Based on current demographic and economic trends in the United States, the long-term future and welfare of horses could be in jeopardy. Public access and involvement with horses, especially among young people, is declining. The expense and time required for competition is becoming unrealistic for most people.
An updated human-horse model, based on different collaborative relationships between horses and humans, offers a more realistic plan for access to horses by people unable to experience the magic of horses through the traditional means of ownership and competition. For horses to remain an important part of American life and have a viable future, a paradigm shift in the perception of how horses partner with people is needed.
Equine Assisted Services (EAS) offer the best model of a modern human-horse interaction, with horses helping humans in new innovative ways. This type of human-animal experience may be more appealing, and certainly more realistic, for many of today's urban and suburban youth.
Young people today care about social issues, perform community service and want to give back. It has long been recognized that people who participate in meaningful, impactful activities often become deeply committed to lifelong support of that activity or cause.
Through on-line education and the encouragement of hands-on real-life interactions with horses, the Equine Experiential Learning Initiative is uniquely designed to:
• Provide meaningful community service and
equine experiential learning for teens
• Highlight the importance of equines
historically and in modern society;
• Foster lifelong advocacy for the vital role
of horses now and in the future.
Engaging people to witness the impact of horses to empower, teach and heal will enlarge the base of equine advocates and raise awareness of the new and important role of horses. The future of horses is in the hands of their advocates, and we need advocates to help ensure the welfare of horses for decades to come.