Hanaeleh rescues and rehabilitates horses. We also educate the public on horse advocacy to improve awareness of the many threats to equines including horse slaughter, horse soring, the plight of America’s wild mustangs and burros, horse racing and Charro riding. Our goal is to improve the lives of horses everywhere, even though we are only able to rescue and rehab a small few.
Many of the issues on this page still require legislation to help pass bills in Congress to prevent our horses from being tortured and killed. We note these bills on the pages; please be sure to contact your representative to tell them you want these bills passed. It is up to us to speak up for our horses, as they are unable to do so themselves!
End Horse Slaughter Now!
Slaughterhouses in the United States have been closed (at least for now), but 120,000 horses each year are still being slaughtered – they are shipped across the border to Canada and Mexico where they meet horrific ends.
Hanaeleh urges passage of the SAFE Act (HR 961), which would prohibit the purchase, sale or transport of horses across US borders to slaughter for the purpose of human consumption.
Learn more about putting an end to horse slaughter on our End Horse Slaughter Now page–> HERE
Horse Soring: Gratuitous Torture to Win a Blue Ribbon
Horse soring is the purposeful infliction of pain on a horse’s legs or hooves in an attempt to create an exaggerated gait. The sadistic, convoluted theory behind horse soring is that if the horse is in an incredible amount of pain, he will not want to bear any weight on his legs, thus keeping them in the air longer. The horses are in so much pain that they can’t put their feet on the ground, and will rock back onto their hind end, which creates the exaggerated gait.
This huge obviously unnatural gait is called a “Big Lick,” and is highly coveted at saddleseat shows. Tennessee Walking Horses are the preferred mount of these trainers, as they have an easy gait to ride (they can perform a walking gait at the same speed that some horses can canter). Thus, the horses are often referred to as “Big Lick Walkers.”
Horse soring trainers purposefully put chemicals such as kerosene, petroleum and mustard oil on the horses’ legs in order to cause excruciating pain. Trainers will also put shoes that are six and eight-inches in height onto the horses’ front feet in order to achieve this gait, which causes hoof and leg trauma. Chains are added to the horses’ legs in order to prevent them from tracking normally, but encouraging them to throw their feet out to the front.
Hanaeleh urges passage of the PAST Act, which would amend the horse protection act to prevent soring.
Learn more about putting an end to soring on our Horse Soring: Gratuitous to Win a Blue Ribbon page–> HERE.
Wild Mustangs: America’s Living Legends in Grave Danger
Hanaeleh believes that America’s wild mustangs and burros must remain wild and free on public lands.
Wild mustangs are supposed to be protected by the Federal Wild Horse and Burro Protection Act of 1971. Due to demands from millionaire cattle ranchers and oil companies, who have a strong lobby in Washington DC, these horses are being rounded up at U.S. taxpayer expense, kept in pens without shelter, and often sent across U.S. borders to slaughter.
Hanaeleh is against all roundups and instead believes that herds should remain on the range. The BLM must manage humanely using birth control and other non-invasive methods.
Learn more about how things got so bad and what you can do to help on our Wild Mustangs: America’s Living Legends in Grave Danger page–> HERE
Horse Racing: The Sad, Ugly Truth
Horse racing is not a sport, it is an industry.
Over 35,000 Thoroughbred horses are registered every year. It is unknown how many are unregistered but the number is surely in the tens of thousands. Only a handful go on to a successful racing career and even those who do often find themselves broken down at an auction or on a truck to a slaughterhouse.
The racing industry is steeped in fraud, doping and corruption that can only be stopped when enough people demand its regulation.
Hanaeleh believes that horse racing in some form can be viable, but major changes must be made not only to how the horses on the track are treated, but also to what happens to those horses once they are no longer racing.
There is a bill in Congress right now to stop the abuse and reform the industry to focus on equine welfare. To learn more about the Horseracing Integrity Act of 2019 (HR 1754) click HERE.
Learn more about the horse racing industry and how you can stop the cruelty on our The Sad, Ugly Truth About Horse Racing page–> HERE.
Charro Riding: Cruelty Behind the “Dancing”
In Charro riding, the horse is made to “dance,” or prance about while the rider sits comfortably on his back. The horse is agitated while “dancing,” and often downright terrified.
To train the horses to “dance” (which is often a bastardization of a piaffe or passage), the horses are cross-tied and stand on wooden planks. They are cross-tied so they cannot move forward, and as one person stands behind the horse with a whip, two other individuals stand at the horse’s front, alternately hitting the horse’s legs with a stick or a whip. The horse quickly learns to pick his feet up instead of being hurt. These continual beatings are most likely how Hanaeleh’s horse, Ulysses, got to be so scarred across his legs and back today.
Very much like the Tennessee Walking Horses who are trained for saddleseat, the Charros attach chains to the horse’s legs in an attempt to make the horses throw their legs out in an unnatural manner. The visual effect is that the horse is “dancing” and is more dramatic. The reality, however, is that the horse is terrified of being hurt by the chain smashing against his legs.
Learn more about Charro riding on our Charro Riding: Cruelty Behind the “Dancing” page–> HERE.
Truth About Horse Auctions: Outdated, Terrifying and Cruel
In some circles, horse auctions are considered a necessary evil. To the contrary, we at Hanaeleh believe they’re evil and unnecessary…and it’s time to abolish them.
Auctions represent everything we as a horse rescue are against:
- They facilitate overbreeding
- They do not match the right horse to the owner
- They create a false urgency of a horse needing a home
- The horses are put into a dangerous, frightening situation
- They attract and benefit people who neglect and mistreat horses
With videos, the internet, and numerous sites across the world that are dedicated to the adoption, buying and selling of horses, the horse industry needs to abandon its thousand year-old rituals and move into the 21st century.
We have ways of helping people find a horse that’s right for them, and we have ways of finding homes for horses. None of them need involve an archaic custom that often creates a fearful situation for the animals. Instead of supporting horse auctions, we should be working to end them. Instead of accepting them as the norm, we should be actively supporting alternatives to auctions.
We need to abolish horse auctions instead of accepting them as a necessary evil to the horse industry. They may be evil, and they are completely unnecessary.
Learn more about cruel horse auctions on our “Truth About Horse Auctions” page –> HERE
The Plight of the “Lesson Horse”
Stetson spent the majority of his first 25 years giving lessons to new riders. When Stetson started tripping, his owner had a vet out to determine the issue. The vet said he had developed neurological issues, possibly due to years of being ridden in a standing martingale. It was obvious he could no longer safely be used for lessons, and his owner stopped giving him his medication, causing him to lose weight rapidly.
Thankfully, Hanaeleh was able to step up and find a place for Stetson. When that new home didn’t work out, Hanaeleh was able to take him and allow him to retire at the rescue.
Learn more about the plight of Lesson Horses and why every equestrian must ensure their well-being throughout the horse’s life. “The Plight of the Lesson Horse” page – HERE.
Hanaeleh is a 501(c)(3) (Tax ID 20-3255341) Nonprofit horse rescue operating in Southern California since 2004 and every penny donated goes to the horses.
We are 100% volunteer-run and we’re a Verified Rescue with Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries.
We rescue all breeds and ages of horses, and after we rehabilitate them, we work to find them new loving homes. When horses are not adoptable due to severe neglect or abuse, we provide sanctuary for them to live out their days knowing they’ll always be loved and cared for.
Please click the DONATE button below so we can spread this message further and save more horses!