AQHA foal in a pasture
• Photo by Molly Montag.

At-Risk Horses Focus of The Right Horse Summit

More than 175 people from 75 organizations met to discuss solutions for at-risk horses during the inaugural Right Horse Summit. The event, held May 22-23 in Lexington, Kentucky, was an opportunity for people to network, collaborate and ideate on behalf of at-risk horses. 

The Right Horse Summit brought a diverse group of passionate horsemen and horsewomen into the same room to facilitate discussions and idea-sharing on how to better serve America’s at-risk horses. Registration was fee. Adoption groups, industry corporations, award-winning publications and governing associations were all represented in the conversation.

“It was truly incredible to see the discussions that were taking place and the people who were coming together to collaborate at The Right Horse Summit,” The Right Horse President Christy Counts said in a statement. “The attendees were all united by a love for horses and a desire to do right by them, which allowed us to ideate and strategize from a place of shared passion and responsibility.”

The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of industry professionals and equine welfare advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition through a dialogue of kindness and respect. Through collaboration with over 50 industry and adoption partners, The Right Horse is able to innovate new and better adoption standards and practices. Together, the goal is to shatter the stigma and reframe the conversation around equine adoption in order to massively increase horse adoption in the United States.

At The Right Horse Summit, panels of experts led discussions on topics such as marketing/training of adoptable horses, the importance of data in equine welfare, innovation’s role in helping at-risk horses and how to achieve fundraising and sustainability goals. Many sessions centered on the fundamentals of operating a rescue and adoption center; but big-picture topics such as strategic planning, collaboration and industry partnerships were also an important focus. 

Attendees were encouraged to network with a series of activities and social events designed to foster community and collaboration.

One attendee reflected on the experience saying, “The Right Horse embraces diversity of organizations and allowing individuality while pulling together a powerful network. I came away energized, full of ideas and ready to continue the forward momentum.” 

Another shared, “I just felt encouraged and empowered by how supportive and positive everyone was toward each other. It was refreshing and uplifting, and left me hopeful that further collaboration can happen throughout the industry for the greater good of the horse.”

For more information about The Right Horse, visit  

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