Why do we do this?
We must provide what horses cannot provide for themselves.
Think about that for a moment. All horses, even wild horses on public lands, depend on humans for the space they live in and the care they receive.
Will Business help?
Yes horses and their environment are critical to humanity. The world over horses represent all the aspects of humanity from success to freedom.
Are the problems of horses The problems of humans?
Yes every single horse is tied to a human its existence. We allow land to be wild and we provide land for domesticated horses. Everything horses need is either granted by us or provided by us.
What type of horse care do we promote?
We innovate and we look for others that innovate for a high quality of life at affordable costs. Individuals will decide what is best for them and their horse. Landowners will decide what type of care they choose to offer. Ours is to provide quality options that others can copy, innovate with, and adapt to their locale.
We are scaling our response to the size of the problems.
We have planned this organization to be the size and scope that is needed to match the need horses have. We would like you to step up and help provide a suitable portion that also matches the size of the situation.
We can't rescue our way out of the situation.
It is going to take our brains, our wisdom, our self-control, anjd good animal husbandry.
What happens if we don't do this?
Then nothing will change.
We are better than that. You are better than that.
How do we make land available?
Land for horses though is disappearing. As a population we are also getting "further from the land" with each generation. At one time, most Americans made their living in Agriculture. Now fewer than 2% do. While we used to be able to turn our horses out to family pasture, few of us have that opportunity. There continue to be family owned lands whose owners would love to assist. Ours is to show them how.
How much land do we need for horses?
This varies and much of it can have multiple uses.
For general purposes, the number can be pegged at four acres per horse. Wow! That would mean 36 Million acres for the national herd. Much of this is provided in hay crops and similar needs. Actively used horses generate the funds needed to dedicate some land for their use.
What about the empty land you see when flying?
That "empty land" is disappearing currently at about a million acres a year due to development. Most is too expensive or too cold. Much of it will not grow grass sufficient to support a horse. Our wild herds are often starving due to prolonged droughts. Simply put, we need to do two things at once. Provide a way for family lands to be used for horses and for the methods to be affordable.
How can that be done?
We are already demonstrating how this can be done.
Over the past 15 years many of us have been keeping horses in this manner. A family which wishes to preserve their property has offered us their ranch to demonstrate these methods. The site will also serve as and education center to share our and other's methods.
We need you to help provide the endowment. The endowment will serve as a safety net for the horses and fund the education and research needs.
Are you ready to help?
Click on the button below. If not, Keep reading and we will tell you more.
What are the numbers?
Our supported national herd has gone from 5 million to about 9 million. The quantity of horses abandoned or discarded to be processed for meat has dramatically increased as well. The number ranges from 100,000 to 200,000 per year. That is one to two Million per decade. We take the position that we are better than this. How we as a nation treat our companion animals is a statement about our character. After a life of service, our horses deserve the life of a horse
Can all horses be cared for?
Probably if we act a bit smarter.Cost of Care and Excess breeding appear to be the main reasons they are not. Most people want to do the right thing and will if they can afford it. Equally we need to remember there needs to be only the quantity of horses we all can afford to care for.
How can this be changed?
Removing Excess is simply knowing where the excess originates. Cost of Care requires simple methods and available land.
The Camp Rusk Foundation, Inc. provides methods of our own and others as well as creating ways to make land available.
In Summary the subjects are:
- lack of affordable retirement
- abandonment due to costs
- too many horses (excess)
What will the Foundation do?
The land will be used to show real techniques that private landowners can copy and adapt to their climate and clientele. This uses free enterprise to encourage land to be provided for horses at the low costs owners need. The Foundation will provide education the public needs free of charge. Knowledge changes behavior. That is what the horses need - for us to change. Horses know what to do.
How did this originate?
For the past 15 years a private ranch has been instrumental in the development of low-cost methods for high-quality horse keeping in a natural environment. There are also other useful methods to showcase and teach. This is a place where horses can run with friends, graze the pastures and live "the life of a horse." Here horses have the land they need and horse owners have the low-cost care they need. Ours is to showcase our's and other's methods as well as provide education /knowledge/skills that other people with land can copy / adapt / improve.
If you touch horses you touch the world
The side benefits are amazing. We are showing that a family can use their land and make a living with quality family agriculture. Additionally layered land use providing for other animals, nature for wildlife, for open-space, the water cycle, carbon sequestration, to clean the air. Everything that humans and a community needs. We have all the cities we need and are adding more. We need what horses are losing. The more people we have, the more we need land that is not occupied by people. That is where we get our air and that is where we get our water and that is where we get our food and that is where we provide for wildlife.
What about rescueand repurposing?
Rescues are the wonders of the better side of humanity. There are thousands of people across our nation working 24 hours a day to help every horse they can.
In this country we breed more horses than we can ever find homes for. Many foals are considered "prospects" and are then discarded if they are deemed not "good enough."
The situation horses face is so big that we cannot rescue our way out of it. Indications are that rescues and repurposing groups may help perhaps 10% of the horses each year. We think the range is 5 to 20%
Our job is to help the other 90%.
Are we militant and do we want to tell people what to do?
We have complete faith that people want to do the right thing. When they realize there is a problem, they want to solve it. Ours is to point out the facts and then let everyone's good heart take over. Persistently doing this in a kind way works wonders
Is our way the only way?
We are on the lookout for ways to provide the affordable methods owners need and the land horses need. Creative and resourceful people will continue to add to the catalog we create and share.
This page gives lots of Detail.
Ask a Question! Acres@CampRusk.Org
What is our purpose?
Here is our official purpose as registered with the IRS.
The Camp Rusk Foundation, Inc's mission is the discovery, acquisition (research) and sharing (education) of knowledge for the welfare (prevention of cruelty) of horses.
What we doing and why
Initially we recognized that we had no places for our horses to run after they had finished their life of service to us. We wanted a good Retirement for our horses. We didn't want to just warehouse them in a square Paddock. We wanted them to have the life of a horse with friends and to be able to run. When we did this, we found out that many of the maladies they had went away. Movement removed stiffness. They became lively and healthy. Later it became clear that what we were doing for retirement also provided a solution for abandonment and excess.
To put it simply, the horse needs land and the owner needs affordable care. People don't abandon horses if they can afford to keep them. Excess horses are bred when people don't realize the often tragic fate horses face when there is no one to provide for them. We firmly believe that when most people know the right thing to do and can afford it they will do it. We also know that horse people are typically good people. They don't intentionally breed a horse knowing that it will be discarded.
Is the problem really big enough for our attention?
In 2012 the government (APHIS/USDA) counted over 140,000 horses discarded for processing. And that did not include abandoned horses or horses taken in by rescues or repurposed. Some years this can go to 200,000 horses. That is one or 2 million each decade.
Even more horses in their life of service and have nowhere to go. They are left in a barn or very small turnout. Many do not have a friend and owners have less time to go by and give them attention and exercise. It is not what anyone really wants for their horse. Most just don't realize there's another option.
We believe we are better than this. Inside all of us we love horses. They are not just simply tools for sport.