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Where do your donations go?

As a growing horse rescue group, we rely on monetary donations to keep the organization moving forward. The Big Hoof Foundation will always be transparent with how your donations are used.

100% of the money we raise goes directly to the rescued horses' feed, hay, medical bills, medications, alternative medical treatments, supplements, surgeries, etc. Every dollar raised is for the horses! 

 

Donation money is not used for trucks, trailers, boarding, infrastructure, utilities, etc.

Cory and Julie Fletcher, the owners of the foundation, take care of those expenses personally.

What does it take to run a horse rescue?

The below is a breakdown of what it costs for feed, medical, medications, supplements, alternative treatments, and emergency situations.

Alfa Pro

Alfa-Pro® is a top-notch fortified ground alfalfa cube formulated to meet all of the nutrient requirements of a mature horse. Recommended by our veterinarian to support the needs of the senior rescued horses. We soak the alfalfa pellets in water to make a mash for the horses. Since most of the horses have never had dental work it is hard for them to chew fresh alfalfa. Alfa-Pro mash is easiest for them to eat and digest.

 

Alfa-Pro is the main portion of our rescued horses' diet. We go through about 5 bags per day to feed all of the horses. A pallet of Alfa-Pro contains 40 - 50 pound bags and costs $678.00. One pallet will feed the horses for 8 days. HF&C Amarillo, our local feed store where we purchase Alfa Pro does give a per pallet discount. An individual bag of Alfa-Pro is $17.45.

Hay

Another portion of the horses' diet is coastal grass hay. We have been purchasing hay from Mauls Feed and Seed in Pampa, TX this summer. After researching hay, we found that Mauls Feed grows and bales the grass here locally in Amarillo, TX.

 

The cost of hay does fluctuate during the year. Right now in September of 2023, 21 bales of hay is $250. The horses go through 5 bales of hay per day.  

 

Medical Bills

Veterinarian medical bills are always different costs due to what is being performed on the horse. With any new rescued horse we always do blood work which costs $100. A regular exam is $60 but an after hours call is $95. If our veterinarian comes to the farm there is a farm call fee of $100.

 

Most of the senior horses that come to us need X-rays because of arthritis joint issues. X-rays vary in price but range from $30-$50 per view and can get quite expensive depending on how many are needed.

Medications

Some of the horses have severe arthritis and require medication to live a comfortable life. The medications to treat arthritis are Gabapentin and Previcox. 

Liam takes 20 pills of Gabapentin twice per day. A 500 count bottle is $52.

60 tablets of Previcox is $243 or about $4 per pill. Liam takes 1 pill, Cami takes 1/2 pill, Anna takes 1/2 pill and Quinn takes 1/2 pill per day. 

Other times if we have a sick horse, they may require antibiotics. Antibiotics for horses are in pill or liquid form and are anywhere from $75 to $125. 

Out veterinarian also recommended that we treat all the horses with dewormer twice per year with a product that also kills tape worm. The recommended dewormer is $22 per tube.

Alternative Medical Treatments

After researching alternative treatments for arthritis in horses, we found that acupuncture and chiropractic adjustments can help horses the same way the treatment helps humans. We use Amarillo Equine and Mobile Veterinary Practice for these treatments. An acupuncture appointment costs $175 for the veterinarian to come to the farm.

Chiropractic adjustment are $135. Laser therapy is also something we have used and ranges from $110 to $150 depending on how many areas are treated.

 

We have seen great success with Liam after acupuncture for his severe arthritis and with Quinn who has cellulitis, which is inflammation of the subcutaneous tissues that lie beneath the skin.

Another treatment we have found helpful with our horses with severe arthritis is an injection called OsPhos. OsPhos is a Bone-Building Medication that slow or stop bones deterioration and can be helpful for your horse's joints. These injections are $290 each and need to be repeated every 6 months. Liam and Cami have had improvements walking since receiving these injections. 

Joint steroid injections are another treatment we use for the horses with arthritis. The cost of the steroid injection is $185 per injection site. There is another injection called Noltrex which we used for Liam and it provides extra cushion in the joint. The cost for Noltrex was $350 per injection.  

Emergency Situations

Emergency situations can arise with horses. Severe conditions such as colic and choking require immediate attention. 

Charlie has a choking condition because his esophagus does not close properly when he eats hay. The last time Charlie choked the veterinarian had a hard time clearing the choke because he is such a large animal. Charlie stayed at the clinic for observation for 2 days and the vet bill was around $1,230. Charlie is not allowed to have hay anymore and he has not had a choking issue since.

Colic is a term used to describe a symptom of abdominal (belly) pain, which in horses is usually caused by problems in the gastrointestinal tract. There are over 70 different types of intestinal problems that cause colic symptoms, which range from mild to severe (life-threatening) in nature. Sometimes a colic can be treated while other times surgery and all our efforts can not fix a colic case. Cami had colic and spent 2 days at the vet and recovered. The cost was about $1,050. When Finn had colic and he wasn't recovering on his own we decided to do surgery. With his hospital stay and surgery his bill was $6,570. A detailed breakdown is shown at the bottom of this page. 

Each situation with an emergency can be expensive and we always want to make sure we have funds available for situations that can arise unexpectedly like these examples above.

Farrier and Dental

Our farrier comes out every 6-8 weeks depending on how much the horses hooves have grown. A farrier trim is $100 per horse.

Equine Dental: Horses teeth grow throughout their lives. Floating a horse's teeth is the process of gently filing away sharp edges or hooks to present a firm, flat surface for more efficient chewing. This procedure needs to be done once per year or if we see an issue with how a horse is chewing. The procedure costs $140 per horse.

Fundraisers

We do fundraisers for new horses we are rescuing from going to slaughter at a kill pen. Depending on the location of the kill pen, the cost of bail and the condition of the horse will depend on how much money we need to raise. If a horse is in poor condition needing extra medical attention we will include the estimated cost into the fundraiser to cover medical expenses, plus bail and transport. We have found that transporting the horses ourselves is much more cost effective than hiring a transport company. However, there have been times when we needed a transport company. 

All these costs go into our fundraisers for a new rescue horse.

We can not thank our veterinains at Mobile Veterinary Practice, Claude Animal Hospital and Amarillo Equine for all the excellent medical care they have provided for our horses.

 

If there are any questions regarding donation allocation, please feel free to email us at bighooffoundation@gmail.com and we will address any concerns you may have.

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