Fourteen horses became geldings Sunday at a Ramona ranch thanks to a low-cost clinic and the services of veterinarian Joe Rosenberg, the sponsors said.
Shirley Puga, executive director of the Encinitas-based National Equine Resource Network noted how the economy has left responsible horse owners struggling to provide good care.
“Anything we can do to help them, while also reducing the future [equine] population, will play an important role in helping solve the state’s homeless horse problem,” Puga said.
The castrations were performed at Creek Hollow Ranch and made possible by the combined efforts of NERN, Paniolo Equine Veterinary Services and Tearsong’s Equine Athletes, Rescue, and Sanctuary.
The event was supported by instructors and students from PIMA Medical Institute, and volunteers from Emergency Animal Rescue, Puga said.
She said that since the average privately owned stallion will sire a total of five foals in is lifetime, the local clinic effectively reduced the future horse population in the area by 70 horses.
NERN will be conducting low-cost gelding clinics throughout California this year, with a goal of gelding 250 colts and/or stallions, and potentially reducing the state’s future equine population by 1,250 horses.
Puga founded her group two years ago to provide a resource to America’s equine welfare community at a time when the continuing poor economy has displaced horses in high proportions.
“In this day and age, those of us in equine welfare and advocacy must find new, creative and proactive ways to help our horses. Low-cost gelding clinics play an important role in this,” Puga said.
She said NERN’s goal is to share its gelding clinic model with members of the equine welfare community around the country. The first out-of-state clinic is planned for Washington this summer. Also under consideration are the states of Nevada, Arizona and Texas.
In addition to Ramona, NERN has April gelding clinics scheduled for Bishop on Saturday, April 21, and Oakdale on April 28. Other clinics are in the works for May and June. For more information contact NERN at firstname.lastname@example.org
“We are targeting California’s most horse-rich communities,” Puga said. “As word spreads about this service, we are getting more and more demand for our clinics.”.
For more about NERN’s Gelding Program, visit nationalequine.org.