Buying vs Adopting - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 07-07-2014, 06:25 PM Thread Starter
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Buying vs Adopting

I know adopting a horse from a rescue can be a LOT different from buying depending on the horse's previous situation, but in your opinion would you rather buy or adopt?
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post #2 of 13 Old 07-07-2014, 06:34 PM
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If you're contemplating taking on a rescue horse then adopting one from a good centre that assesses the horses and deals with any health/soundness issues before letting them out to anyone is always going to be less risky than going along to a sale and buying the first sorry looking horse you see
So many of these horses that end up in the bottom end of the sales yards are there for a reason - they have health problems that can't be fixed or would take a huge amount of money to fix and or behavioral problems that fit in that same category
Far too many good intentions end in tears and heartbreak because people take on way more than they have the resources to deal with
And if you take one from a rescue centre you will free up a space there for them to try to save another horse
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post #3 of 13 Old 07-07-2014, 06:53 PM
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Both options have their positives and negatives. You can buy a horse from a shady seller, or adopt one from a shady "rescue". You can buy a horse from a decent private owner who is presenting an accurate picture of their animal, you can do the same with a rescue. Either way you can end up with an animal with bad habits or good training.

I have seen rescue groups where you "adopt" the horse but they never actually belong to you on paper. The rescue group reserves the right to dictate what vet you can use, to drop by your facility unannounced, says that you can't show the horse, etc. etc. Basically take all the rights of horse ownership and throw them out the window.
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post #4 of 13 Old 07-07-2014, 09:51 PM
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Or, take the horse back after you've invested time and money in it's training.
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post #5 of 13 Old 07-07-2014, 10:03 PM
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I'd be hesitant to adopt and would definitely prefer a straight up purchase. It does seem most rescues retain ownership with their adoption contracts, and while a good one won't prevent you doing whatever you want with your horse (within reason, though most won't let you breed) and will never exercise the right to take back your horse, you just never know. Even a rescue that's "good" now could fall under new management in future years and decide to take back a horse for whatever reason.

I'd be OK with a group that waits a year or so to sign over ownership (much like BLM adoptions), but the rescues I looked into when in the horse market didn't work like that.

“The horse is a mirror to your soul. Sometimes you might not like what you see. Sometimes you will.” - Buck Brannaman
"Nothing forced can ever be beautiful." - Xenophon
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post #6 of 13 Old 07-08-2014, 12:46 AM
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I agree with the others- read the fine print from your rescue agency carefully - find one that sets a fixed timeline for when the adoption becomes permanent. Some here in Colorado keep the brand inspection for one year - and if AT ANY TIME in the future you can't keep the horse, you must relinquish it back to the rescue, so you can't sell it (and possibly make a profit or use the sale to fund your next horse).

I personally would rather buy from a private owner or an auction and have the horse mine to do as I like with. I spend a lot of time and money and effort training my horses, so if I don't click with the horse, or outgrow it's capabilities, I want to be able to recoup some of my expenses for the next project.
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post #7 of 13 Old 07-08-2014, 01:21 AM
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We looked at ONE rescue horse. The horse was listed on dreamhorse and I had no idea it was a rescue until I contacted the seller/rescue. She was a registered aqha and her breeding was top notch. So I had a pretty good idea something had to be way off. I sent an email stating exactly what I was looking for and a sound horse. The rescue stated this horse was donated to raise money for the rescue and was completely sound. I was sent pictures but no video. In the pictures the mare looked great. I drove 3 hours to know immediately this was not the horse as soon as I walked to the stall. Major suspensory problems, the horse was practically walking on its pasterns. I'm not sure how they got the horse to stand upright in the pics they showed me. I said this horse isnt going to work before she even got the mare haltered. The rescue lady immediately got defensive said I wasted her time! I'm the one who drive hours to look at this horse. She tried to tell me a little bute would make her sound, no she needed a whole new set of feet. I saw an update on this made and she was sold to a guy that had her at a parade, that poor mare. I would steer clear of a rescue unless your looking for pasture ornaments or a young horse to start. I'm sure there are exceptions to that but that was my experience.
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post #8 of 13 Old 07-08-2014, 02:30 AM
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I have never adopted a horse, but if my current horse passed away, I would definitely consider it. The rescue societies in my area seem forthright with both the good and the not so good parts of the horses they have up for adoption. They have a lengthy adoption form and most of them offer a two week trial period.

To ride or not to ride.....What a silly question!
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post #9 of 13 Old 07-08-2014, 05:34 AM
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I've heard a lot of good things from New Vocations... New Vocations
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post #10 of 13 Old 07-08-2014, 11:18 AM
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Buying works best for my needs.

I looked into the adoption process at several local rescues but the fine print was a deal-breaker. I understand that these organizations are doing what they feel is in the best interest of the horse, and I support their attempts. But their stipulations didn't mesh with MY needs, and I suspect it will prevent some other worthy people from taking the adoption plunge, too.

The main issue was that I would not be able to sell the horse, only return it to the rescue. Considering I was looking at young horses to start my way, their potential re-sale value was a consideration in my prospect selection. Not to mention that sometimes a horse just doesn't work out for some reason, and if I couldn't sell it, I wouldn't have the cash on hand to buy/adopt another horse.

Also along those lines, they could reclaim the horse from me at any time for any reason. While I guarantee any horse in my care will be appropriately cared for, that contract clause would leave them open to taking away said horse after I'd put in all the training, potentially allowing them to sell/rehome the horse at a bigger profit. Not a chance I was comfortable with.
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