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Should We Adopt?
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Should We Adopt?

Have you ever been out for a walk (on your own legs), and entertained the fantasy of finding a horse?  Of course in my fantasy, the horse is not any old horse.  The horse is a fantastic jumper, just waiting for me to discover it and take it to the show ring.  It's free and no one wants it.  Okay, I know it's not going to happen, but that's why it's a fantasy.  And at 38, I don't have that fantasy quite as much, but I must admit, it does creep in every so often.

Perhaps for some, this is the intrigue of adoption.  For some of us, we love the idea of finding a gem in the rough.  And, if it's free or next to free then all the better!   Plus, adopting a horse saves a life!  So not only are you satisfying the itch to have a great free horse, but you're also saving a horse! And there are many who need homes!

But, before you google free horses, here are a few things to ponder.

  • A free horse still eats, gets sick, needs preventative medicine and shelter.  If you're adopting to save money, think again.  The purchase is only the beginning of the expenses.  There's a reason why horses are lovingly called 'hayburners'.  Do you have the resources to care for the horse adequately?
  • How much experience do you have?  These horses often come with major behavioral or medical problems.  Some of the behaviors are extremely difficult to eliminate like biting, severe bucking, or kicking.  Medical conditions may be short term but very serious like extreme malnutrition, or sports injuries and will need veterinary help.  Ka-Ching goes the cash register.   Do you have the expertise or the pocket book to get the help the horse will need? 
  • What do you hope to do?  While there are many sweet, loving horses that need homes, often these horses are suitable only as companions and are unable to do any hard work. 

But, having said all of that, do it if:

  • You have the resources.
  • You have the experience or can acquire the help you need to provide the horse with the proper training or care.
  • You believe it's the right thing to do.  Helping an unwanted horse is wonderful!  Can you imagine anything more satisfying than seeing a frightened or unwell horse become confident and healthy under your own care?  If you believe in what you are doing, you can deal with the problems as they come up.

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