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Helping horses through benevolence

Benevolence extends the legacy of helping the horse in situations outside our normal routines. Support has come from the Foundation to horses and working equids in need as part of an international “Equitarian” effort. 

Unwanted Horse Welfare

Since 2005 when the AAEP helped found the Unwanted Horse Coalition, the AAEP Foundation has supported this organization and its efforts to reduce the number of unwanted horses and to improve their welfare through education and programs committed to the health, safety, and responsible care and disposition of these horses.

The Unwanted Horse Coalition, a broad alliance of equine organizations that have joined together under the American Horse Council, is concerned that some horses may slip through the various safety nets within the equine industry. Too many owners are unaware of, or do not give enough thought to, the available options, services and assistance available in the industry to help them ensure that their horse has caring and humane support throughout its life. The coalition focuses its efforts on education and direct assistance for programs that aim to reduce the numbers of unwanted horses, including programs like Operation Gelding, a program that the Foundation helped start and support annually. 

Equitarian Outreach

For more than a decade, the Foundation has been helping working equids throughout the world through support of veterinary outreach and welfare programs. In 2009, the term “Equitarian” was coined for the people and programs providing direct assistance to this population of equids.

An “Equitarian” is a person who provides education, leadership and direct assistance for the working equid. A working equid is defined as a horse, mule or donkey that is used primarily for family income, agriculture and/or transportation. It is estimated that there are 100 million working equids in the developing world.

An Equitarian program is an educational effort designed to assist equine practitioners in providing education and leadership to improve health care of working equids. Education of veterinarians, caregivers and working equid owners is a prime focus of such programs.


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American Association of Equine Practitioners
4033 Iron Works Parkway
Lexington, KY 40511

(859) 233-0147 (Phone)
(859) 233-1968 (Fax)