CSU’s Right Horse Program raises money for horses in need

Ceci Taylor

As the country deals with the COVID-19 pandemic, many individuals and organizations alike are still looking for ways to volunteer and donate to help the community. Colorado State University’s Right Horse Program is no different. 

Kylie McGarity, a second-year graduate student at CSU and member of the Right Horse Program, explained how the program is raising money to donate hay to some of the horse rescue facilities in the state. 

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The Right Horse Program at CSU is a part of the Right Horse Initiative. According to its website, the Right Horse Initiative is a “collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. A program of the (American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals), our goal is to massively increase horse adoption in the United States.”

Due to the current COVID-19 pandemic, many people are in need of hay or are giving up their horses completely, which fills up horse rescues. Some of the larger horse rescues in the state of Colorado are asking Colorado State University for help. (Asia Kalcevic | The Collegian)

McGarity said the Right Horse Program at CSU partners with three different horse rescues across the Front Range — Colorado Horse Rescue, Drifter’s Hearts of Hope and Harmony Equine Center. The program finds horses from these rescue centers that are suitable for students to work with. Students are then able to work with the horses to prepare them for adoption. 

“There’s a huge need of horses to be worked with and to become better citizens in general because there’s a very large unwanted horse population,” McGarity said. “With the whole COVID-19 pandemic, we had to stop our classes and send all the horses back to the rescue.” 

McGarity said that because of classes shutting down, the program wasn’t able to complete its work with the rescues, which includes helping to get horses adopted and opening up new places for the rescues to take in new horses. McGarity also said the rescues have programs that help people get food and other resources for their horses to help keep horses at home. 

“These resources have been pretty depleted first,” McGarity said. “They haven’t seen a huge increase yet in surrenders, or people basically letting their horses starve, but they have seen a huge increase in people wanting hay or funds to be able to do right by their animals.” 

“It’s always good to hear about niche programs making a difference. I love animals, so it’s good to know that people still care and are watching out for them.” -Callie Marshall, junior human development and family studies major

McGarity said Drifter’s Hearts of Hope and Harmony Equine Center collaborated to make a hay bank, and the Right Horse Program at CSU decided to raise some money to buy some hay for the two horse rescues. 

“We have a few funds we are able to contribute directly from the program, and we have some personal funds coming in from people who are in the program,” McGarity said. “I also posted a GoFundMe. Once we have the funds together, I will go purchase some hay. … We’re aiming to help both the rescues, the horses that we work with and local farmers to try and get through this time.” 

McGarity said she’s expecting to purchase between 40-50 bales of hay, which will feed a few hundred horses. 

Callie Marshall, a CSU junior human development and family studies major and self-proclaimed horse lover, said the Right Horse Program is doing a good thing for the community. 

“It’s always good to hear about niche programs making a difference,” Marshall said. “I love animals, so it’s good to know that people still care and are watching out for them.” 

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McGarity said the program is aiming to raise $600 to purchase hay, and she is hoping to exceed that amount through the fund. 

“The response has been really positive,” McGarity said. “A lot of people support it. I know that it’s really needed in the community right now.” 

McGarity said that the Right Horse Program and its members have all been involved in the project and all hope to make a difference during this difficult time. 

“My goal for this was to get some positive feedback from the community,” McGarity said. “I know that it’s a really hard time for a lot of people, and I think it’s really important to focus on some of the positive aspects that CSU is trying to do right now for the community.” 

Ceci Taylor can be reached at news@collegian.com or on Twitter @cecelia_twt.