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Giving Up Your Horse


giving up your horseIf the time comes that you decide you can no longer care for your horse, either because of finances or they have out grown their usefulness, as the owner it is your responsibility to do all you can to make sure that they leave your care and enter into a new home in which they will be treated with the same love and attention they received from you. At-risk horses are all too often sold in auctions to "killer buyers" who take them to slaughter.

At-risk horses are those horses that, regardless of age, breed, size, or ability become in danger of becoming homeless, being abandoned by their owners, being sent to auction and becoming the victims of neglect or cruelty. If you fear that your finances or lifestyle may cause your horse to become an "At-Risk" horse, consider the following humane alternatives to auction.

If you are having to relocate and feel you will not be able to provide your horse with adequate space, or you simply can't afford him, re-home him. Check with friends and family, ask your veterinarian, put up posters. You can choose to try and sell your horse to someone new or you can give the horse away to someone you feel will be a good owner. Regardless, you will want to ensure that your horse is actually going to a home where it will be cared for, so prepare some questions for the new owner to be sure they're prepared for the upkeep of your horse. If word of mouth doesn't turn up any interested parties, consider listing your horse for adoption on websites like

Leasing Your Horse
If financial strain is a reason you're having to consider giving up your horse, consider leasing it out. Leasing is a commitment between you and another individual to allow the other person access to your horse for a specific amount of time each day for a set time period. In exchange, they pay you a portion of the cost of owning the horse. Be sure you draw up a contract to keep both yourself and your lessee safe and happy!

Donate Your Horse
Therapeutic riding programs, mounted units, and a variety of other organizations happily accept donations of horses for use in their programs. If you cannot care for your horse yourself, look into these options. Use the same careful consideration and elimination system that you would use for any re-homing. You want your horse to go somewhere that they will be well treated and happy. Be sure you also explore what happens to your horse if things don't work out or he has to be retired.

Give Your Horse to a Rescue or Sanctuary
Relinquishing your horse to a rescue or sanctuary takes much of the re-homing burden off you. You will want to check and make sure that they are humane and have acceptable conditions for their horses. Rescue groups attempt to re-adopt the horses, so check what their adoption ratio is. How many horses come in and are re-adopted back out? Sanctuaries provide a life-long place for the horses to live; be sure that there are not too many horses for the number of staff, that conditions are clean and the other horses look well cared for and happy before  you leave your horse.

Don't Give Up
It may take some time to find a new home for your horse. Screen people and organizations carefully, and be careful to put into writing that your horse will be returned to you if things don't work out. This guarantees your horse does not become an animal in danger.


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