Over one million people attend Mardi Gras festivities in New Orleans every year. One of many things that adds to the party-like atmosphere are the iconic parades.
The parades feature over-the-top floats and lots and lots of purple, green, and gold. They’re also typically led by horses that come from an abusive background and have been rehabilitated to participate in the parades. But what makes these horses even more special is that once these horses finish marching, they head off to a forever home.
It all began in 2017 when the Humane Society of Louisiana received reports that some of the horses that marched in the Mardi Gras parades were spotted on their way to Mexico to be slaughtered.
HSL created a program to adopt out the horses that provided entertainment to parade-goers once the festivities were over. According to WAFB, since the program’s inception not one horse has been sold back to a broker or sold for slaughter.
As of 2019, more than 50 horses have been adopted. Four of the horses have remained at Cascade Stables, the facility that rents out horses it buys from a local horse broker each year for Mardi Gras, to be used for their riding program.
This year, 20 horses are up for adoption, and the process is strict.
“We need to know what kind of property you have or if you rent a space from a barn, that’s okay too. We have to have a reference of that barn too, to make sure they have space for you to rent. We also check vet references, farrier references,” Rachel Goyette, Mardi Gras Horse Adoption Manager, told WGNO.
“We would like to get as many personal references from you to get to know as much about you to know how much you really love animals.”
According to HSL, the horses are ridden by students at Cascade Stables during the weeks leading up to the parades and are available on a first come, first serve basis.
As the Mardi Gras festivities begin to wind down, there are still several horses available for adoption. You can check them out on HSL’s Facebook page.
“It’s so great to see a discarded animal to get the best lottery of a home.”
Share this incredible second chance at life on Facebook. These horses deserve a forever home!