Looking into a Rescue - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 06:09 PM Thread Starter
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Looking into a Rescue

Hey hey!

I am not new to horses in general however I am new to rescues. I have worked with them before but have never had to consider everything involved with buying one.

I have a possibility to look at an 8 year old rescue. Now nothing is for sure, I am just looking for advice on special things to look for that differ because he is rescued.

I do not know alot about him at all, the most I know is that his ears are messed up.

I know that they can have rough medical problems that are not always noticeable. I also know to check the basics of feet, teeth, backround, shots, odd habbits. Do you guys have anything that can help me make sure I don't miss anything?

Thanks for your help!
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post #2 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 06:35 PM
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-Speaking from the experience of working for a charity that rehomed, and being heavily involved in that process-

Please, please, please, make sure that it is a reputable, well respected rescue. Really investigate this. Unfortunately there are many "rescues" out there ripping people off, and selling/giving away unsuitable, unhealthy or downright dangerous horses.

Ask as many questions as you can. If they really have the horses best interests at heart, they will know the answers to any questions you have, or be able to find out the answers on the spot (where you can hear the phonecall etc.). Is there any history of real undernourishment? Not just a tad skinny, but serious or longstanding lack of food? If so, that can lead to a lot of issues that I would be hesitant to rehome. Also worms - any history of serious worm burden? This can have long term damage on the digestive tract and liver. Are his eyes okay, no ulcers or sore bits? No respiratory issues? Like you said, feet, teeth, shots etc all need to be there.

As for behaviour, they need to be forthcoming with this too, but beware of anything that makes him sound too perfect - chances are as a rescue, there will be issues there, and if they say there aren't, I would be suspicious. What's wrong with his ears? Is it a veterinary or behavioural thing?

Disclaimer I very much support rescues and believe they do amazing work, even if my post seems negative. But I have seen first hand horses that the charity I worked for took in from "rescues", including ones with major behavioural issues due to their treatment at the "rescues", as well as serious health issues that were never addressed there. We rehomed horses, but they always had a permanent home with us, and we had every reason to disclose any issues to the rehomer, as if we didn't, the horse would come back to us, not be sold on.

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post #3 of 13 Old 06-27-2017, 07:49 PM
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I've rescued a handful of horses over the years. Have deep pockets-------

A Good Horseman Doesn't Have To Tell Anyone; The Horse Already Knows.

I CAN'T ride 'em n slide 'em. I HAVE to lead 'em n feed 'em Thnx cowchick77.
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post #4 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 10:37 AM
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"but have never had to consider everything involved with buying one" What are their rules governing a "sale"? Is the horse truly yours when all is said and done or are you subject to a list of demands/requirements or they will repossess the animal?
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post #5 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 11:15 AM
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Run, don't walk, away. Most rescues today do not sell their horses, they 'adopt' them, which means you NEVER OWN the horse outright. You are simply paying to have a lifetime lease on the animal which can very likely never be sold, bred or shown. Most will strip papers from the horses, if they have any, frequently there is a clause that states something to the effect, "if they ever see anything they don't like, they reserve the right to remove the horse" and what they don't like is not defined. You are money and time ahead to just go buy a horse in a bad situation.

If you really want to feel like you've rescued a horse, go to your local low end auction and buy the sorriest, skinniest animal there and bring it home and feed it and vet it and bring it back to health or put it down if it is too far gone. Then you'll have done some good.

MY DISCLAIMER: I am not a fan or supporter of organized "rescues" and have not been since they started buying horses at auction and claiming to have 'rescued them'. That is not the definition of rescue, they buy a horse just like anyone else. I've seen too many shady deals and practices with so called 'rescues' and will now take in horses in tough times or buy them at a sale but I won't contribute one penny to the closet hoarders who call themselves 'rescues'. There is no oversight, very few regulations (unless the 'rescue' is a 501c3 and even then they make very poor financial decisions) and almost never anyone to question their fiscal irresponsibility. I have been involved in rescue and rescuing from rescues for over 30 years and have become very disillusioned with most of the so called 'rescue organizations' that are currently out there.

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post #6 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 11:25 AM
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From Colorado Horse Rescue's 'Adoption Application': "In the event this horse needs extensive medical care, are you willing to do whatever it takes to provide the best quality of life for him/her?"

Who determines when "whatever it takes" has been enough or too much? Big red flag here, among several others.

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post #7 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 04:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians View Post
Run, don't walk, away. Most rescues today do not sell their horses, they 'adopt' them, which means you NEVER OWN the horse outright. You are simply paying to have a lifetime lease on the animal which can very likely never be sold, bred or shown. Most will strip papers from the horses, if they have any, frequently there is a clause that states something to the effect, "if they ever see anything they don't like, they reserve the right to remove the horse" and what they don't like is not defined. You are money and time ahead to just go buy a horse in a bad situation.

If you really want to feel like you've rescued a horse, go to your local low end auction and buy the sorriest, skinniest animal there and bring it home and feed it and vet it and bring it back to health or put it down if it is too far gone. Then you'll have done some good.

MY DISCLAIMER: I am not a fan or supporter of organized "rescues" and have not been since they started buying horses at auction and claiming to have 'rescued them'. That is not the definition of rescue, they buy a horse just like anyone else. I've seen too many shady deals and practices with so called 'rescues' and will now take in horses in tough times or buy them at a sale but I won't contribute one penny to the closet hoarders who call themselves 'rescues'. There is no oversight, very few regulations (unless the 'rescue' is a 501c3 and even then they make very poor financial decisions) and almost never anyone to question their fiscal irresponsibility. I have been involved in rescue and rescuing from rescues for over 30 years and have become very disillusioned with most of the so called 'rescue organizations' that are currently out there.
Just want to throw in a defence for rescues here. Nothing personal against you Dreamcatcher, and I'm not discounting your opinion or experiences, it's just mine differ strongly.

I don't know how charities work in the US, but over in the UK they are heavily regulated, with all of their financials being available to view online via the government, and they are audited by an official at least once a year. That's not to say that there aren't dodgy rescues out there - there are, but I feel like tarring them all with the same brush can be damaging.

We honestly always had equine welfare at the centre of everything we did, which involved partnering with the police and the RSPCA in the legal seizing and prosecuting of welfare cases, never buying horses for the sake of it.

Whilst we did do what you disagree with - keeping ownership of the horses for life, the owner could do whatever they wished with them, within reason. They had a copy of the horse's passport (most horses didn't have breeding papers), and could travel, show, enjoy their horse however they wanted. I only remember in the time I worked there, two horses being removed from the home against the adopters wishes. Both had multiple chances to redeem themselves, but didn't. The first was keeping a young native pony on a field with the same grazing as a TB, and leading it to become obese. They saw no issue with the matter and refused to change the situation, so the pony was removed for fear of laminitis. The second was a horse that was adopted out as a companion on the basis that he was under no condition to be ridden, as he was only paddock sound. We then discovered he was being ridden on a regular basis, and when we spoke to them about it, we had abuse hurled at us. Safe to say, again the horse was removed.

We also used to provide the option of paying for treatment for the horse if it was going to be an extended or serious vet bill.

Whilst I advise all the caution in the world with adopting a rescue horse, it can be the most rewarding thing in the world. You just have to be aware of all the conditions of the adoption, and be aware that at the end of the day, just like any leasing situation from a private owner, they can remove the horse at their own prerogative.
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post #8 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IndiesaurusRex View Post
Just want to throw in a defence for rescues here. Nothing personal against you Dreamcatcher, and I'm not discounting your opinion or experiences, it's just mine differ strongly.

I don't know how charities work in the US, but over in the UK they are heavily regulated, with all of their financials being available to view online via the government, and they are audited by an official at least once a year. That's not to say that there aren't dodgy rescues out there - there are, but I feel like tarring them all with the same brush can be damaging.

We honestly always had equine welfare at the centre of everything we did, which involved partnering with the police and the RSPCA in the legal seizing and prosecuting of welfare cases, never buying horses for the sake of it.

Whilst we did do what you disagree with - keeping ownership of the horses for life, the owner could do whatever they wished with them, within reason. They had a copy of the horse's passport (most horses didn't have breeding papers), and could travel, show, enjoy their horse however they wanted. I only remember in the time I worked there, two horses being removed from the home against the adopters wishes. Both had multiple chances to redeem themselves, but didn't. The first was keeping a young native pony on a field with the same grazing as a TB, and leading it to become obese. They saw no issue with the matter and refused to change the situation, so the pony was removed for fear of laminitis. The second was a horse that was adopted out as a companion on the basis that he was under no condition to be ridden, as he was only paddock sound. We then discovered he was being ridden on a regular basis, and when we spoke to them about it, we had abuse hurled at us. Safe to say, again the horse was removed.

We also used to provide the option of paying for treatment for the horse if it was going to be an extended or serious vet bill.

Whilst I advise all the caution in the world with adopting a rescue horse, it can be the most rewarding thing in the world. You just have to be aware of all the conditions of the adoption, and be aware that at the end of the day, just like any leasing situation from a private owner, they can remove the horse at their own prerogative.
If charities here had some over sight, then I probably wouldn't be so strongly against them. They answer to no one except their board of directors (if they have one) and only have minimal requirements to become a non-profit 501c3, charitable organization. There are no regulations, no vet supervision required, not.......really, anything. Thus, you have rescues who take on more than they can feed and vet and honestly, most are borderline hoarders. I've seen everything from no riding, no breeding ( I actually don't disagree with that), to no showing, no stabling, no trail riding, all kinds of just crazy restrictions that they may or may not disclose to the prospective adopter, until of course they violate something.

Most nowadays are buying from the kill buyers who have bought at an auction, then marked up the 'ransom' of the horse and they split the fee with the KB and the rescue. No history, no quarantine, no rehab. Dodgy doesn't even begin to cover it.
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post #9 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 06:38 PM
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Sadly, having spoken with a friend up north, she has gotten into this just trying to adopt rescue cats.

I think you can adopt a human child with less rigmarole, busy-body restrictions, and with a LOT more oversight.

I can see how there'd be a HUGE scope for a 'rescue' to abuse the good will of interested buyers.

The U.S. is flush with 'unwanted' horses right now, which is why the cost of a plain old horse to ride, no papers, no high breeding, is in the $400.00-$700.00 range and at least here, stud fees are rock bottom cheap compared to what they once were.

OP, I wish you the best of luck - I don't blame you for wanting to save a horse, but you may want to look into buying a hard-luck story off someone so the horse is yours with no chance of having it yanked away...

*considers*

I wonder... you know how Tote the Note car dealerships work right? You pay an absurd down payment, they carry the the note with interest higher than a cat's a$*, knowing the down payment was what they actually paid for the car, and knowing there is no way someone can pay it off, so they repo it, and resell it to someone else, rinse and repeat.

I can't help but wonder if some of these places with these tight restrictions are something similar, though I can't see the financial angle.... so... IDK.

"We are here to laugh at the odds and live our lives so well that death will tremble to take us."

Last edited by AtokaGhosthorse; 06-29-2017 at 06:45 PM. Reason: Because its late in the day and my hamster fell off the wheel 45 minutes ago.
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-29-2017, 06:51 PM
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There are dodgy rescues, and then there are hoarder-complex rescues. Recently there was an event with a local rescue guy who was leasing 25 acres of pasture while the property was for sale. This property had been for sale for about a decade as they were asking the sky for it. So he was running a small rescue/retirement pasture there, some horses acquired by him, other unrideable or pensioner horses owned by others but cared for by him with the understanding that if the property ever sold, the owners would be taking their horses somewhere else.

So, this spring, the property finally sold, and as soon as it was in escrow he had every horse euthanized. One horse escaped through convoluted circumstances but the rest died. His reasoning was that they would suffer too much if the herd was split up, so it was a mercy killing. The entire horse community of the county was outraged -- my teacher knew some of the horses and their owners personally -- but there was nothing to be done.

There have also been recent incidents of horses having to be rescued from rescue organizations because of extreme neglect. These were west coast but not local to me and I don't know the details.

Moral: make sure you have your prospective rescue horse checked out by several different kinds of reputable independent experts including a vet, and get some references on the organization as well.

On the other hand, my horse was a rescue -- rescued by the SPCA in utero from an abandoned herd. However, at no time was she herself ever neglected, nor handled by anyone other than experienced trainers. She also spent her growing up years in a big pasture with other horses. So although she was a freebie she didn't have any pre-existing issues other than ignorance. Those 'rescues' are out there too.

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