We have been overwhelmed with requests this month to help out owners who have suddenly decided they can no longer keep their horses. The kill pens are overflowing with horses that truly should not be there. What is going wrong? Why do people wait so long before making this decision and why is it always an emergency? The most recent one I saw broke my heart- a 30-year-old mini who they had had since he was 2 years old. Its emotional upheaval; its economic hardship; its death of the owner and no options are available. And it seems to happen the worst just before winter. We can’t pass judgement on why people decide to call it quits, but we can ask people to think about the consequences of getting a long lived pet and having to provide for it over their lifetime. Horses can outlive us. Before you jump in and get that horse, think about the long-term care. Its takes a lot of work and a lot of luck to find a good home for an old horse or an unrideable one. The sanctuaries are at capacity in most places. Don’t pass on your burden to the rescues who are struggling to keep up with all the unwanted horses, but if you must, then please turn over the records, legally sign the horse over, and help network and fundraise for the rescue. Don’t just walk away. We are adding a page to our website with some tips on making horse ownership more affordable. Please feel free to add your ideas and share them. Most owners want to keep their horses – they may just need a little help to do it.