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Equine Welfare Network Messenger

We are a 2017 Messenger!

We are proud to be an EQUUS Foundation Messenger and share our horse care & use practices with the public.

The Messenger Designation is awarded annually. To retain an existing EQUUS Foundation Messenger designation and apply for an EQUUS Foundation grant in 2017, organizations must provide all required information and update their Messenger information on or after January 1, 2017 and not later than April 30, 2017.



Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.

Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.

Changing Leads Thoroughbred Retraining Project



Changing Leads Thoroughbred Retraining Project
PO Box 43603
BIRMINGHAM AL 35243
205-202-804

Tax ID/EIN: 46-4862618
Year Founded: 2014
Last Updated 2017-04-30

Public Charity


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Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation):  Horse Welfare

Our organization operates programs involved with horse rescue, foster care, rehabilitation, adoption and/or retirement.

Our organization's primary activity is equine rescue & adoption.

Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.

100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.


Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
To facilitate the transition of Thoroughbred racehorses to second careers according to their individual suitability for various disciplines.

Horse-related programs:
Changing Leads Thoroughbred Retraining Project rehabilitates, retrains, and rehomes retired Thoroughbred racehorses. <br /><br />1). Sudden Shift Fund: The Sudden Shift Fund is used to organize sound retirement for racehorses. Changing Leads works with prior owners, trainers, jockeys, veterinarians, and caretakers to follow a horse's remaining racing career, raise money to get the horse off the track, and eventually organize its retirement to Changing Leads while it is still sound and able to enjoy a second career. It is rare, however, that Changing Leads is able to raise enough money through its network alone to retire all of the horses the community asks the organization to watch and retire within a calendar year, so additional monetary assistance in this area is much needed. This fund is also used to obtain horses who are no longer racing but have been entered in auctions.<br /><br />2) Rehabilitation: Upon entering the Changing Leads program, horses are given a period of time to let down, during which they learn to adjust to their new routine--daily turnout, socialization, etc.--and mentally and physically prepare for a new career path. The cost of caring for these horses averages $300 per month per horse and includes board, farrier, and veterinary expenses. Some horses require rehabilitation of injuries incurred prior to retiring from racing, and in these cases, care and veterinary expenses often exceed our average, depending on the specific needs of the horses and the nature and extent of their injuries. Rehabilitation can last anywhere from a few weeks to a year or more. Per the 2017 operating budget, the maximum allowable number of horses in rehabilitation at any one time is five. <br /><br />3) Retraining: Horses are sent to one of two professional trainers on the Changing Leads Board of Directors, depending on the disciplines for which the horses appear best suited. Methods of retraining include lunging and ring work, as well as trail riding and other desensitizing activities, as needed. The cost of caring for horses in retraining averages $1000 per month per horse and includes board, farrier, veterinary, and professional training expenses. Retraining can take anywhere from a few months to a year or more. Per the 2017 operating budget, the maximum allowable number of horses in retraining at any one time is five. <br /><br />4) Rehoming: The ultimate goal is to match each horse with a new owner who will care for it and ensure it's lifelong safety and happiness. Changing Leads makes good use of its trainers' network of professional and personal contacts to ensure each graduate continues to receive the same excellent training and care it did while in the Changing Leads program. (In 2016, all program graduates were rehomed within the network.) Changing Leads' trainers are involved in every phrase of the process, from the initial contact to signing the adoption form. The trainers assess the suitability of horse and rider, as well as the facility where the horse will live. Upon adoption, Changing Leads collects all contact information from the adopter and follows the adopter on social media--which, so far, has been the best way for Changing Leads to keep tabs on its graduates. A board member follows up one month after the adoption and periodically thereafter for one year. Changing Leads contractually has first right of refusal, so the Board is aware of any changes of ownership. Changing Leads' contact information is included on all papers pertaining to adoptions, with instruction to contact the organization if the horse ever needs a home for any reason.

Non-horse-related programs:
None


Volunteer Opportunities


There are no volunteer opportunity listings posted at this time

Wish List Items


There are no wish list items posted at this time