Innovative “Save Our Seniors” Program
While adoption is our goal for every horse, special needs and senior horses have been the most difficult to place. Medical issues or age make them less attractive to potential adopters who want a horse that can be ridden.
The need to find homes for these horses in loving environments gave rise to the creation of the Save Our Seniors (SOS) program. SOS utilizes foster agreements with boarding facilities and lesson barns, where seniors can train the newest of riders in basic horse care such as grooming, hoof care, and tacking.
In return our seniors will receive affection and quality of care and life.
The boarding fees are paid for by group sponsorships or group adoptions.
The most unique aspect of SOS, however, is the engagement of our state’s human senior population on behalf of equine seniors.
Florida’s senior citizens are a large portion of our population. Like our elder horses, senior citizens are sometimes forgotten or overlooked, but still have much to give.
RVR’s volunteers are visiting retirement communities, senior clubs and civic organizations, and church congregations to share information about SOS and our senior horse population.
We are inviting members of these various groups to pool resources and adopt a senior horse. The adopters, whether small groups or communities, would take financial responsibility for the horse, which would be boarded at an SOS facility.
Adopters would of course have visitation rights and would receive photos and updates from RVR or the SOS facility. The work of having a horse and the space required for one, however, are provided by SOS.
This new approach to adoption has benefits for both human and equine seniors. The horses are provided with loving care and attention, and senior citizens are engaged in a productive and gratifying program not limited by their physical wellness or community regulations.
RVR also benefits by having another place opened for a horse in need of rescue. Furthermore, SOS will allow RVR to accept senior horses that simply need rehoming – horses we currently must turn away.
It’s Already Working!
Though the SOS program is just over a year old, 7 horses have been cared for though the initiative. Our goal is to increase SOS horses each year for the next four years. RVR volunteers believe we have an innovative formula that will solve our challenge of finding homes for our seniors.
Our formal program launch
is being celebrated at our Help A Horse Day Event on April 28, 2018. We are in need of event sponsors for this community breakfast fundraiser and, of course, donations in lieu of your presence are always appreciated.
Check out our event brochure and sponsorship forms at the bottom of the webpage at the link: SOS Webpage
We’d love to hear from you through our ‘Contact Us’ tab.