If you are considering adding another horse to your home and herd,
your local rescue organization is a great place to start that search.
Many excellent quality horses of varied training levels are looking for
new homes. In fact, just about any breed, gender and size of equine is
likely waiting to find their forever home in a nearby equine rescue
Still not sure about adopting a rescue horse? Here are some FAQs to
help you make your decision.
» Why adopt?
» Don’t rescue horses have problems and
» If these horses are so great and well-trained, why don’t
they cost more?
» If I choose to adopt, what is my first step?
I’ve made a thorough assessment of my needs and what I’m looking for in
a horse, now what?
» What about all the adoption paperwork and that
No one knows for sure how many unwanted horses exist in the United
States, but we do know that the number exceeds the resources currently
available to accommodate them.
In a 2009 survey conducted by the Unwanted Horse Coalition, 63% of
equine rescue/retirement facilities report that they are at near or full
capacity and, on average, they have to turn away 38% of the horses
brought to them. Many of these horses that are turned away unfortunately
fall victim to neglect. For this reason alone, we highly encourage
adoption so that rescue facilities are able to take in more horses in
order to save them from neglect.
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Don’t rescue horses have problems and issues?
Most rescue horses end up ‘homeless’ through no fault of their own.
Many of these horses can be old or young, sick or healthy, purebred or
grade, highly trained or barely halter broke. They are unwanted for just
as many varying reasons – they may have become sick, injured, old,
outgrown, dangerous, a burden or simply too expensive to care for.
Many of these horses have gone through rehabilitation and retraining
programs and are often times better behaved and trained than horses that
might be purchased privately. While some of them do come with their
individual ‘quirks’, reputable horse rescue organization (like NWESC)
make sure this information is fully disclosed and the horse is only
placed in the appropriate home. With a rescue horse your chances of an
unpleasant surprise or unexpected vice is minimal because of the extra
time and training that has been invested in each horse.
Most reputable rescue groups conduct a thorough behavioral analysis
of each horse to ensure that they will be the right fit for your needs
and purposes. This dramatically improves the chances that you and your
new horse will be the perfect fit and create a lasting bond.
In addition, many rescue groups can provide you with advice or
recommend professional help when it comes to making your relationship
with your horse the best it can be for the rest of his or her life, so
you’ll never have to go it alone!
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If these horses are so great and well-trained, why don’t they cost
Horses adopted from equine rescues typically do cost less than horses
purchased privately. The reason for this is because these rescue
organizations are non-profit agencies and are more concerned with finding
the proper and forever home for the animal than they are about making a
As an added bonus, consider adding in the cost of vaccinations,
castration (for stallions), de-worming, hoof care, dental floats,
training and all the other “extras” included in your adoption fee, you’d
be surprised at what a bargain an adopted equine really is!
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If I choose to adopt, what is my first step?
This is an excellent question that equine rescues wish more people
would ask before they consider purchasing a new horse whether privately
or through a rescue. The answer, however is a simple one – do your
One of the first questions to answer is what kind of horse will be
the best fit for your skills and desires? Are you a beginner rider that
would benefit from a well trained horse or are you experienced and
looking for a challenge? Do you want to go on easy trail rides or are
you looking for your next eventing or dressage mount? Even if you don’t
ride there are horses that cannot be ridden that are desperately looking
for loving homes!
Next, ask yourself if you truly have enough time and the financial
stability to devote to the needs of a horse. On average it costs $1,800
to $2,500 per year just to support the basic care of an equine. If you
have to board your horse or should your horse suffer an injury or
illness, this cost could increase exponentially. Likewise, consider if
you have enough time to spend with your new horse. He likely won’t be
happy if he is kept alone in a stall with no exercise for extended
lengths of time.
Doing your homework in advance will make your search easier and
increase the chances that your new horse will be a happy addition to
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I’ve made a thorough assessment of my needs and what I’m looking for
in a horse, now what?
Once you have done your homework and have decided on the type of
horse that would be best suited for you, there are a number of websites
out there that bring the world of equines waiting for their forever
homes right to your laptop.
A quick search of local equine rescues will provide you with a wide
array of horses available for adoption. Don’t be surprised if you are
inundated with options! Likewise, if for some reason you don’t find what
you’re looking for right away, don’t be discouraged. The sad fact is
that many equine rescue groups receive new horses on a regular basis, so
keep checking back with them. Some groups also keep a waiting list, so
they can call you a horse matching your preference becomes available.
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What about all the adoption paperwork and that process?
Most rescue groups try to make the adoption process as easy and as
inexpensive as possible, yet they must take the necessary precautions to
make sure that the horse in question will be turned over to a suitable,
To start the process for a NWESC horse we ask that you fill out our
Adoption Application and either mail it
it off at our facility during normal business hours.
Upon review of your Adoption Application, we will contact you for a
brief phone interview to set up a time for you to meet the horse(s) you
are interested in. If after meeting the horse(s), you wish to proceed
with the adoption, and NWESC also feels that you are a good match for
the horse in question, we will proceed with a site visit and reference
A NWESC employee or volunteer may visit your farm or the place
where you plan to board the horse to make sure the facilities are
adequate. You must have secured stabling arrangements before an adoption
can be finalized.
Upon final approval of your application, you will be required to sign
and return the Adoption Contract, along with applicable, tax-deductible
adoption fee(s), and arrange transport of your horse to his new home.
After the adoption has been completed, NWESC will require that your
veterinarian report to us yearly concerning the horse's condition and
vaccination history. We will also require that you notify us if you
and/or the horse has moved. You cannot sell or transfer your horse
without prior approval of NWESC.
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