids. The sooner they get this education, hopefully they'll know how to handle a horse in the future." 

 

Scott said the majority of horses her organization takes in are those that people bought as impulse buys. 

 

"Right now the horse industry is at an all time low price wise," she said. "They can go to a sale, pay $50 for a horse, they bring it home and they realize it's more than they thought it was going to be and they put it out to pasture to starve. They think they can just put it out to pasture and it will take care of itself but that's not the case." 

 

Scott said if someone attends a sale for the purpose of purchasing a horse, they need to ride the animal first. 

 

"A lot of times people will buy a horse and take it home and they can't do anything with it," she said. "Typically speaking, there is a reason that horse was taken to sale and is going so cheap." 

 

She added that people often get rid of older horses before their time. 

 

"People seem to think that a horse at the age of 15 is considered old or a senior," Scott said. "They'll turn these horses loose and they'll just retire them. Teenage years are nothing for a horse. It's actually very feasible to use a working horse well into it's 20s, with proper nutrition, of course." 

 

During Saturday's expo, veterinarians will be on hand to speak about proper horse care, as well as give tutorials and live demonstrations on equine dentistry and proper hoof care. Nutritionists from Purina and Nutrina will be available as well. 

 

The expo will be held at Eagle Ranch in West Point from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.

 

Sarah Fowler covers crime, education and community related events for The Dispatch. Follow her on Twitter @FowlerSarah

 

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