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Buy or Adopt A Horse
 By Saferaphus   •   10th Aug 2018   •   343 views   •   0 comments


A popular slogan amongst pet rescue groups is Ďadopt, donít shopí. As someone who has adopted several dogs, and is currently working to rehabilitate a badly abused puppy mill survivor, Iím inclined to agree with the sentiment. But with horses, I think there are things that have to be carefully weighed before you decide to adopt a rescue horse, or just buy a horse that is for sale.

No matter how you acquire a horse, you have to decide what type of horse will suit you, how and where you will look after it, and how you will afford to look after it. The basics of finding the right horse for your abilities and situation are exactly the same. So you need to define what type of horse you are looking for and how you will care for it.

Whether you buy or adopt, itís important to remember that the amount of money and time spent on care will be identical. The only real difference might be the initial price of the horse. Some adoption fees are as low as $500, although they can be as high as $2000. Considering that it is possible to find a decent riding horse for around $1500 to $2000, the savings over the life of the horse will be very small. So donít adopt because you feel it's a cheap way to get a horse.



Buying a horse is pretty straightforward. You will give the purchaser the agreed upon selling price and you can take the horse home with a minimum of paperwork. You may have to pay sales tax. You should get a bill of sale, and any forms required to update the records of any breed registry or sport association it might be with. These forms may need to be submitted within a certain time frame, and there may by additional costs for transferring the horse to your name.

The previous owner might give you a certain time period over which you can return the horse. Many donít. One person told me they never take a horse back because a new owner can mess a horse up pretty quickly. They wouldnít be getting the same horse back. Some people want Ďfirst right of refusalí. This means, if you want to sell the horse in the future, they want first dibs to buy the horse back. Itís best to get this all down on paper, so there are no misunderstandings.

When you are getting a horse from a rescue, things may be a bit different. First of all, you are going to want to research the various rescues in your location. Just as there are good and bad sellers, and even horse dealers, there can be sketchy rescues as well. Some are registered charities, many are not, and are completely unregulated. Some rehabilitate difficult horses, or do some training, others do not. A good rescue wonít palm off just any horse on anyone that comes along. They will work with you to find the right match, even it means waiting until they get the right horse in, or referring you elsewhere.

Rescues often have a lot of requirements that new owners must agree to. This isnít surprising considering the time and expense that is needed to rescue horses. Often you will need references-such as a vet that looked after your last horse, a stable owner where you boarded or your riding coach. You may have to fill out a questionnaire about how you will look after your horse, with questions such as where will it be kept, who will look after it when you go on vacation or get sick and what your experience is. There may be a barn visit when a person from the rescue comes to where the horse will be kept checks out the safety of the stable and grounds and how the horses are kept.

And you need to read the details of their contract. Some rescues require you return the horse to them if you canít keep it any longer. This might be okay. But, consider how you will feel if you put a few years training on your horse and turned it from a $500 horse to a $5000 horse. Some rescues allow you to sell the horse after a certain number of years. Some require you to look after your horse in a specific way. The horse may never be actually yours. Make sure you read and agree to their requirements.

So whether you buy or adopt; a horse is up to you. The idea of adopting feels good. But make sure itís the right option for your situation.
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