“We are the silver lining in any and every dark cloud we could ever find. There is no need to go looking for the light when you bring it with you.” -Tyler Knott Gregson
TDN Intern Katie Ritz polled a series of industry members to see if they had found anything good that has come out of the current crisis. Their responses will appear every day in the TDN. To submit your own, email [email protected]
New Vocations is doing its best to continue operating as much as possible, because the need right now in terms of horses needing homes has increased dramatically with all the tracks that are closing. If we were to just shut down and not take in horses, it would be devastating. We have multiple farms and we've been monitoring the executive orders in the different states in which we are located. Since what we do is deemed agricultural, our hand-on horse staff is still here and operating on a day-to-day basis but under extra precautions. Our core admin team in Lexington is all working from home.
Our primary goal is to keep our team safe, but if we can still operate we will continue to do that. We know that if we aren't able to take in horses, there are many horses that will be in need. In March, across all of our locations, we took in 42 horses and had 37 adoptions. So we're still moving horses.
Now the silver lining in all this: we recognized that people are at home and are spending more time on social media, so we have seen a 30% rise in our social media reach. We can't do in-person appointments for people to meet with horses, so we are doing FaceTime appointments.
Also, every day at noon, we are doing a meet-and-greet with an adoptable horse live on our Facebook. That has been going very well so far. There was a horse named Unequal, and we had someone on the fence about adopting this horse. But an hour after the live feed, they sent in their adoption contract. So it was really cool at the end of the day to see our efforts turn into an adoption. (Watch it here).
Before all this happened, we were all getting geared up to launch our Visit Horse Country tours. They are now postponed until May, but we are doing live virtual tours every Wednesday at 1 pm. We are able to tell people how they can help, so I think it's a really positive thing. We also encourage people to ask questions throughout the video. (Watch here).
With all that has happened in the last few weeks, it has made us really think. Our motto is 'do whatever it takes,' whatever is necessary to get horses adopted. So we've had to think outside of the box to expose more people to our purpose. With this, we had to come to the table and ask what we could do to take advantage of this increased viewership and make sure we can still get horses homes during this time. We've always had videos online, but the live feature really adds something when people know they are seeing live footage and can ask questions in real time. So with everything that is going on, we are choosing to seize the day.