Monday, January 7, 2013

New Year, New Horse - Why not Adopt?

Thinking about getting a new horse?  You may want to consider adopting one.  Just like the millions of dogs and cats in need of homes, there are horses that for one reason or another have ended up homeless.  Here are a few things to consider when trying to decide whether to add to your herd or not:
1.    Are you ready to make a life-long commitment to the animal?
2.    Can you afford it?
3.     Do you have time for it?

If you answered YES to all of the above questions, then ask yourself:
1.     How do I intend to use the horse? Showing, pleasure riding, hunting, etc.  Is the horse that you are considering able to perform in this capacity? 
2.     Is the horse a good match for my skill level?  If possible, can you find out the history of the horse?  It may have been hurt or upset at some point and unwilling to perform certain tasks.

Adopting an animal of any species is not a decision to be entered into lightly. Some of these horses are owner surrenders that could no longer be cared for due to health or monetary issues with the owner themselves.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with these animals.  Some horses were confiscated by law enforcement because they were not taken care of.  There are some places where you can even adopt a wild horse that was rounded up to control the wild population; however, unless you are a VERY seasoned horse owner, this should not be your first choice.

When you make the decision to adopt, there are several places that you can start to look for adoptable horses. To begin your search for the perfect addition, you can simply search Google for “horse sanctuary in NC” or “adoptable horses in North Carolina”.  There are so many to choose from, all over the state.  Most of these sanctuaries have pictures and details about each horse and have contact information so that you can set up an appointment to visit and check the horses out in person.  If you think a horse could be a fit for you, don’t be afraid to ask them about a “foster program” where you can take the horse home for a trial basis to see if it’s going to work on a permanent basis.

If you need more assistance, contact your local Livestock Agent.  They may be able to put you in touch with some of these rescue organizations or answer any other questions that you have about horses and adopting.

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