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I think if you are green you need to go and get lessons and I am talking about a year minimum before you even think about buying a horse. Looking after a pony and a miniature is very different to owning a big and strong animal who might be lovely when you buy it and turn into a complete but when you get it home

In regards to the rescue thing dreamcatcher mentioned some have a contract where you technically I suppose on the horse but they have the right to take the horse back if they fee it isn't being taken care of.
 

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I second Dreamcatcher's opinion of rescues. 99% of them I have seen retain PERMANENT ownership of the animals. That also means that contractually, they can take the animals back whenever they so choose, for any reason. You are answerable to them if the horse gets sick, gets hurt, or dies. You have to have the vet out so many times a year whether they need it or not, to prove that you are taking care of your horse.

If you're OK with this, review their adoption contract with a fine-tooth comb and go into it with your eyes open. I personally am not okay with the idea of never truly legally owning an animal I am paying thousands of dollars into the care and keeping of, and not being able to decide to sell, give away, or breed a horse if I so choose, or even euthanize it without consulting with the rescue first. It is essentially a permanent free lease and the horse remains the legal property of the rescue.

Adoption can be a good option, and there are plenty of horse rescues doing good work out there. But everyone who adopts should be aware of the legal ramifications that the adoption contract carries, and not get swept up in the warm-fuzzy Public Relations face of rescue because it makes you feel good about yourself.
 

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I'm surprised at you. I can't think of worse advice to give someone new to the horse industry than to go to an auction. OP will have no idea what they're looking at; no idea of what signs to avoid; little to no time spent with the horse.
Please, OP, do not do this.
I respectfully disagree. Dream suggested that I go to a horse auction, go to an adoption place, a kill pin, the Mustang adoptions, go to a few private owners who are selling, and compare. Does not mean I have to buy anything. Its just a way of learning, a teaching tool. And it's highly educational. I went to an auction she told me about and just sat down, shut my mouth, opened my ears and listened for awhile. Good learning experience for new people. I plan on joining Dream at a horse show in October as well. Another good learning experience. It'll help me decide if I want to get into showing horses or competing later once I learn a bit more about what it's like. That will influence the choices I make when I buy.. So after having taken her advise, I back her up on it. It was sound advise, I learned from it. Again, no need to buy anything when you're there. Just helps to sit, see what is available. See what you like, don't like about it.
 

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@gottatrot and @Ahilpert, Here's an excerpt from Horse Feathers Equine Center Adoption Application, they are very straightforward about it.

In submitting this form you agree to and understand the following:

~~Horse Feathers Equine Center retains co-ownership of all adopted equines
~~No breed or registration papers will be provided to the Adopter
~~No contact information for the former owner will be provided to the Adopter
~~Horse Feathers Equine Center retains the right to unilaterally seize the horse upon our determination that the said
horse is not being properly cared for, including neglect, physical abuse, training abuse, or mental abuse. If an
adopted horse is found to be abused or neglected, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law following our
recovery of the animal
~~If for any reason you are unable to care for and need to return said horse, it must be returned directly to Horse
Feathers Equine Center. No refunds will be given for either the Adoption Fee or any expenses incurred since
adoption, and you are responsible for returning the horse at your expense.
~~You may NOT breed, sell, give away, assign, dispose or transfer this horse. If an adopted horse is found to be
bred, said horse and resulting foal is subject to immediate forfeiture. If an adopted horse is found to have been sold,
given away, assigned, disposed or transferred, we will prosecute to the fullest extent of the law for theft.
~~You agree to provide biannual photographic updates on your adopted equine as set forth in the contract.
Photographic update "may" be waived in exchange for a health statement from your vet on their letterhead during
annual vaccination call.
~~Horse Feathers Equine Center reserves the right to conduct unannounced site inspections to check on the
condition of the horse and the stable.
~~You agree to provide proper care and ongoing maintenance of the horse, to include, but not limited to year round
shelter, free access to clean water, proper feed & hay, inoculations, dental care, hoof care & trimming, and worming.
You are responsible for providing veterinary care above and beyond in the event of illness, injury or accident.


You must agree to these conditions prior to the adoption becoming final, and your signature below is proof of such
agreement.

By signing below, I certify that the information on the application is true and correct to the best of my knowledge. I
give Horse Feathers Equine Center, its officers and agents permission to verify all the information contained therein.
I further acknowledge that I have reviewed the Adoption Contract provided by Horse Feathers Equine Center, and
fully understand and agree to abide by the terms set forth in said contract, and intend to provide my adopted animal
a forever home.

And from their Contract:

AGREEMENT between Horse Feathers Equine Center and Adopter
Whereas Adopter wishes to adopt certain Horse Feathers Equine Center owned Equine, described as follows:

____________________________________________________________________________________________
The following terms and conditions shall apply:
~Adopter agrees to be legally and morally responsible for the horse(s) they are adopting;
~Adopter agrees to be financially responsible for providing proper care for horse(s) they are adopting, including
providing shelter--ie: barn, 3 sided lean to, or other type of partial enclosure so that animal may get out of the
weather, veterinary care, farrier care, clean water source, adequate hay/forage, grain when needed, supplements as
needed, and any other means needed to provide a healthy environment for the equine.
~Adopter agrees to be responsible, as provided by state law, for any personal injury, property damage, or death
caused by the equine in their care, for pursuing the equine that escapes or strays and for costs of recapture;
~Adopter shall not maliciously or negligently injure or cause the equine to be injured. Should accidental injury or
illness occur, Adopter agrees to have a veterinarian treat the equine and shall be responsible for all veterinarian bills.
~Adopter shall not treat equine inhumanely;
~Adopter shall not destroy equine nor have equine destroyed, except as an act of mercy, and under the advice and
attention of a licensed veterinarian. Adopter agrees that Horse Feathers Equine Center shall be provided with
attending veterinarian's statement regarding circumstances of needed euthanasia.
~In the case of the death of the equine, Adopter shall dispose of remains in accordance with their locations
applicable health and sanitation laws;
~Adopter shall not sell or transfer equine to any other party or location; if boarding is needed then Horse Feathers
Equine Center must be notified and provided the address, stable managers name and contact number.;
~Adopter agrees to notify Horse Feathers Equine Center immediately if they can no longer care fore the Equine, at
which time arrangements will be made to return Equine to Horse Feathers Equine Center facility at adopter's
expense;
~Adopter agrees that under no circumstances will Equine be sold or transferred to any slaughterhouse or person
who sells animals to slaughterhouses, including not taking the equine to a livestock auction;
~Adopter agrees to allow Horse Feathers Equine Center, Animal Control or someone designated by Horse Feathers
Equine Center to physically inspect the Equine and Adopter's facilities from time to time, INDEFINATELY, to ensure
that the Equine is/are being taken properly cared for. Should Horse Feathers Equine Center determine that the
Equine is/are not being properly cared for, Adopter shall voluntarily return Equine to Horse Feathers Equine Center
and immediately relinquish custody of the Equine. If Adopter does not comply, the local Animal Control/Sheriff
agency will be contacted to request that legal authorities assist Horse Feathers Equine Center in gaining custody
and any/all appropriate animal abuse charges are pressed by the state/county.;
~Adopter is required by this contract to provide update photos on a bi-annual basis. These photos shall contain a
current issue of the newspaper of the day with the date clearly visible, in order to document animal's condition, and
level of care. Annual veterinary statement, on vet's letterhead, may be substituted for one check in.
~Any horse shall not be put under saddle until the age of 3. This is to allow time for their bone structure to fuse and
to prevent them from future health issues with "sway" back or spinal injuries, knee injuries, etc. All ground work and
"pre" saddle work can be done prior to age 3.
~Adopter hereby agrees that in adopting a filly/mare that there will be NO breeding of said filly/mare. Violation of the
breeding clause will be cause for immediate surrender of the filly/mare and any born or unborn foal(s). All stallions
will be gelded upon coming to the facility so they will be adopted as "geldings";
~Horses which have been adopted and remain at Horse Feathers Equine Center longer than 5 days after their
adoption, will require that the Adopter pay for the boarding of the horse until shipping arrangements can be made.
Horses that are here longer than 30 days will require a Boarding Contract to be worked out with the facility upon
adoption. Horses remaining with no contract. and board fees not paid will be forfeited back to the facility
after the 30 days period, and the horse will be re-listed for adoption. All contracts with Adopter will be
voided at that point. No adoption fees will be returned;
~With regard to any horse that is relinquished back into the facility after adoption there will be no refund of any fees
returned to the Adopter, nor any reimbursement of fees for boarding or otherwise.
This agreement is binding under the laws of the State of Oklahoma and/or any other state that the horse may reside
in after adoption.

After working with and around people who rescue for over 30 years, I'm not just Whistlin' Dixie. I have seen what's gone on with several seizures via Blaze's Tribute and Arabian Rescue Mission and have seen first hand that they strip the papers from the horses so that the "no breed" and in some cases, "no show" clauses are enforced. I've SEEN whole herds lose their papers because the rescue just threw them away.

Read the contracts CAREFULLY and see the red flags and notice that NOWHERE does it say ownership of the horse is transferred to the adopter, instead the horse MUST be returned to the rescue at the ADOPTER'S expense. Vet care "above and beyond"? How is that defined? Who determines what above & beyond is in each case? At what point are YOU allowed to say, "No more, I can't afford this.". "Adopter shall not destroy nor have equine destroyed, except as an act of mercy.....". Mercy for WHOM?

Every horse who winds up at a rescue is there for a reason. It can be straight out, "I can't afford my horses anymore, I'd like to surrender them." when a person just has no more resources (for instance hay during drought). Or the horse can have been starved, or beaten or has a medical condition that makes the horse worthless to the current owner (for instance navicular on a show horse). They can be seized or voluntarily relinquished, or they may have gone to the auction and just bought 10 horses to keep them off the truck. You won't know, they'll probably not give the real reason.
 

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If you want to buy a horse, depending on your skill and confidence, you could buy one from a local auction. You would own the horse and know as much about that one as you do the one you're looking at. Or you can buy one private party, with his papers and documentation of his care. Then you'd be spending money on a horse that can't be taken away from you on a whim.

@Zexious, re-read what I wrote. The first thing I said BEFORE I said go to the auction was, DEPENDING ON YOUR SKILL AND CONFIDENCE. I'll stand by that. If the person is skilled and confident enough, they can spot a drugged horse, a sick horse or a gem in a crappy setting. If not, as Kyleen Drake said, they can sit down and watch the auction and learn. They'll see horses go through in all kinds of condition or no condition, sick, lame, crazy, young, ancient and so on. If they are lucky enough to sit next to a professional buyer, they can see what they're buying and if the guy seems friendly enough, they can get him to tell them WHY he bought each horse. He'll have a reason. And most of them have forgotten more about buying and selling horses than the rest of us will ever learn.

My other point was history of the horse. The rescue is most likely NOT going to tell you the real reason the horse is there or where it came from. They'll make up a good "heartstrings story" and tell it to you to get you all emotional and ready to take on their horse and think you are "rescuing" it. Remember, if the horse is already AT the rescue, it's been rescued and is safe. You are merely taking on a long term lease for the care and feeding of it.
 

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Yes, rescue has become euphemism for "(possibly) tax advantaged horse trader" . Their contracts are absolutely ridiculous. They push green animals on raw beginners, and charge exorbitant "adoption fees", because so many people want to own "a rescue".

I am certain there are some decent rescues, but I have yet to find one.
 

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You've gotten some good advise, some questionable but valid in it's own right. I will reiterate that you should NOT go through a rescue that restricts what you can do with the horse, after you've paid that much money for it. Rescues pull on the heart strings of people to get their horse adopted. Say you return the horse per your contract, you don't get your money back and they can re-adopt it and have someone else pay for it again. I see rescues as a scam, must like the kill pens that claim they're shipping horses they have no intention of shipping just to pull on heartstrings.

When it's time to buy a horse, buy a horse, don't rescue, don't pull from an auction, buy a horse.
 

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There are several things for you to consider, especially since it appears you would be keeping your horse at home rather than at a boarding facility. You will not have some of the “built ins” that you would as a boarder.

One is your experience level which several people have already brought up. Second is your support system. Third is your resources. I’ll go over each one.

Experience level: being able to recognize a little issue before it becomes a big one, knowing when and how to correct it both in a way that is understood and is fair to the horse is important. It is something learned with time and experience. I would suggest taking lessons that include horsemanship. Some places still have riders show up for a lesson, mount up, ride and get off and go home. That would not be a place for you to be. They teach you to ride, but not really how to deal with owning a horse.

Instead look for an instructor that will take you through everything from catching to lunging, to grooming, to saddling up, to recognizing health problems, to proper leading, dealing with ground manners…the whole kit n’ caboodle. A bonus would be an instructor/trainer willing to come out to your property and work with both you and your horse.

Support system: Farrier, vet, instructor/horse knowledgeable friend you can call with little problems or questions at no extra charge. The no extra charge thing is important, because you will be more likely to ask for guidance before something becomes a huge issue.

Another thing to consider is if you want to take a vacation even a short one, do you have someone with horse experience that can come take care of your horses for you? Since you already have the two minis I assume you do, but I thought I’d throw that in there anyway.

Resources: Money, Time, Structures, Transportation
If your horse becomes seriously ill, such as a colic that cannot be remedied in the field, you will need a way to transport the horse to a facility. Nothing is worse than having a horse who is seriously ill and finding yourself scrambling at two a.m. to beg a trailer to take them to a hospital! This will mean a trailer and a truck to pull it or at least easy, quick access to one. One thing I never thought of until a wild fire was threatening our area was the need to evacuate. At that time, even the trailers I might have had access to would have been needed by their owners, so if I had to rely upon a borrowed trailer, I would have been stuck.

If you have a horse who is injured and needs confinement they will need a stall. If you live in a place with harsh weather either hot or cold, shade, windbreaks and shelter will be needed.

Can you on short notice take off work if say in the morning you come down to find your horse has injured himself and requires veterinary attention, but the mobile vet can’t come until noon or later? If that is going to cause a big problem with work then that would be something to consider. The other thing to realize is that since your horses are at home, you will be the only person who might notice that something is just not right with Lightning. If you are gone more than you are home, then your chances of catching a medical problem early goes down quite a bit.

Horses get expensive especially when you are just starting out. It seems like there is always something you need until you have built up a rather impressive arsenal over the years. Every month it seems like you need something; supplements, products for hoof condition, new fly control measures. In addition to trailers, shelters, feed, hay, tack and farrier care upon everything else, they are accident prone. Do you have an emergency fund set up to cover the expense of a three-day (or longer) hospital stay?


I don’t want to scare you off. It’s not impossible, obviously thousands of people manage to do it every day, but horse ownership, especially keeping them at home, can be deceptively complicated!
 
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i wouldn't touch that 'rescue' with an extended barge pole.

The fact that they can take the horse for any reason and not return a dime should make anyone suspicious.

What do they consider abuse? Could be not training the horse without tidbits, letting it get to fat and many other things.

The fact that a horse might be in foal you have the responsibility for any vet fees, the growing of the foal until weaning when they will claim it as theirs.

All very one sided.
 

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i wouldn't touch that 'rescue' with an extended barge pole.

The fact that they can take the horse for any reason and not return a dime should make anyone suspicious.

What do they consider abuse? Could be not training the horse without tidbits, letting it get to fat and many other things.

The fact that a horse might be in foal you have the responsibility for any vet fees, the growing of the foal until weaning when they will claim it as theirs.

All very one sided.
Exactly Foxhunter. And it's not an unusual application or contract, I could google horse rescues and pick at random and most contracts will read very similarly to this one.
 

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@Kyleen Drake -- Dreamcatcher's post did not say 'go to an auction to learn.' I wouldn't have even responded to that. People choose to immerse themselves in the horse industry and learn in different ways. But the post says 'buy [a horse] from a local auction.'
@Dreamcatcher Arabians -- But based on what's been posted I feel like we have a relatively firm understanding of the skill and confidence level of OP? I maintain that purchasing from an auction is not appropriate in this situation. (again, your post said to buy from not just attend)

In my area (I have never attended an auction in OK) there are two types of auctions: breed auctions and local auctions. The former are high dollar and mostly for breeders and competitors, the latter are 'throw away' horses that have been hard to sell for one reason or another. Mental soundness, physical soundness, sour attitude, etcetc. I'm sure there are things in-between these two extremes, they're just what I've seen.

As far rescues... eh.
I hear and agree with much of what's being posted.

OP, if you're still around, it sounds like you've got the care part down.
Have you considered lessons? I know other posters have suggested this, too.
That'll give you a better understanding of what you should be looking for. Too, you can work with a trainer. It's great to have an extra set of eyes and ears--not to mention their expertise.
 

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@Kyleen Drake -- Dreamcatcher's post did not say 'go to an auction to learn.' I wouldn't have even responded to that. People choose to immerse themselves in the horse industry and learn in different ways. But the post says 'buy [a horse] from a local auction.'

@Dreamcatcher Arabians -- But based on what's been posted I feel like we have a relatively firm understanding of the skill and confidence level of OP? I maintain that purchasing from an auction is not appropriate in this situation. (again, your post said to buy from not just attend)

In my area (I have never attended an auction in OK) there are two types of auctions: breed auctions and local auctions. The former are high dollar and mostly for breeders and competitors, the latter are 'throw away' horses that have been hard to sell for one reason or another. Mental soundness, physical soundness, sour attitude, etcetc. I'm sure there are things in-between these two extremes, they're just what I've seen.

As far rescues... eh.
I hear and agree with much of what's being posted.

OP, if you're still around, it sounds like you've got the care part down.
Have you considered lessons? I know other posters have suggested this, too.
That'll give you a better understanding of what you should be looking for. Too, you can work with a trainer. It's great to have an extra set of eyes and ears--not to mention their expertise.

I also only suggested buying if the OP had the SKILL and CONFIDENCE to do so. Otherwise, no, she/he shouldn't buy. I haven't paid any mind to other threads where the skill level may have been mentioned, I only know what was in this thread and early on, no skill level was mentioned. Now that the OP has stated they're green, by all means don't buy at an auction, but do go an learn. The lower end the better, that's where you'll really start to see some of the horses that will show up in the next weeks and months at the local rescues, being touted as the "best beginner, child safe mount ever".
 

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I seen some horses at that auction that would have a lot of people here salivating. They were just so beautiful! Like out of a horse magazine. But beauty is not everything. After you buy a horse from auction, even with someone with you that has an eye for it, it's still a gamble on what you're actually getting. You still have to worry about its health. Still have to worry about its training. A really good horse trainer can cost $500 a month or more. And the horse could need trained for over six months or more. You won't know until after you have bought it! It's just one of the risks you take when going to auction. If it is an acceptable risk for you, you can afford it, go for it.. But there is risks in everything when buying a horse, no matter how you do it. I think everyone here just really wants you to learn all the warning signs. Know what the risks are for each way of obtaining a horse, and make a wise choice that suits you. Everyone here, including me, is a bit protective of you, you sound green like I am. They don't want to see you hurt or taken advantage of. Neither do I. Wish you the best in your choices once you've learned what all those options and consequences are.
 
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Discussion Starter #34
Yes, rescue has become euphemism for "(possibly) tax advantaged horse trader" . Their contracts are absolutely ridiculous. They push green animals on raw beginners, and charge exorbitant "adoption fees", because so many people want to own "a rescue".

I am certain there are some decent rescues, but I have yet to find one.
I don't want to "own a rescue" I am not deliberately searching for a horse to rescue. I am simply looking for a beginner friendly horse and this discussion has turned into a discussion about adopting; When it was meant for me to see if you think I am ready to own my own horse. I wanted to see what you guys thought about Bravo and if you thought he would be a good fit for me.. :neutral:
 

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Discussion Starter #35
@Kyleen Drake -- Dreamcatcher's post did not say 'go to an auction to learn.' I wouldn't have even responded to that. People choose to immerse themselves in the horse industry and learn in different ways. But the post says 'buy [a horse] from a local auction.'

@Dreamcatcher Arabians -- But based on what's been posted I feel like we have a relatively firm understanding of the skill and confidence level of OP? I maintain that purchasing from an auction is not appropriate in this situation. (again, your post said to buy from not just attend)

In my area (I have never attended an auction in OK) there are two types of auctions: breed auctions and local auctions. The former are high dollar and mostly for breeders and competitors, the latter are 'throw away' horses that have been hard to sell for one reason or another. Mental soundness, physical soundness, sour attitude, etcetc. I'm sure there are things in-between these two extremes, they're just what I've seen.

As far rescues... eh.
I hear and agree with much of what's being posted.

OP, if you're still around, it sounds like you've got the care part down.
Have you considered lessons? I know other posters have suggested this, too.
That'll give you a better understanding of what you should be looking for. Too, you can work with a trainer. It's great to have an extra set of eyes and ears--not to mention their expertise.
I am still here, I have been taking some lessons but I am still learning. What do you guys think about me purchasing Bravo and having lessons on my property? Also, I live in Southern, CA and I do not think we have horse auctions around here...
 

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There are several things for you to consider, especially since it appears you would be keeping your horse at home rather than at a boarding facility. You will not have some of the “built ins” that you would as a boarder.

One is your experience level which several people have already brought up. Second is your support system. Third is your resources. I’ll go over each one.

Experience level: being able to recognize a little issue before it becomes a big one, knowing when and how to correct it both in a way that is understood and is fair to the horse is important. It is something learned with time and experience. I would suggest taking lessons that include horsemanship. Some places still have riders show up for a lesson, mount up, ride and get off and go home. That would not be a place for you to be. They teach you to ride, but not really how to deal with owning a horse.

Instead look for an instructor that will take you through everything from catching to lunging, to grooming, to saddling up, to recognizing health problems, to proper leading, dealing with ground manners…the whole kit n’ caboodle. A bonus would be an instructor/trainer willing to come out to your property and work with both you and your horse.

Support system: Farrier, vet, instructor/horse knowledgeable friend you can call with little problems or questions at no extra charge. The no extra charge thing is important, because you will be more likely to ask for guidance before something becomes a huge issue.

Another thing to consider is if you want to take a vacation even a short one, do you have someone with horse experience that can come take care of your horses for you? Since you already have the two minis I assume you do, but I thought I’d throw that in there anyway.

Resources: Money, Time, Structures, Transportation
If your horse becomes seriously ill, such as a colic that cannot be remedied in the field, you will need a way to transport the horse to a facility. Nothing is worse than having a horse who is seriously ill and finding yourself scrambling at two a.m. to beg a trailer to take them to a hospital! This will mean a trailer and a truck to pull it or at least easy, quick access to one. One thing I never thought of until a wild fire was threatening our area was the need to evacuate. At that time, even the trailers I might have had access to would have been needed by their owners, so if I had to rely upon a borrowed trailer, I would have been stuck.

If you have a horse who is injured and needs confinement they will need a stall. If you live in a place with harsh weather either hot or cold, shade, windbreaks and shelter will be needed.

Can you on short notice take off work if say in the morning you come down to find your horse has injured himself and requires veterinary attention, but the mobile vet can’t come until noon or later? If that is going to cause a big problem with work then that would be something to consider. The other thing to realize is that since your horses are at home, you will be the only person who might notice that something is just not right with the horse(s). If you are gone more than you are home, then your chances of catching a medical problem early goes down quite a bit.

Horses get expensive especially when you are just starting out. It seems like there is always something you need until you have built up a rather impressive arsenal over the years. Every month it seems like you need something; supplements, products for hoof condition, new fly control measures. In addition to trailers, shelters, feed, hay, tack and farrier care upon everything else, they are accident prone. Do you have an emergency fund set up to cover the expense of a three-day (or longer) hospital stay?


I don’t want to scare you off. It’s not impossible, obviously thousands of people manage to do it every day, but horse ownership, especially keeping them at home, can be deceptively complicated!
Loved your post! this is extremely eye opening and definitely what I needed to hear. :wink:
 

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You're not hearing us I'm afraid. Bravo is a no go, he would be a horrible idea. You're going to go get him, fall in love with him, then soon as you're attached to him the adoption center is probably going to yank him away from you for petty reasons, have full legal rights to do so, you won't get a dime of your money back because you signed the contract, and you'll be left heartbroken, $3,000 in the hole, and no horse!

PLEASE please PLEASE re-read what everyone is trying to tell you! And try to soak in why they are giving you alternate routes to take to obtaining a horse, without these nightmares!
 
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Since you're lessoning, why don't you discuss this with your trainer? c:
They will almost always provide better information than us on HF, simply because we don't know you, this organization you're wanting to deal with, or your situation.
 

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Petaluma Livestock Auction Yard Inc Petaluma CA
84 Corona Rd, Petaluma, CA 94952
(707) 763-0893

this is just one in 20 I found in a 3 minute online search...
 

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In the OP's original link the place with Bravo has him listed under 'sale horses'. So maybe, although they do rescue they sell horses too? If so then maybe no rescue contract is involved.
Still, buying a horse for a first time buyer should involve someone very experienced & a vet.
 
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