The high cost of hay in the drought-stricken Midwest has some horse owners struggling to feed their equines, but help may be available. Through the Kentucky Horse Council’s Equine Safety Net program, owners can apply for a 30-day supply of feed for a maximum of two horses. If approved, applicants will receive feed through their local feed store.
The Equine Safety Net was established to assist caring horse owners who have temporary financial setbacks and are having difficulties feeding their horses.
“Our focus is on the person who has provided responsible care for their horses in the past, but is going through a rough spot,” says Madelyn Millard, president of the Kentucky Horse Council. “This program will help buy owners some time to put things in order and decide what to do next.”
The program is funded primarily by sales of Kentucky’s specialty horse license plates.
As the program expands, the Equine Safety Net will reach out to local feed providers to see if they will help by selling their hay at a reduced price, says KHC executive director Ginny Grulke.
In recent months, hay prices have increased in some areas and availability has decreased. Additionally, throughout the Midwest, many hay fields are being converted to corn for ethanol production.
For more information, visit www.kentuckyhorse.org/safety_net.shtml.