Written by: Equine Advocates, reprinted with permission
Summer will be here before you know it and now is the time many parents are in the process of trying to decide where to send their children to camp. Not all camps that feature horseback riding are the same. Some take very good care of their horses and retire them rather than sending them to auction where they can be sold for slaughter. However, many camps, especially many of the seasonal ones that do not keep their horses all year round, lease their horses from killer buyers and dealers who take them back at the end of the summer and sell them at auction. Those camps should be avoided. In addition, many camps are guilty of inhumane conditions such as keeping horses tethered in the hot sun all day and making them work all day long without a break.
Equine Advocates has been involved with the Camp Horse Issue since 1996 and have been featured in articles and in a FOX undercover
investigation, which included our rescue of a former pony mare named, Journey, who we saved at the New Holland slaughter auction in PA. She had been used as a camp horse at a summer camp before being scrapped for slaughter. We recommend strongly that anyone wanting to send their kids to a riding camp should do their research. Ask questions like, “What happens to your horses at the end of the season?” “Do you retire your horses when they can no longer perform?” “Where do you find the horses for your program?”
In the FOX investigation, one very upscale riding camp in Connecticut was found dealing with dealers who took the horses back at summer’s end and sold them at auction. However, there are good camps out there. Please take the time to find them. Also note that the same applies to riding academies, riding schools, college equine studies programs, dude ranches, national children’s organizations and other programs that feature riding. Just do the research and find a reputable camp or riding program that teaches your kids all the right lessons, including the humane treatment and care of horses, ponies, donkeys and mules.
Equine Advocates is a national nonprofit equine protection organization founded in 1996, promoting equine rescue, retirement, and the humane treatment of horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. Located in Chatham, New York.