Rescuing A Horse? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 11-02-2013, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
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Rescuing A Horse?

What are the pros and cons in rescuing and/or adopting a horse?

I was thinking, next year, after I sell my boy Wrangler, that I would like to adopt a horse. I am looking for a younger horse, like between 1-4, but would prefer a horse 2-3 years of age.

I have found a couple of rescues in Alberta, Canada (I live in Saskatchewan) that I will travel to, and even found a few horses I am interested in. Now, if they are still there when I am ready to adopt, I will look at them first.

But, until spring, I am trying to get as much info as possible in rescuing a horse and where to adopt.

I was thinking either adopting from a horse rescue farm (where they outbid eat buyers and buy from feedlots), getting a PMU foal, or adopting a mustang (although I cannot find ANYWHERE to adopt a mustang in Canada)

These are the places I have found so far:
Paradise Stables in Saskatchewan
Bear Valley Rescue in Alberta
Dare 2 Dream Rescue in Alberta

I am really leaning to go to Dare 2 Dream and I love some of the rescues there.

Do any of you know good places to look to adopt or rescue a horse. I can travel in Saskatchewan and some places in Alberta.

And any info you have on rescuing or adopting, please share!
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post #2 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 04:06 AM
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It seems to me, as someone from the UK, that majority of horses in the US and Canada are 'rescues' just because they came off the track or were bought at an auction.
It strikes me that many of these so called rescues are nothing but horse dealers with another name.
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post #3 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 06:30 AM
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I think a lot of people buy rescues for the sake of rescuing a horse. It often works out that the horse isn't quite what they need, whether it be that they're too untrained, too strong, too difficult or just plain not right for what the owner wants. This can mean that a horse is passed on, unimproved to become a rescue again.

I think you should work out pretty much exactly what you're looking for, characteristics, conformation, potential, ability, training and once you've worked out this, if a rescue horse happens to fit what you want then consider it.

Rescuing has it's own draw backs. The horses are unlikely to be registered or purpose bred. They also may have been neglected or malnourished through it's youth, which could have effects later on, as well as with any other issues they might have. Finally, when buying from rescues often the contracts are restrictive.

It's a nice thing to do but it's important to be realistic about it all, and to ensure that you really are the right home for this horse.
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post #4 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 06:41 AM
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Rescuing a horse can be a great experience. That said you have to go in with eyes wide open. A lot of horses in rescues have issues and those issues can be both physical and mental. If you are looking for something other than a pasture pet be ready to go in with eyes wide open. There are a lot of horses in rescue that have soundness issues.

Mustangs in the united states are sold through the bureau of land management which is a federal department. If your Canadian herds are managed through a similar program that would be the place to start.
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post #5 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 07:16 AM
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Instead of going through a rescue, why not just buy one at auction? You'll have a better chance of getting what you want, and won't have to adhere to some silly, restrictive adoption contract. Besides, that's where most of today's 'rescues' get their horses, so you may as well cut out the middle man.
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post #6 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 10:52 AM
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Why are you selling your horse? As to rescuing - most rescues will not allow you to sell a horse once you adopt it because you never really own it. If you want to help a horse there are plenty of horses that need upgrades from their current circumstances posted on the online classifieds and Craigslist.

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post #7 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 11:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Speed Racer View Post
Instead of going through a rescue, why not just buy one at auction? You'll have a better chance of getting what you want, and won't have to adhere to some silly, restrictive adoption contract. Besides, that's where most of today's 'rescues' get their horses, so you may as well cut out the middle man.
Not always true my friend. Two of the rescues I work with are 501(c) and they take in what I consider true rescues-law enforcement/cruelty seizures and owner surrenders. They work hard to rehab those that can be, and try and place the pasture pets or keep them as sanctuary horses if they cannot be adopted out.

Now all that having been said, if I was looking for a young prospect like the OP I would be hitting up the auctions and/or local FB groups as there are tons (at least around here) of young stock going VERY cheap right now as Speedie pointed out
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post #8 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 11:57 AM
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I think we use the term rescue far too loosely. A horse from a rescue organization is not being rescued by the adopter, it has already been rescued by the organization and is safe. I don't call buying from auction "rescuing" most of the time, you're just buying the horse like anyone else has the opportunity to do. The person who is auctioning the horse doesn't care if a family, a single person or the meat man buys the horse, they just want it off their feed bill. A true rescue to me, and this IMO only of course, is one where you see a horse being neglected, starved or abused and no one else is stepping in.

Most rescues are, IMO, just horse traders in sheep's clothing with an excellent guilt spiel. Like a lot of the other posters have said, if you want to "rescue" a horse go look around your neighborhood or on Craig's list or Kijiji. At least that way you will own the horse, not just be feeding one for the rescue. Most rescues strip the horse of papers, maintain ownership and are FAR too restrictive in their permitted uses for a horse you end up paying more to adopt than you would have to just buy it from a private party.
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post #9 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 12:14 PM
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As others have said, I would look for a horse to buy in need of an upgrade. My family has bought 3 papered horses 2 with great bloodlines and one with decent lines I would consider "rescuing" even if money was paid for them. All 3 were skinny malnourished horses who needed a chance, 2 were young one ended up being pregnant and probably would have lost the foal if we hadnt got her.
Or look for a project something that may not be unhealthy but needs a chance to be made into something of value.
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post #10 of 18 Old 11-03-2013, 12:45 PM
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I have legitimately rescued three horses out of bad situations, in my life.

One at a boarding barn.

One at an auction where the "house vet" wasn't even sure he'd live thru the night.

One out of some idiot suburbanite's back yard who "wanted a horsey for her children and ended up with two horses that she had no idea what to do with them.

The last horse is still with me, 20+ years later and has cost me a lot of money down thru the years.

Anyone that rescues a horse that looks like it's at death's door, needs to have a lot of horse experience under their belt -- that does not include going to the boarding barn every other day or a few times weekly, to brush, pick hooves, then get a lesson.

Rescue horses often have more issues going on than just a severe lack of groceries.

Not only does the Resucer's checkbook need to be on stand by but the person had better have the knowledge to deal with those secondary issues. Issues that sometimes last the life of the horse, like they have with mine.

Adopting from a rescue that has already rehabbed a horse, is a lot different than dragging one out of three feet of mud or that's been left tied to somebody else's trailer at an auction.

Adoption give YOU the option to pick and choose.

Rescue out of a dire situation: I would not walk away from that horse just because it didn't suit my needs, so think twice about choosing words when looking for a horse that needs a helping hand")



Big difference:)
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