There are countless ways an equine facility or boarding barn can get involved in philanthropic work and be a "good citizen.” The key to success is finding a project that you are passionate about. When you or a client have a special interest in a specific cause, that energy transfers to others encouraging them to get involved as well. Some projects take a significant amount of time in planning and execution while others require less organization but can provide equal benefits to the surrounding community.
Here’s a list of a few ideas that can help get your barn started.
- Collecting pet food for the local animal shelter.
- Collecting aluminum tabs from soda cans for the Ronald McDonald House.
- Organizing a canned food drive.
- Volunteering to place flags or wreaths on veteran's graves for Memorial Day or other holidays.
- Collecting hotel toiletries for homeless shelters.
For Adam D’Agostino, the head coach of the Albion College Equestrian Team, he looks for ways to offer his professional services to benefit horses in need. One of his personal favorite projects was body clipping a Norwegian Fjord for a local therapeutic riding center.
“There are some chores that groups like this need that only an experienced horse person can provide, so it’s important that we as professionals give back,” he said.
That’s also why he volunteered to assist local law enforcement during rescue missions of dangerous horses. He worked with near-feral horses to teach ground manners, stall handling, trailer loading and other basics to give these horses a better chance of being rehomed.
“These were healthy young stock that deserved a chance at a better future, otherwise they would have been put down,” he said. “Giving back helps people inside and outside of the industry understand the sense of community the horse industry enjoys.”