Are You Ready to Adopt a Horse?
It sounds like such a noble idea, adopting a horse in need. But are you really prepared to handle those "needs"?
Some adoption horses are pretty straight forward; they have manners, they've been handled, their health is good. They just need a home where they can be loved. However, most adoption horses come with baggage.
For the most part, these horses have come from tragic situations. They're grateful for food, shelter and care, but they carry scars and they haven't forgotten.
Many rescue horses are older, cast off after their working life is perceived as over. They usually have some lameness issues. Many of these issues require a commitment to ongoing maintenance. The horse may need prescription medication and other supplements administered daily. Horses with respiratory problems will also need prescription medication and a special diet. There may be dental issues. These needs can be expensive. But to offset that, an older horse, with good maintenance, may still have miles of light riding to offer or it can make a great companion for another lonely equine.
Young, sound, rideable horses are what most people are looking for. These horses come through Horses Forever and other management programs more often than you think. However, most of them are not "ready-to-go". These young, sound horses are often the most challenging. Many come with little or no handling, others come from a poor or abusive training experience.
These horses need consistent daily handling from an experienced amateur or professional trainer. They need to learn (or re-learn) the rules of being a domestic horse... and in some cases they need to learn that those rules won't hurt them. But once these horses "come around" they have their whole life to offer. Perhaps they'll show, trail ride or even become a therapy horse.
So if you're looking for a broke, sane, sound horse don't count us (or organizations like us) out. Those horses end up here, too. But, if you're considering giving a loving home to an older horse with baggage or a younger horse who needs consistent support and guidance be sure you're ready and up to the challenge. If you are, we want to hear from you.
— Roberta Stone