The Right Horse Initiative Awards $50,000 to Innovators Helping At-risk Horses

by | May 2019 | News

KATONAH, NEW YORK –  Drifter’s Hearts of Hope, Love this Horse Equine Rescue and the West Virginia Rescue Network have been selected to receive Innovation Grants from The Right Horse Initiative, a program of the WaterShed Animal Fund.  The Right Horse Initiative seeks to reward innovation by supporting organizations thinking creatively about how to rehome more at-risk horses.

From a pool of over 40 applications, five finalists submitted their most innovative ideas for increasing equine adoptions and helping horses in transition. The requirement for winning ideas was a focus on increasing adoption with measurable outcomes. Each horse adopted into a loving family of their own allows for another at-risk horse to come into the care of the adoption organization.  The following three organizations were selected as grant recipients of $12,500-$25,000 each.

Drifter’s Hearts of Hope of Franktown, Colorado brought a well-trained, sweet mare into their care after finding her at a local auction. Her name was “Annie” and she wore a brand of a local dude ranch and helped forge a relationship between the two groups. The new partnership led to 35 retiring dude ranch horses safely transitioning into new homes through Drifter’s program as an alternative to auction. Drifter’s Hearts of Hope looks to expand the program, called The Annie Project, to encompass all 55 Colorado-based dude ranches and is laying the groundwork to expand the program nationally.

Misperceptions about rescued horses often prevent horse owners from considering adoption to get their next competitive mount. To dispel these myths, Love this Horse Equine Rescue in Acton, California looks to increase visibility for their adoptable horses by showing their adoptable horses in local competitions. They will increase the frequency of hunter/jumper shows and endurance races that they attend and expand their presence to Western events. The grant will also support riding lessons offered to prospective adopters to match the right person to the right horse.

The West Virginia Horse Network will expand an existing program designed to engage and educate first-time horse owners interested in adopting. The program will contain a ten-month course with formal lectures and demonstrations on veterinary care, training, farrier work and other basic horse knowledge. Graduates of the program will receive a $500 voucher to adopt a horse from the West Virginia Horse Network.

Through innovation and collaboration, we can transform equine welfare and massively increase the number of adoptions taking place in the United States. The Right Horse Initiative congratulates each of the Innovation Grant recipients and is excited to continue to support the great work being done by adoption organizations around the country.

About The Right Horse

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of industry professionals and equine welfare advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition through a dialogue of kindness and respect. Through collaboration with over 50 industry and adoption partners, The Right Horse is able to innovate new and better adoption standards and practices. Together, the goal is to shatter the stigma and reframe the conversation around equine adoption in order to massively increase horse adoption in the United States. To learn more, visit

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Melanie + Teddy

Ted is absolutely the #RightHorse for me. He has made me a better human being and horseman. I’m beyond grateful for my #RightHorse! I look forward to watching Ted blossom into the amazing horse that he is.

Haley + Gilligan

We’ve become a team. We still have silly moments, but we’ve also had moments where I trusted Gil with my life and he was steady as a rock. We will be going on many more adventures together, and I know that he is my heart horse and that I am his person.

John + Twister

I felt like we were riding into the NFR finals when we rode into that arena. We were both a bit too excited, but she held it together and we had a super time. And we placed! It was the right vibe; a bunch of people who love horses all in the same place having fun.