Why Buy a New Horse?

The great outdoors – David Hasbury, Community Columnist
StarExponent.com
Published: January 21, 2009

Recently my wife Anita has been scouring the internet looking for a new horse — she has no intention of buying another horse, but just likes to window-shop, kind of “keeping her eye in” as she likes to say.

Truth is for some time now she has wanted to get a horse she can comfortably and safely jump fences with, not a show-jumper, but an event horse (low-level eventing she is quick to point out) and our current pair are not wholly suited to the job, or at the very least need significant re-training.

In the UK, Anita used to enter cross-country events and TREC (a kind of mounted orienteering with obstacle course thrown in) and I guess she is missing the competitive ‘thrill’ of it all.

Variety is the spice of life after all, and there are only so many trail rides you can undertake in a year before it gets a little “samey.” Of course playing Polo might be worth a try, but on the other hand owning another horse (or three) would be the cheaper option!

In her search she came across several Equine Adoption sites which usually involves “rescues” looking for a new home, or for the most part Thoroughbreds who have come off of the track and need re-training/re-housing.

One particularly good site was horseadoption.com which is run by New Vocations in Ohio. They ensure any potential adopters are thoroughly vetted beforehand and the approved client can offer to adopt any of the horses they have available on their website. Adoption involves a small fee of between $100 and $700 depending upon the horse chosen and the new “parent” must agree to a first refusal clause with New Vocations if the horse is sold on.

New Vocations have re-housed over 2,000 thoroughbred and standardbred racehorses since 1992 and uniquely they enlist the help of “at risk” youth in their program — enabling the kids to find the self-esteem and work ethic required to become responsible adults.

Of course there are many other adoption programs out there (some local), although some have much higher adoption fees. The beauty of adoption is that you are providing a secure, safe and caring home for a former racehorse, the majority of which are perfectly healthy and well-suited to a new life on the trail, in the show ring, or on the cross-country course.

In these financially restrictive times, unless you need a horse for Grand Prix Dressage, or top-flight show-jumping, it seems pointless spending thousands of dollars to buy a horse when you can adopt one instead.

Adoption is not the same as leasing by the way, when adopting you do become the horses new owner, not just its foster parent. 

Short term, as a result of the economic downturn, we will have more unwanted horses to deal with, but anything we can do to see less and less of the poor souls being shipped to an unsavoury death in Mexico and Canada (95 percent of all horses sent to slaughter had nothing wrong with them at the time of sale) is a godsend.

If you are seriously thinking about getting yourself a horse, then I urge you to consider adopting — don’t let perfectly good horses be thrown away as useless, when the truth is they are far from that.

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One Response to “Why Buy a New Horse?”

  • Adopting a former racehorse is a great idea. I have an off the track standardbred and couldn’t be happier with him. They are intelligent, calm horses, and I look forward to adopting a second one later this year. This organization takes them off the track and trains them under saddle. Adoption fees are quite low. They also have pasture pals for adoption, horses who are healthy but can’t be ridden due to racing injuries, for no adoption fee.

    http://www.adoptahorse.org/

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  • Do you have that nagging feeling that you may be paying too much for board and are worried that your horse may not be happy? Finding the right horse boarding stable doesn't have to be that overwhelming ... When you have the RIGHT information at your finger tips! Pick up a copy of my book How to Find Trouble Free Horse Boarding, Even if You are New to Horses.

    Do you have that nagging feeling that you may be paying too much for board and are worried that your horse may not be happy? Finding the right horse boarding stable doesn't have to be that overwhelming ... When you have the RIGHT information at your finger tips! Pick up a copy of my book How to Find Trouble Free Horse Boarding, Even if You are New to Horses.

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