Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: East Central Illinois
I have rescued 2 horses, one from the meat market at an auction ("Corporal," 1982-2009, RIP) and the other from a local equine rescue. I have also rescued several cats and a few dogs. It warms my heart to hear of success stories. However, please don't throw away all of the things you've learned about horses when visiting a rescue. A horse or dog or cat at a rescue (or shelter) isn't always the victim of an abusive or neglectful owner. I had one dog that could NOT be contained. The people who gave him to me thought that a life in the country was what he needed. HE thought we needed to own a mile square bc that's how far he would run whenever he got the chance to run off. (My other dog would look at me, like "wtf?" when he'd run off and come back, wagging his tail 3 days later.)
One cat was the biggest, nastiest bitxx around, and after 5 years of this I kicked her out--too many scatches, crapping anywhere (even with a GS crate and litter box inside) and other things. (My other cats didn't miss her, either.)
My other rescue is now a 5yo unregistered QH, very sweet, making steady progress. He's never been abused, or starved, or mistreated. The rescue I got him from has a lot of free help, and their loving on him really socialized him. STILL, I put him through every test I have for any horse I'm considering. They taught him well, and he even loaded/unloaded from their stock trailer several times in the pitch dark. He has 1/4 inch on left eyelid missing, so I just tell everyone he's a rescue, and they nod, knowingly. (Makes me a great person...I guess.)
Something else you should know--rescues that you "adopt" from will visit your facilities and put you on a probationary period. Many want the horse back if you can no longer take care of it.
JUST bc an animal is a rescue does NOT mean that that animal will love you and appreciate you and make a good riding companion. Still, they are worth looking at.