Blue Star Equiculture

Blue Star Equiculture is a draft horse sanctuary and organic farm located at Burgundy Brook Farm in Palmer, Massachusetts. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization registered with the IRS and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Our mission is to provide retired working horses a sanctuary and homeless working horses the opportunity to be useful and positively improve their lives, while bringing education, equine awareness, skills and healing to the community and the environment.

Currently there is gross misinformation in the public about the lives and well-being of working horses. While we certainly do not begrudge the Mustang its place in the American psyche as a “national treasure,” we seek to have the draft horse–which built our roads, harvested our crops, supplied our railroads, fought our wars, and carried us to our graves—recognized as a national treasure, an indispensable part of our heritage and our common history.

* We believe that horses and humans fundamentally belong together.

We have journeyed the same path for the past 6000 years. We have made the horse who he is, and the horse has made us who we are. This is a bond that should not be broken. This bond is a sacred one, and with it come moral obligations to the horse.

* We believe that all horses deserve loving homes where their physical and social needs will be met.

Draft horses and other “working” horses have, through their co-evolution with humans, developed a psychological need to be with people. They enjoy their work, whether that “work” is in harness pulling a carriage or a plow, under saddle, or as a companion.

* We believe that “work” should not have a pejorative connotation.

When we speak of “working horses,” we are speaking of what these horses do. “Work” can and should have a positive meaning. “Work” for horses in the context of meaningful, productive partnership with humans should never be equated with “slavery.” (We find slavery to be morally repugnant, and as such, slavery should not be a term thrown around cavalierly to describe the domesticated horse.)

* We believe that in these troubled economic and environmental times, working horses offer a sustainable means of equine husbandry.

We hope to create other opportunities for working horses to have meaningful jobs in addition to the carriage industry and in limited use on farms. We hope to initiate new uses for working horses in urban environments, such as watering urban gardens, collecting recycling, or making deliveries. We hope to expand the use of horses in organic agriculture, and spread awareness of using animal traction (that is, real horsepower) instead of hydrocarbon energy to power agricultural implements.

* We believe that every working horse deserves to have his needs taken care of for the duration of his natural life.

This is the moral obligation of having horses in one’s life, especially when one’s own livelihood has been provided for through the labor of the horse. We believe that the vast majority of working horses are well-taken care of so long as they are working, as they provide not only for their human partners but also fund their own care. We are concerned about the fate of horses who no longer are able to work or whose owners are unable to continue to work with them or to care for them. Blue Star Equiculture seeks to assist these horses and provide for them or find adoptive homes for them for the rest of their lives.

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