Giving a Horse Away?

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RockRiverTiff

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All right guys--here I am again with another horse conundrum. I appreciate all the advice I got on my Arab, and we did get things straightened out much to my satisfaction and relief. I will be saying good bye to him this weekend but on an airtight contract. Bittersweet, but I've got another issue I'd like advice on now.

When we decided to stop breeding/showing the full-sized horses, we kept two mares as pasture ornaments. My cousin took our last filly and now wants her dam. We have agreed it wouldn't be right to separate the two mares unless we found an equally suitable home for the other one, so I vowed to see if we could. This mare is totally sound. She's a registered Appendix, approximately 16H, and 19 years old. She's an ex-race horse with 90 days professional training in Western (at one point I thought about trying her at speed events). I have ridden her, but she hasn't been ridden since our last trainer left a few years ago. Not a bad ride, but she is NOT a horse that likes to work and will have her way if you let her. She's had at least three foals--two for us. Those two have been shown lightly, are far happier under saddle than her, and are also now broodmares. But like the riding she also hasn't been used for breeding in several years. I don't want to sell her as a riding horse or broodmare, as I don't think anyone would be very satisfied with her as a mount and I'm not thrilled with the idea of her becoming a baby factory after years of leisure. I see a lot of ads from people looking for companion horses, and we are prepared to give her to the right home (I'm very particular about what that is), but what kind of contract do you use to protect your horse in a non-money transaction?

How would you go about looking for a home? Screening homes? Does anyone have experience with this?
 

Charlene

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i can't be much help but i can tell you my own experience. when i divorced, i had an aged quarter horse mare. she was well into her 20's. i had a friend with 2 small boys. the deal we made was this...i sold her to them for $1.00, signed her papers over and they promised me that when the boys were ready to go on to different horses, they would sell her back to me. they lived close so i checked on her often. they took excellent care of her for 2 years. at the end of 2 years, i got a phone call that the boys wanted to go on to younger horses they could do speed events on and they were ready to sell her back to me. thankfully, by then, gary and i had moved to the farm and i was more than happy to take her back. i hooked the trailer up, went to their place, handed the boys $2.00 (had to take inflation into account LOL), they signed her papers, i loaded her up and brought her home. she lived to the ripe old age of 37 before i was forced to help her cross the rainbow bridge.

she was the best horse i ever had and i was so lucky to be able to find a good home for her, temporarily.
 

Candice

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My experience with rehoming didn't go so well with our two full sized horses. I have not actively sought to rehome them. My gelding became part of our family when he was 8yrs old and he is now 23yrs old. Our mare (my daughters horse) came into our family at 16yrs old and is now 28yrs old. She has had a very bad summer with her hooves and soundness.

Through a new friend, I met this older lady who had a beautiful home. Her horse passed away last year at the age of 30+yrs. We met with her for over a month. I felt like God's hand was in this and we were actually excited about this home for them. She was knowlegeable and everything seemed "perfect". We delivered Sonni and Kona to her on a Saturday morning. They seemed content. We went over all feeding and care instructions. I had provided 2 bags of feed, a bag of beet pulp and 2 bales of T&A and all meds she could possibly need for any situation. We also provided her typed instructions.

Later that afternoon when I went to leave something made me check the automatic waterer in the barn. It was off and no other water was available to them. When I turned it on water spewed everywhere. My husband could have easily fixed this before he left earlier, but she assured me that it would be fixed that night and in the meantime I filled two water buckets for them. I had no reason to doubt her.


Tropical storm Faye hit two days later on Tuesday. On Wednesday morning I called to check on them and she said they were fine. At just before 5pm. she calls me telling me that Kona is very lame. Kona left here with a healing puncture wound to her right front hoof. The lady said taking care of it would not be a problem and I supplied all needed meds and supplies. Come to find out the medicine (I gave her enough for at least a month) was gone. I got 3 different stories as to what happened to it. Its a special mixture my vet makes and is very expensive.

On Thursday as soon as my kids were out of school we went out there. I about died when I drove along the pasture and saw my babies. They were so thin and drawn and there was zero spark in their eyes. I walked into the barn and found the two water buckets I had filled (regular 12 qt. buckets). One was empty except for the brown sludge in the bottom and the other was full, but filthy with worms etc. in it. The automatic waterer was still off and UNFIXED. When I checked Kona, she now had an abcess in her left front foot in addition to the pretty much healed puncture on her right foot. I had brought some strong tincture iodine with me and treated the foot. I also had it set up where my farrier would come out in the next two days, all she had to do was call him and set up a time. I asked her if she'd called him she said "yes". She never did, it turns out.

Because of my husbands work schedule and my lack of experience pulling the trailer we were not able to move them back home until Sat night. I drove out and took care of them again on Friday. This is when I discovered how she was feeding them. In the course of 6 days there, ONE flake of hay from one bale was missing. The feed was close to being correct, however she'd gone thru a half of a bag of beet pulp. They normally devour a bale of hay in 2 days. I was sick. Literally.

The next night when we got there to get them. She was out in the yard and didn't even come over to say a word. She disappeared. She had "fed more hay", about a half a bale was crammed up under the feeders where they could not reach it at all. They could see it and smell it but not reach it. Half of the feed that was there the day before was now GONE and that terrified me. We just left the beet pulp. It was insane and so very WRONG. Kona hobbled into the trailer at mach 1. Sonni who is normally a little silly about loading was standing at the back with my daughter while I loaded Kona just shimmying back and forth trying to bolt in.

They are so happy to be home. They've been back for about 2 weeks now and Kona is now sound and starting to regain her weight. Sonni, is a very easy keeper so he is faring just fine.

What I did learn is just how very much I love these two and that they will never leave my care again until the Lord takes them home. I have spent so many years caring for them and giving them our very best. To have to know that I put them thru that ordeal kills me.

I pray that others rehoming have better results. I can't think of a thing we could have done differently about checking her and her home out prior to moving them there. Like I said we worked with her for over a month before moving them.

Good luck and I hope you find a good home.
 

Jackie

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. She's a registered Appendix, approximately 16H, and 19 years old.
Oh, the timing...I need to wait until later this fall, possibly winter/spring, before I take on another...my hubby might need surgery and with the economy in MI, it's wiser to wait. My 8 year old mare is an Appendix, and I just love the TB with the QH! Gives her a bit of spunk!

I would go to adoption websites...New Vocations Racehorse Adoption is great (and of course, CHMR)...and download their forms. I just got approved to adopt from them, and they really make you jump through hoops...which is great. I'd follow their format. Some adoption groups make their horses stay in the area so they can do checks.

Good luck...maybe she'll still be around when I can take on No. 2 Big Horse!

Jackie

Michigan Foster Home

Chances Minature Horse Rescue
 
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LisaF.

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Candice,

Your story just broke my heart.

I have a horse I rehomed - but, I would not sell him. It has been about 4 years now and so far it has worked great!

What helps me is my dad lives about 2.5 hours from my home. It is there neighbors down the road, so he keeps an eye on him for me. They are also friends.

Our agreement is - they can never - give or sell this miniature - if for any reason they lose interest, can't afford him, or just don't want him anymore - he comes back to me.

Now, people may look at me wrong for doing this - they wanted to buy him - I just would not sell him.

Now, that it has been almost four years and if they would have to move or something, I do know I can trust them. So, I would probably just sign the papers over to them. He is a gelding and they were just wanting a pet for their other miniature. So, far they still just have two miniatures and a couple of miniature donkey's. Along with their other farm animals.

I know he is happy and loved so that makes me feel good.

So, my suggestion would be to try and find a home close to you or someone you can completely trust to keep an eye on the horse at least for awhile.

Or as someone else had mentioned CMHR - that is the way I would go anyway.
 

backwoodsnanny

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I know you are talking about big horses but as you may or may not know I just did this rehome thing. It has been 3 weeks and so far things are going great. Horses are happy and the family is estatic. I get weekly updates and I did do extensive research to be sure the family was as they seemed. I got a vet reference and a farrier reference. I also met the whole family and we talked for hours and hours both in person and through e-mail. I think you have to follow your heart and instincts and if something doesnt feel exactly right then DONT DO IT! I know its only been a short time but so far my instincts were right thank God. We will be visiting in the next couple of weeks to be sure all is as I am hearing. I placed them near home for that reason. They know and welcome my visits anytime. In my case it was particularly important that it was the right home as Helen is a special horse and needed a special family.
 

ChrystalPaths

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I gave, yes gave, my 3 away yesterday. I had many responses but this one was so great. Terrific folks, great with the horses AND they wanted all 3 which kept them together. My dream. They have a contract that specifies they come back here if something happens. Trust your gut, check references and follow thru.
 

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