Never Donate Your Horse... - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 02:39 PM
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It very much depends on the place you're donating to. A lot of lesson barns don't take good care of their horses, allow beginners to use a bit before they're ready for it, etc.

I would feel very comfortable donating my horse to the non-profit that runs at the barn where I board (and that's what I've told DH to do with my horse if anything should happen to me) because I've seen them bring in many skinny horses and improve their physical and mental health. They care more about the health of the horses than making a quick profit off them.

In a roundabout way, I think it's actually a good thing that the horse in the OP colicked- otherwise they wouldn't have sent him back and he would have continued to suffer at that barn. It will take a lot longer to get him in good condition than it took for him to lose it, but hopefully the owner will be pickier about where he goes if she ends up selling/donating him again later!
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post #12 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 02:41 PM
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Donating a horse to a college with a riding program or a riding school *CAN* be wonderful. Great way to make sure the horse is being used appropriately, and most college riding programs do a good job with maintaining horses with unusual maintenence needs.

HOWEVER, and this is a big however, most require you sign over all rights, care and control of the horse and that you have no say in what happens once the horse is donated. That would be a deal breaker for me.

I would only donate a horse if the agreement included a "right of first refusal" or similiar clause, that I would be informed if the horse no longer suited the program and be given the option to take the horse back or find it another home myself. Even if you got such an agreement, it would only be as good as the ethics and organization of the person running the program.

Bottom line? Donating the horse = no control over the horse's care or use, now or in the future.

Glad your friend got Barney back, hope he has a speedy recovery and really hope she finds a suitable long term lease or better situation for him.
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post #13 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 06:24 PM
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I think the donation thing is only as good as the program. A friend in California donated a horse she got from us and could no longer ride because of health issues. This was a really nice and very well trained granddaughter of Highbrow Cat. She got a $25,000.00 tax write-off (anything over $5000.00 requires an independent appraisal) and this young mare is a cornerstone of the Feather River College program.

On the other hand, one of the Boys' Ranches here in Oklahoma that begs for cars and horses, oftentimes promising a forever home for 'most' horses just loads them up and dumps them at the sale here in Sulphur or in Bristow and they all just go to the slaughter buyer. They give a $5000.00 tax write-off and say anything to get the horse. I have seen them bring a 28 foot, 3 axle stock trailer load to our local sale and just leave with the office sending them a check. They turn them into dollars as quickly as possible.

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post #14 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 06:32 PM
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Wow, what college was it, I wonder? The riding director at my former college would never let that happen. Yeah, they will get used heavily, but they shouldn't be neglected.
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post #15 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 06:57 PM
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I keep wondering why you rode him for 20 mins of he is in a bad a state as that, poor boy, if he is that far down he would bound to feel unresponsive and dull.

The good news is, that if he has no other underlying illness issues he could bounce right back once you get his weight back up a little.
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post #16 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 08:05 PM Thread Starter
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Golden Horse- I didn't think that riding him was a great idea, but his owner wanted to see how much he remembered or if he had picked up habits. She was there and I told her that maybe it would be better if we waited a week to see how he was doing, but she really needs to not be paying board for 2 horses right now and she wants him back ready for sale/lease ASAP. Of course she will make sure he is in good health when she puts up more ads, but the sooner the better. Do I agree? No, but it isn't my horse. I took him for a 10 minute walking hack and then spent 10 minutes in the ring before I was done.
GOOD NEWS: 1. Barney's owner's daughter actually came out to take him for a trail ride the other day. I'm surprised she had time between her wild parties and drugs, but she seemed into it.
2. I saw Barney trotting around his field today, playing in the rain with his girlfriend. I was happy to see he had some life back in him.

Thanks for the suggestions about the cheaper vitamins and supplements. I will definatly reccomend them to his owner.

I'd say the name of the college on here, but you never know who reads this stuff. Let's just say I live an hour away form DC (in Maryland) and this college is very close :) It's safe to say that I won't be applying there when it's time to apply for colleges.

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post #17 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 08:57 PM
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It wasn't Meredith Manor was it?

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post #18 of 19 Old 10-02-2012, 10:11 PM
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Letting him lose condition like that = incredibly bad thing.

But...something I think needs to be said is that NOT every horse can make a good lesson horse. Some of them seem to be born to it, and some will never get there. That's how I got my horse. My trainer bought him for the lesson program, and he didn't do well. He was willing, but sensitive, and he just got confused as heck by having a bunch of different riders. It stressed him our. She realized within a season that he was basically a One Rider Horse, so she sold him.

I have someone else ride him from time to time, because I need to go away and he needs to be exercised, mostly...but the other person is a better rider than I am too, and can do things with him that I can't yet. It's good for him, and he seems to be able to keep 2 riders straight in his head a lot better than when it was "chance draw of the day" in the lesson program.

Could be that your Barney isn't cut out mentally for the lesson-barn life. That would be something his owner might want to keep in mind, although, once she sells him, she doesn't have any more control.
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post #19 of 19 Old 10-03-2012, 06:23 AM Thread Starter
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It wasn't Meridith Manor, although that's pretty close too. It was UMD. I could see what you're saying ThursdayNext. He does get attached to "his people" like most thoroughbreds... We just thought that since he was so sweet and not too difficult to ride, he'd make a good lesson horse. I didn't think they'd put beginners on him though because 1. he's part blind and 2. the idea was that they'd have a horse to jump since that's what he loved to do. His owner is going to get a clause with first right of refusal like what maura was saying. I think that's a really good idea.
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