From Passion to Action
Thanks to Kindred Farm, some 200 horses have been re-directed from the slaughter pipeline, in just over four years.
The farm, just 30 minutes outside of Ottawa in North Gower, is owned and managed by Tanya Boyd. Tanya’s passion for horses began as a very young child and she purchased her first horse when she was just 15 years old. For many years, Tanya – a certified Equine Canada Coach– offered her coaching services to other barns before opening Kindred Farm as a lesson and boarding operation.
Just about the time she retired from the federal government in 2012, she also became more fully aware of the degree to which horses were suffering at the hands of the horse slaughter industry.
That’s When Passion Became a Mission
When a provincial government decision cut funding for Ontario racetracks in 2012, it meant Thoroughbred, Standardbred and Quarter horse owners could no longer afford to keep racehorses that were no longer racing. Surplus horses have since been flooding already full markets. There were just not enough homes to accommodate the influx, and a large number end up in the hands of kill buyers via auction and subsequently slaughtered.
Tanya first purchased 3-year-old unhandled ponies from a local kill buyer, with the objective of training them so that they could be re-homed. So rewarding was this experience that it wasn’t long before another, and then another equine arrived, and the Kindred Farm Equine Intervention Program was born.
In 2014, a formal Volunteer Program was developed to support the care of the horses coming to the farm.
Today, about two thirds of the horses on the farm are horses or ponies that were at risk. Although the intent of the program is to re-home all equines, it is clear that some just cannot be re-homed, nor would it be morally or ethically just to euthanize them. Though KF is not advertised as a sanctuary, there are indeed some very special equines that will remain here without threat for as long as they need.
It is through the support of our volunteers, financial contributions, sponsors, foster homes, fundraising initiatives and service donations that the farm is able to continue this valuable work. We are also grateful for the support of our Large Animal Vet: Ottawa Valley Large Animal Clinic, and that of our farrier: Pat’s Farrier Service.
Horses carried us on their backs into wars, pulled our ploughs on farms. They were our only source of transportation for centuries. They ensured our survival. Find out how you can help Kindred Farm: You can help
The provision of a safe, experienced, educated and sufficiently resourced farm facility that provides refuge/sanctuary for equines destined for, or at imminent risk of slaughter, with a view to re-habilitating them sufficiently that they can then be appropriately re-homed, without again ending up at risk of slaughter, abuse or mistreatment. And, in the event that they prove not to be candidates for successful rehabilitation, to provide an acceptable alternative through humane euthanasia or the provision of life-long sanctuary.
- Saving equines from slaughter who demonstrate the potential to be re-homed by directly purchasing them from the kill buyer, at auction, or from owners when there is the threat of the horse being sent to auction.
- Providing the appropriate environment in which to rehabilitate equines, focusing on their physical, psychological and training or re-training needs.
- Advocating for the proper care, treatment and handling of equines throughout their life cycle.
- Educating horse owners of the risks to horses sent to auction.
- Changing the perception of these horses from the current belief that they are the unwanted, injured, old or dangerous, to the reality that they are often exactly the opposite.
- Educating the general public on the plight of horses who end up in the slaughter pipeline.
- Raising awareness on all matters related to equines.
- Raising awareness and offering opportunities for people to learn about rural and farm living and farm management, in particular as it relates to equines.
- Promoting the recognition of the equine as a sentient being and actively sharing the positive healing impact of human/equine relationships.
- Advocating for horses in terms of promoting their value as riding or companion animals versus their value as a food source.
- Advocating for more humane treatment of equines once they are in the slaughter pipeline (transport, handling and processing).