Announcing Partnership Between Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF), and Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA): Understanding the Best Way to Conduct Research on Equine and Native American Wellbeing on Reservations

Horses and Humans Research Foundation (HHRF) is pleased to announce a collaborative project with Brooke USA Foundation (Brooke USA) to answer the question of what the best way is to conduct a research study on equine welfare and Native American wellbeing on federally recognized reservations. HHRF’s expertise in the phases of research design will assist Brooke USA with their future grantmaking decisions in this area of interest.

HHRF is currently gathering information from individuals and organizations that have significant interests in, knowledge of, or access to information on the wellbeing of equines on Native American reservations where equines play a key role in the lives and culture of their communities. If you have information that will assist HHRF on this project, please contact Dr. Pebbles Turbeville, HHRF Executive Director,, and share this request with others who may be able to contribute.

HHRF, with the guidance of their independent scientific advisors, will issue a Letter of Interest at a future date. Based on the information gathered, Brooke USA may offer grant opportunities, under the supervision of HHRF,  to study equine-human interaction, wellbeing of the equines and the impact of equines on the lives and cultures of Native Americans living on federally recognized reservations.

HHRF’s Board President, Nancy Paschall, shared “HHRF embraces this new collaboration with Brooke USA Foundation as another way to advance our mission to serve as a catalyst to advance global knowledge of horse-human interactions and their impact on the health and wellness of people and horses through sustained rigorous research.  HHRF, like Brooke USA Foundation, promotes equine wellbeing, encourages learning, and looks to add to the knowledge of the importance of the interdependencies and connections between horses and humans.”

The interdependence between a working equine and its owner is a proven fact across the globe with these animals serving vulnerable communities. One Health, the concept that animal welfare depends on and influences human welfare and environmental sustainability, is key to understanding Native American communities, their relationship with their equines, the health status of these animals and the opportunities for care improvements. High value animal welfare standards will, most likely, improve the livelihoods of Native Americans equine owners.

Understanding that Native Americans have the highest poverty rate of any major racial group in the country, with one in four people living below the poverty line, it became apparent to the Brooke USA that working with equine-dependent Native American tribes or reservations in the United States was pivotal. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the current total population of Native Americans in the United States is 6.79 million, which is about 2.09% of the entire population. Brooke USA believes that by improving animal welfare among Native Americans, it is expected that owners will build better futures for themselves and their families.

“We could not be happier to join forces with HHRF. As our work has proven, we aim to  encourage learning and stimulate debate on working equine welfare and their impact on human livelihoods. By working with HHRF, we hope to develop a body of knowledge which will not only help us make targeted granting decisions but also serve as a resource to other organizations with similar interests. We look forward to deploying this phase of our program, thanks to HHRF which is known for its rigorous approach to research,” said Julia Wilson, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, member of the Board of Directors of Brooke USA.

Horses and Humans Research Foundation’s Mission: Through sustained investment in rigorous research, HHRF serves as a catalyst to advance global knowledge of horse-human interactions and their impact on the health and wellness of people and horses. For more information about HHRF and help ensure that important research, and education about research on horse-human interactions continues, visit the website or contact Dr. Pebbles Turbeville, Executive Director,

 Brooke USA Foundation’s Mission: To significantly improve the health, welfare and productivity of working horses, donkeys and mules and the people who depend on them for survival worldwide. We are committed to sustainable economic development by reducing poverty, increasing food security, providing access to water, and raising basic standards of living through improved equine health and welfare. We accomplish this by raising funds and responsibly directing them to the areas of greatest need. For more information of Brooke USA, visit or contact Emily Dulin, CEO,

CONTACT: Dr. Pebbles Turbeville, HHRF Executive Director, or