Camp Horses/Horses for Hire:

What You Need to Know About Summer Camp

One of the dirty little secrets of the horse industry is that the horses and ponies your kids rode and fell in love with at camp this summer may no longer be alive next year. In many cases, you no longer see the same familiar horse your child bonded with the year prior. Instead, the whole gang is replaced with new faces and you’re left to wonder what happened to your child’s favorite horse. The sad truth is that seasonal camps lease camp horses from killer buyers and horse dealers.

Once the camp shuts down, the horses are returned to these individuals who then send them to auction where most are sold for slaughter. As large numbers of these camps lease horses and ponies for just a few months, there is no place for these animals to go except back to the dealers. Whether it is due to age, sickness, or injury, when horses stop making money or become a financial burden, they become a liability. Because of this disposable mentality, horses used at seasonal camps, dude ranches, riding academies, and other riding establishments are often neglected and overworked. Many are mishandled, ridden without proper and professional oversight, tethered in the hot sun all day without adequate water, and treated inhumanely.

If you’re looking to purchase a safe horse for riding or as a companion animal, please consider purchasing one at Camp Horse Sales in your area every September. Help save one of these kind and often bomb-proof equines from going to slaughter. Camps all across the country get rid of their horses at low-end auctions in nearly every state, making it a perfect opportunity to rescue one of these wonderful equines from a truly horrific fate.

Pictured above is our very own lovable rescue, Dallas. Born in 1989, Dallas was one of 27 camp horses and ponies rescued by Equine Advocates at a bankrupt NY tourist attraction back in 1997. We went up against a known killer buyer who would have sold the animals for slaughter. Every year, thousands of “camp horses” end up at auction and often are sold for slaughter at summer’s end. Parents must research riding camps before sending their children to one where the animals are leased for the season from dealers and killer buyers. There are good camps that keep their horses and retire them. One needs to take the time to find them.

Photo courtesy of Equitrekking