The Ins and Outs of Adopting a Horse



According to the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), as many as 170,000 horses may currently be homeless here in the United States.


The top four reasons a horse may be relinquished by its owner are cost (52.4 percent), illness or injury, age and behavioral issues. While horse meat is not consumed in the U.S.A., as many as 100,000 horses are exported to other countries as meat.


Clearly, there are so many horses currently in need of good, loving, safe homes! In this short post, learn what you need to know to decide if adopting a horse may be the right choice for you.


Great Jobs for Adopted Horses


While some horses are adopted in their golden years, many adoptees are still young. The reason for this is that even the healthiest horse is likely to cost around $2,000 just for basic care, so often an owner will have a change in finances that requires relinquishing their horse.


Some common jobs many adopted horses can do very well include these:


– Barrel racing.

– Trail riding.

– Endurance riding.

– Companion to another horse.

– Children’s mount.

– Equine therapy.

– Show horse.

– Farm or ranch work.

– Cow herding.

– Leisure/enjoyment riding.


Can You Afford a Horse?


If you will be offering a horse a home for the first time, the Horse Channel offers a great cost calculator that can give you a better idea of all the possible expenses you may incur.


From boarding to horse sitting, vaccinations to victuals, riding tack and supplies, you can factor in what you already have access to and research the costs of the rest to determine if now is the right time to add a horse to your family.


How to Choose a Rescue Horse


With current statistics being what they are, there is no doubt many horses are in need of a good home. But how do you choose one?


The best approach is to work with a certified nonprofit organization that has established standards for accepting adoptee horses, evaluating their suitability for different jobs and matching horses with adoptive families. Picking the right adoptive organization will ensure your horse is in good health, properly vaccinated, de-wormed and accompanied by as thorough a history as is possible.


Most importantly, you want to pick an adoptive organization that offers some type of “return policy” if for some reason you later find the horse is not a good fit with your family.


This way, even though you and the horse are not familiar with one another yet, you will have the benefit of the organization’s previous association with the horse, its prior owners and its medical, health and behavioral history.
By researching your options, spending some time with potential adoptive horses before choosing and saving up some funds in advance for your new addition, you will be able to give a wonderful horse a new life and your family a rewarding new connection.