National Horse Protection Day (World Horse Day) Date in the current year: March 1, 2024

National Horse Protection Day (World Horse Day) National Horse Protection Day, also known as World Horse Day, is celebrated on March 1 every year. It was initiated by Colleen Paige, a pet and family lifestyle expert who’s created a plethora of philanthropic holidays dedicated to animal welfare and environment protection, from National Cat Day to National Beach Day.

According to Paige, who first learned to ride and take care of horses when she was a child and has a special connection with these animals, horses are one of the most famous symbols of freedom and the embodiment of the American Spirit. Together with dogs, they have been faithful friends to people for centuries, helping them travel long distances, fight battles and run households. Unfortunately, not all people treat horses as their friends, and these gentle, sensitive and beautiful animals often face neglect, abuse, starvation and slaughter.

Domesticated horses require human attention and care for optimal health and long life. This includes creating a good living environment, which has both shelter from the weather and enough room to exercise, proving proper nutrition, grooming, hoof and leg care, shoeing, veterinary care, dental care, parasite management, and more.

Sadly, not all horse owners actually care about the welfare of their horses. In fact, debates about equine welfare are recent, whereas abuse of horses has been common since the time they were domesticated. Awareness of the cause first arose in the 19th century, in no small part due to Anna Sewell’s novel Black Beauty that described the plight of working animals.

Since then, the perception of equine welfare has changed for the better, and steps have been taken to protect horses and ban multiple practices that are considered cruel, but maltreatment of horses remains a matter of great concern. The welfare of horses is likely to become an even more important issue in the 21st century, at least in the West, which could lead to the stricter regulation, if not banning, of horse racing and other equestrian sports, control of horse riding schools, introduction of new horse training techniques, etc.

Colleen Paige created National Horse Protection Day in 2005 to celebrate the beauty of horses, raise public awareness of their plight, and highlight the importance of adoption, since it is harder to find a new caretaker for a horse than for a dog or a cat. Of course, few people actually have the means to adopt a horse, but this doesn’t mean that those who don’t can’t make their contribution. There are many ways to celebrate National Horse Protection Day and make a difference!

For example, you can contact your local shelter and offer your help. There are numerous ways to help a horse shelter: you can donate money, food or supplies, volunteer by feeding, bathing, riding or walking horses, help organize an adoption event, or sponsor a horse until it gets adopted by someone else. You can also connect with other horse lovers in your city and plan an event to raise awareness about horse abuse and the increasing number of horses in need of help and a new home.

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National Horse Protection Day, World Horse Day, Colleen Paige, animal welfare observances, observances in the United States