Westchester student raises funds to honor ASPCA's May Adopt-A-Horse Month

Westchester high school student raises money and awareness to help rescue horses to honor the ASPCA’s May National Adopt A Horse Month 

Riley Elkins, a junior at Edgemont High School in Scarsdale, has created an equestrian apparel drive collecting donated gently-used riding apparel, boots and half chaps to raise awareness and money to support horses at Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue, a 501(c)(3) non-profit located in Dover Plains in Dutchess County, New York. 

Riley, who has been riding for nine and a half years, has been collecting outgrown riding apparel in good condition over the past year by setting up donation bins at her barn, Cavallo Dreams Farm in Scarsdale, and getting the support of both the barn’s former and current owner as well as the families who ride at the barn. In total Riley, has collected 158 pieces of apparel and accessories including 26 pair of boots, 77 pair of riding pants, 12 half chaps, 16 riding jackets, 24 riding shirts and other miscellaneous riding apparel.

Riley has spent weekends going through the donated items, checking the quality, cleaning and sorting and determining which items are the most saleable. She then arranges to sell them online through an equestrian consignment website and then donates 100% of the profits to Lucky Orphans. Items that are not as marketable are being donated by Riley to the Rider’s Closet in Somers, New York, which is part of the EQUUS Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. The Rider's Closet's mission is to ensure that riding apparel is accessible to scholastic riding programs, pony clubs, therapeutic and veterans programs, equine charities, equestrian camp programs, and individual riders in need. The goal of the program is to promote greater accessibility and inclusiveness in equestrian activities.

To further her outreach to the community, Riley has set up a GoFundMe that she calls “Second Life Horse Rescue Donation Drive” to collect funds to help support Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue (https://gofund.me/568f5961). She also created a Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=61550646016932) under the same name to generate awareness for her initiative where she has posted photos of the items she has collected.As Riley says, “By donating you will not only be helping these rescued horses, but you'll also be helping people who are served by the programs they offer like Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, which helps with PTSD, anxiety, depression, substance abuse, and other challenges. 

By donating outgrown gear and apparel, it’s giving a ‘second life’ to these once-loved items for others to enjoy and cherish. Please join me in supporting these beautiful animals and giving them a second chance at life. As much as they are rescue horses, they help rescue us as well.”

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue’s mission is to help horses heal people through care and rehabilitation and provide educational programming. As a sanctuary, they are committed to the life-long well-being of their horses and the belief in the healing bond between humans and horses, to strengthen the relationship between people and animals and to build a more compassionate future.

Submitted by HH

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