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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking for a new home for my mare who is primarily suitable as a companion horse with occasional light riding. I'm happy to give her away for free to the right home, but I'm not sure if it's the right thing to advertise her for free. In my experience people are interested in a free horse just because they're free, rather than suitable.

What should I advertise her as? Should I put a low price on her (like $200) or negotiable, or should I just put "free"?
 

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I would be more inclined to put "price negotiable, home is not" or "price to be discussed". Putting "free" tends to attract some unsavoury types.
 

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I would not put free. I would put something like, "If you are think you can give <horses name> a good home, contact me for more details and price". Free tends to attract the idiots who cant afford a horse, but are desperate to have one.
 

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I have given away two horses (both were dangerous). The first we advertised as free, with full disclosure of all of her problems, but did not include a name. We were contacted a couple hours later by a rescue who had owned her before the people we bought her from, who were aware of her issues (they were pain related, and because we had not been told by the previous owner, had not been able to manage). They took her, got her back on track, and now I believe she is used as a trail horse suitable for all ages.

The second horse I gave away as free was advertised for cheap and we still got all the wrong people asking about him (mostly young teenage girls who called themselves 'professional trainers'). We found his next home through a friend, and now he's happy as a clam outside of the arena, toting his new owner around to get his daily shopping done :lol:

Honestly, I think the BEST way to find a 'free' home for your horse is through word of mouth, people you know and who will give the best care. If you're unable to do that, then I suggest you just be very careful / selective of who you pick, look at multiple homes, visit the home or stable the horse will be kept at and ask for references (vet, farrier, trainer, friends, etc.)
 

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Yes, you have to be very careful with this...people who may not know about horses will try to take them, or even meat buyers. It happens.
 

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What about advertising as a free lease companion horse with light riding and then discuss possible rehoming once you've got an idea of the people?
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I would advertise as "$200- negotiable to good, approved home only". $200 is very little to spend on a horse, but it's not nothing. It'll help weed out some of the creeps, and if the perfect home inquires then you can think about reducing the price. I would never advertise any animal (horse, dog, cat, or otherwise) as free with the exception of word of mouth through people you know. Horses are expensive animals, and $200 is almost negligible in the amount that will be spent over the animal's life.
 

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I would be more inclined to put "price negotiable, home is not" or "price to be discussed". Putting "free" tends to attract some unsavoury types.
I've seen a few ads for horses with something like "price negotiable, the right home is more important" - I agree that the word "free" tends to attract the wrong type of attention.

I also like the free lease with option to rehome idea that someone mentioned earlier :)
 

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I had that problem with my Gelding. I put "Free Lease" and picked my way through a few people before I found the right person. Once I did I ask for weekly updates for about a month then every so often so I know they are serious about him. And then I feel better too! And that they still have him. I have heard tons of horror stories about "Free" or "Free lease" . Ask them lots of questions! The people that took my gelding came back multiple times to make sure he was good for what they needed him for. He is there now and happy! lol stick with your gut though. If it doesn't sound right, don't go with it. The right person will come
 

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Put it above what they can get by slaughtering the horse.
 
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We gave a horse away free once. I did not advertise him as such but rather said in the public post that price was negotiable. I was contacted by someone on the forum expressing interest, and we exchanged infos. It wasn't until she inquired about pricing that I said if she could come get him he was hers. He's now in a wonderful home.

Was it a craigslist ad rather than a horse forum member I would have done much more background and possibly a farm visit before giving him away free. Then again, if it was craigslist, we would not have given him away- but he was a good rideable horse, rather than one who is to retire.

Just be wary. Don't advertise him as free. Do a farm check if you want to be extra safe.:)
 

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Nobody values a "free" animal. Negotiate the price down if you like the buyer and his/her intentions for your horse.
I'm sorry to hear some people feel that way. That's very shallow!

I got a free horse once, and was on of the best horses I've ever owned. I don't know why anyone would think less of a horse because it's free. The price doesn't make the horse, anymore than paying $10,000 would make a horse a "good" horse.

If it were me, I would use something like "right price to right home." I have seen that wording used before and to me that means the horse is free or cheap to the right person.

Word of mouth is probably the safest bet though.

Really, we should care more about the animal than a couple hundred here or there. Someone might take in a free horse if it has something to offer them but would be turned off by paying for the same horse. In other words, it might persuade someone who is otherwise not looking for a horse but has the room and money to feed another mouth.

Would you pay $500 for a pasture pet? Probably not. But might you take in the same pasture pet for free, if it was perfect for the grandkids or occasional trail ride or something? Maybe a friend-of-a-friend knows the people and that they are looking to find a horse a home? Quite possibly.
 

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Speak for yourself, not for the rest of us. That's incredibly untrue.
For much of the world, yes it is untrue. However, it's better to not take chances when placing an animal. I don't think that she's saying that YOU personally would not value the life of a free animal.

I've heard in a few places that the only time a fee should not be asked for an animal is when the animal is being given, AND accepted as a priceless gift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Yeah I think I'll just put a low price on her, maybe like $200 and write "negotiable to the right home" or something on the ad.
 

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I've seen a lot of ads that state "price is negotiate but a good home it not" if you put free you aren't necessarily going to find the best home to him. Even if you do end up giving him away for free you will have found the right person first.
 
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