Fostering for a rescue?

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Fostering for a rescue?

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    05-18-2012, 06:13 PM
Super Moderator
Fostering for a rescue?

After moving Lacey to her new field, and seeing how much grass she has available to her and how much she doesn't need ALL that grass, someone suggested to me that I look into fostering for a equine rescue...

I figured there weren't any around here but someone suggested one that just so happens to be based in my town!

Anyway, from what I can see, their foster program looks fantastic. But, in since I've never done any of this stuff before, I'd love it if you guys could look over the information I have already and tell me if you think it'll fit what I tell you of my situation.
No worries as well, this is a reputable rescue. It was recommended to me by Darla Clark of "Grace-The Little Horse That Could" fame and seeing as how she basically brought a dead horse back to life, I trust her opinion.

For my part, all I really have to offer is a plethora of land, lots of grass, a lonely old lady horse, safe fencing, shelter, and love - all the "basics". I really don't have $$ to pour into a foster horse but from what I can see, it looks like the rescue doesn't expect fosters to pay much.
They also deliver the horse to you - no need to have a trailer.

Anyway, here's what they've sent me so far:

"Hi Emily -
Please keep in mind that we have the ability to be flexible with foster homes, this is just the "general" foster home info. I have attached our Foster Care Program flyer but here are a few more details.

1. We will do a site check.

2. We see what type of horse you are willing to work with. Many of the horses we get are the "unwanted" horses and have little to no training. And nearly 100% of the time they cannot be ridden. Most of the horses we get are very under weight and just need some TLC until we can get them into training or until we find a forever home.

3. You are responsible for the horse, as if it was your own. You will be in charge of scheduling hoof trims and making sure the horse is healthy, which might mean managing a food program. Call *** if you every have any questions regarding the horse.

4. We evaluate what you are able and willing to pay for, all tax deductible. *** covers vet costs, but beyond that we work with you. We ask that the foster home cover as much of the cost as possible but if you need us to cover hoof trims, and hay or grain we can do that. Then you will just be a "loving hotel" of sorts. Its really flexible, we just need to have a game plan so we know how much to budget for each horse and how many horses we can support.

5. Then we discuss length of horse stay. If you only want to sign up for 3 months that is just fine. If you are willing to house the horse until we find it a forever home great! And again, we're flexible. If at any time you decide that you can no longer care for the animal then we will find another place for it. You will never be stuck with a horse.

I'm sure you have questions, so please ask These were just the topics that I could think of. Let me know what you think.

Do you board or do you have your own property?"

Anyway, does that look like it'll be a good fit to you guys? I don't want to get too caught up in "doing a good thing" and forget to fact check.

Thank you!
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    05-18-2012, 06:20 PM
It seems like a fairly good deal and extremely flexible.

Lacey was moved to your neighbors? Property, correct? Are they okay with you bringing another horse onto the property? I guess that'd be my main concern is making sure the property owners are on board with another horse.
    05-18-2012, 06:20 PM
The only problem I can see is that you might get so attached, you want to keep the horse yourself. A lot of fosters do that.
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    05-18-2012, 06:30 PM
Doesn't sound bad at all (I assume they quarantine the horse before placing it in foster home). But I agree, you may get attached and decide to keep it. Not saying it's a reason not to do it though.
    05-18-2012, 06:36 PM
Just be aware that some foster horses do need money poured into them and it isn't always cheap. Some foster horses can be extremely hard to deal with or extremely easy.
    05-18-2012, 06:40 PM
Green Broke
Well it sounds just like the rescue where I got mine from and a guy at my barn is currently fostering one. It's really a great deal and so far I haven't seen a reason why not. If I could afford board for another horse I would foster as well. Our rescue doesn't cover board or vet costs that I know of except when they are first rescued so you can always choose a horse that has had all major vet work done so you just cover routine care.

Keep in mind a lot of these horses can also be psychologically damaged as well as neglected.
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    05-18-2012, 06:56 PM
Teen Forum Moderator
Everyone here has given you great advice. As you may know, our farm decided to do this as well last year, and we've since taken in six Thoroughbreds. One gelding, three mares, and two suckling foals. We've rehomed one of the six so far, and one unfortunately passed away due to underlying heart problems.

The rescue that you're contacting sounds like a very good one, and its wonderful that they're so flexible! The foster that we work with is nearly the same. Vet care is paid for by them, but trimming, feed, etc are all on us with the exception of Bree and Jethro, who needed corrective shoes due to the extent of damage to their feet. That way paid for by the foster.

I do want to back both SR and NdAppy up on what they say though, because they're very valid things that you have to take into consideration. While working with Bree, Peppin, Kenzie, and Regal, we've gotten quite attached to all of them, and it will be hard to let them go. We got a little bit suckered by Peppin though, with his silly antics and love for life, and we're in the process of adopting him right now, actually. We just couldn't resist him!

And as NdAppy says...its not cheap. I have no idea what we've spent on these 6 since we got them, but it's been a lot. While Bree's vet bills have been mostly covered (except for a blood panel and ulcer check which we paid for) she's been a very unhealthy horse, and has needed extra special care including high-end feed and suppliments like SmartPac, ingrediants for herbal remedies to severe ulcers, rice bran, beet pulp, Omleen 400...the list goes on. She has so many digesting problems that have had to be corrected, poor gal. And then there was Peppin, who somehow lacerated his eye so badly that it had to be removed. Because the injury happened on our property, we were responsible for paying vet bills. Make sure that you see what the guidelines are for on-property injuries at that particular rescue. We also had to have chiropractic work done on Regal who had pelvic problems out of hand, because the rescue only paid for vet care.

Lastly...realize that sometimes the horses just don't make it. In the case of Sierra, she had just had too long of a life of neglect and pain to make it, no matter what we did. Before having a stroke, the rescue and our farm had already decided to euthenize her once her foal was weaned- but when she died, we not only had to deal with her loss, but with a barely-3 month old orphan as well.

I don't want to turn you away though, for sure! We've LOVED having Bree, Regal, Kenzie, and Peppin at our farm and its so great to see them getting better finally and learning what its like to really be a horse! Bree especially. When she came to us, she was dead inside. No light in her eyes at all, no will to do anything. Now she's the first to come flying up to the gate when she sees us, and you can just see the wheels working in her head!

And I'm sure Lacey would love the company.
    05-18-2012, 07:00 PM
I know how it is to get suckered in and keep them lol. I fostered Blossom and couldn't see her going to someone who wouldn't understand her special needs so adopted her... she ended up being pregnant and had Pistol. Lol

It is extremely easy to get attached to a foster animal of any type.

I would ask if they have a horse that would work as a companion type for your mare that can be on unlimited grass. Some recuses/fosters cannot due to past histories of foundering.
    05-18-2012, 07:05 PM
Yes, actually it does. Get the TOF in writing, specifics on vet care, scheduled farrier care, specific feeding instructions and physical rehab guideline for the horse though. This way you know what to expect, and so does the rescue. It is easier to evaluate a potential home, and follow up care when their is a detailed care plan or forecast care plan.

One thing so many fosters forget in the planning stage is quarantine. You will need it for the quarantine period, plus if it is founder rehab and such, it makes a nice dry lot situation.

ETA: *Looks down at previous foster dogs* Know that the fosters walk right into your heart. They tend to stay if you aren't careful. We took ours for adoption because they are all special needs animals. They ain't cheap, but are worth it :)

Oh and you might also consider short term foster care! It's great for people who get so attached if the animals are there for a while. Most rescues will also foot 90% of the bill for short terms. It's either a situation of waiting for a home, or recovery usually.
    05-18-2012, 07:38 PM
Why not adopt instead of just foster? Then your horse can have a permanent friend.

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