Frequently Asked Questions AboutColorado Horsecare Foodbank

What Does Colorado Horsecare Foodbank Do?

CHF is a nationally recognized, 501c3 non-profit that provides temporary grants of emergency hay and grain, vet care, and horse-shoeing for Colorado horse owners facing financial hardship from job loss, catastrophic life situations, or natural disasters.

What Are The Main Reasons Horse Owners Need Temporary Help?

The common denominator of people who need help feeding their horses is some type of temporary financial hardship. The common reasons for temporary financial hardship are:

  • Job Loss
  • Divorce
  • Catastrophic medical costs
  • Natural Disasters (wildfires, floods, tornadoes)
  • Rising hay prices (Affects fixed income horse owners hit hard by skyrocketing hay prices)

What are the benefits of Colorado Horsecare Foodbank’s services?

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank:

  • Keeps horses safe and with their families vs. being sent away forever because of a temporary problem
  • Keeps horses from starvation or suffering from a medical condition or needed hoof care that horse owners can’t afford to provide
  • Provides time for horse owners to either get back on their feet, or make the difficult decision to responsibly and safely re-home their horse
  • Eases the pressure on horse rescues that are at capacity
  • Is the stopgap between horse families in financial trouble, and sending the horse to a rescue or to auction
  • Gives hope to horse owners that have hit rock bottom and genuinely love their horses and want to keep them
  • Preserves the western way of life

What makes Colorado Horsecare Foodbank different or unique?

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank:

  • Has a unique mission, i.e., it’s one of the few hay banks in the United States.
  • Addresses a problem not covered by horse rescues, i.e., horse owners having trouble feeding or caring for their horses but desperately want to keep their horses
  • Has a practical, business-savvy management team and approach that has allowed CHF to grow consistently since its 2009 founding.

What are Colorado Horsecare Foodbank’s credentials?

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank:

  • Was founded in 2009 and is still going strong
  • Has had consistent growth every year since its founding
  • Has helped 2,800+ Colorado horses stay with their families since 2009
  • Expanded into natural disaster free hay distribution services after the fires & floods of 2013 in Colorado
  • Has been recognized and is now supported by the ARMITM Foundation (Arizona), ASPCA, Banfield Charitable Trust, Bushong Family Foundation, Colorado Unwanted Horse Alliance, DenKai Sanctuary, The Humane Society of the United States, Sally Beck Foundation (Colorado foundation), the Seidman Family Foundation, US Equine Federation, and more

How Can I Help Colorado Horsecare Foodbank and Colorado’s horses?

Here are 10 ways you can help Colorado Horsecare Foodbank, and Colorado’s horses:

  1. Make a tax-deductible donation to Colorado Horsecare Foodbank
  2. Donate to CHF’s Hay for a Day program (a modest, $5 donation that will pay for one day of hay rations for a horse; great for folks on modest budgets and for children who’d like to help)
  3. Buy beautiful spring flowers at our annual Flowers for Food spring flower sale
  4. Attend our annual ranch ride weekend at Colorado Cattle Company Ranch in Northern Colorado
  5. Attend our annual fundraiser in the autumn: Hay Bales & Horse Tales – an evening event including dinner, silent auction, live auction & entertainment
  6. Donate a silent auction item or volunteer to work at Hay Bales & Horse Tales
  7. Put Colorado Horsecare Foodbank in your estate plans
  8. Buy hay from us at reasonable prices but lower than market rate. We buy it wholesale and will make a small profit that helps provide operating funds to buy more hay.
  9. Visit our online store and purchase something
  10. Tell your friends about us, and get them involved, too!

I’m Having Finanical Troubles and I’m Having Trouble Feeding My Horses. How Do I Get Free Hay?

Colorado Horsecare Food Bank is here to help. Here’s how you can get a temporary grant of free hay, grain, vet care, or horse-shoeing:

  1. Apply for help using a simple online application process on the Colorado Horsecare Foodbank website
  2. You must meet some financial requirements to prove your financial need, plus let us know what’s happened in your life that you need help and a brief game plan for how you’re working your way out of the problem. We will ask for recent pictures of your horses, and we often do a site visit, get to know you, meet your horses, and get a better understanding of your needs.
  3. Complete the online form on our website and hit the “Submit” key
  4. If we can easily verify the application information, we can usually provide a response within 24 hours.

For Donors: How Does CHF Prevent Fraud?

Colorado Horsecare Foodbank requires that horse owners fill out an application for help. CHF team members review the applicant’s information and their circumstances to make sure hay is going to people & horses truly in need.
The Application for Temporary Grants of Free Hay, Grain, Vet Care, or Hoof Care requires:

  • A description of how people got into the tough circumstances and their working plan to get out of it
  • Current photos of the horses
  • CHF often conducts site visits with the applicant, or gets in contact with a representative that has knowledge of the horses and the circumstances (typically, their veterinarian)
  • CHF checks references that are required on the application

How Does Colorado Horsecare Foodbank Get Its Hay?

  1. Colorado Horsecare Foodbank raises money and then buys hay in bulk (tons of hay by the semi-truck load and negotiates competitive pricing from hay growers for volume purchasing.)
  2. CHF also gets hay that is donated from other concerned horse owners and ranchers.
  3. CHF has a hay selling program in which we pass along . CHF sells hay for below market rates but above cost. Profits from this program allows CHF to to buy more hay.
  4. We also have built relationships with hay growers & hay brokers throughout the United States and Canada. If there’s a drought and hay shortage in one part of the country, we use our relationships with hay producers elsewhere to procure hay and transport it to Colorado for distribution.

What’s The Mindset & Situation of the Horse Owners That Colorado Horsecare Foodbank Helps?

There are common denominators on the mindset and situations of the Colorado horse owners that Colorado Horsecare Foodbank helps. Here’s a look at the people you’re helping when you make a tax-deductible donation:

  • The horses are the heart and soul of their family: The horse owners that CHF helps are people who love their horses, and do not want to surrender them.
  • The horse lifestyle is their way of life: The lives of these people revolve around their horses, and have for generations.
  • The horses often are owned by children who will be negatively affected if the horse is sent away: Often, the true owners of the horse is a child, and if the parents have to make a tough decision, the child’s horse is taken away in a trailer forever because of a temporary situation.
  • The majority of recipients were very stable, had great jobs, and are stunned to find themselves at rock bottom: Many people CHF has helped had great jobs and were not living beyond their means. They were stable. Something happened either with job loss, divorce, illness, or a fire or flood that left them with nothing.
  • Elderly horse owners on a fixed income hit hard by skyrocketing hay prices: Most elderly recipients of temporary hay grants worked hard all their lives and are on a fixed income and budget responsibly. When hay prices tripled and quadrupled, it threw them way over their budgets. CHF provided temporary help until hay prices stabilized, and that gives them time to re-arrange their budget.

How Do People React When Colorado Horsecare Foodbank Gives Them Free Hay, Grain, Vet Care, and Hoof Care?

  • First, they cry: Colorado horse owners helped by Colorado Horsecare Foodbank typically are relieved, grateful, and overwhelmed when they receive the help they need to properly feed and care for their horses. Many have been trying to be strong for so long during their hard times that, when they get some help from us, they finally break down and cry.
  • Second, they get renewed strength: Many horse owners going through tough times have told us they were so depressed that they could barely get out of bed in the mornings. Getting grants of hay that allowed them to properly care for their horses gave them some breathing room after hitting rock bottom, and gave them the strength to fight and work through their difficulties.
  • Third, they pay it forward: Horse owners helped by Colorado Horsecare Foodbank often pay it forward by giving back to the CHF. (They volunteer, buy hay from us at below market rate, attend our fundraising events, and more.)
  • Fourth, they send thank you’s long after they’ve been helped: CHF often receives thank you cards, email updates, and personal visits from people long after they’ve worked through their hard times with our help. Horse owners who’ve been helped often approach us when we are exhibiting at Horse Expos & special events, and stop by to say thank you, and tell us the progress they’ve made.
  • Fifth, they share their progress with us: CHF routinely gets people calling to tell us they got a job, and are getting back on their feet. (And it’s always nice to hear their good news.)

What If Someone Truly Can’t Afford Their Horses Long-term?

If a horse owner assesses their situation and makes the difficult decision that they cannot afford their horse(s) for the long term, CHF provides emergency hay grain, vet care & horse-shoeing to give them the time to responsibly and safely re-home their horses, if they truly cannot keep them.