If you’re looking for last-minute yet meaningful holiday gifts, consider donating to an equine-related charity. Whether you make the donation in another’s name or your own, giving the gift of funds for much-needed animal welfare supplies, feed, veterinary care and more is a wonderful, satisfying way to end another difficult year.

There are many charities and rescues that specialize in our beloved equines, many in Canada. The website Canada Helps  streamlines giving with a webpage that’s devoted to animal charities. Some of the listed organizations include the New Start Standardbreds which assists in the re-homing of ex-racehorses in Ontario and Quebec. There’s also Second Chance Cheekye Ranch  in Squamish, BC, which saves horses and donkeys from slaughterhouses (many destined for Alberta’s thriving international horse meat business) and rehomes them. And on the east coast there is the Chester, Nova Scotia-based Integrity’s Haven Equine Rescue Centre Society (IHERC) which takes in horses, dogs and cats in need, including caring for any sick or injured animals until the end.

Horse-Canada.com has covered many equine-related rescues and charities over the past year, and we’d like to remind our readers of a few of them. Not all are based in Canada, but the work they do provides desperately-needed love and nurturing to countless animals.

The Horse Trust, founded in 1886, is the world’s oldest equine charity. For 135 years it has provided a place of rest and retirement for working horses. The have been in involved in some large-scale rescues that have made headlines in the U.K.

The Newfoundland Pony Society  has set out to create a sanctuary and education centre to preserve one of Canada’s oldest breeds of pony.

The Mustang Heritage Foundation helps find homes for rescues and captured wild horses in America.

And finally, if you are a fan of the versatile OTTB, LongRun Thoroughbred Retirement Society in Hillsburgh, ON, gratefully accepts donations so that the hundreds of horses that come through their gates can be rehomed to new careers or retired to a life of well-earned leisure.

There are many, many others. Do your research online and ask your fellow horse owners where they donate. Perhaps a holiday fund-raising drive at your barn for a local equine charity could be a fun way to raise a larger sum. No matter how you give, know it will make a difference.

Happy Holidays!