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Horse Resources Horse

Horse Adoptions

About Horse Adoptions

It’s been estimated that millions of horses have been slaughtered in the United States over the past two decades simply because there is no place for them or because their racing days are over. Those who care about horses can help to prevent this through the horse adoption process.
Neglected Horse

Horses available for adoption have often been rescued from neglect, abuse, injury, abandonment or slaughter. These horses may have spent weeks or months at a horse welfare facility, where they have been given a chance to recover and are ready to live and learn again.

Horse A prospective horse adopter is able to view and adopt horses by contacting horse rescue operations and completing an adoption application that specifies their qualifications to adopt a horse. Typical adoption fees range from $200 to $1,000 or more.

The adopter of the horse is responsible for transportation costs once the adoption is approved. If the horse’s general information is unknown, the horse is evaluated by a horse professional and the legal adoption documents are drawn up. In the case of Thoroughbred adoptions, these horses have often just come off the racetrack, so it may take them some time to settle down. Others need rehabilitation or retraining.

Horse Adoption Applications

Once a person has decided to adopt a horse they must complete a horse adoption application form. Though the questions vary from organization to organization, the application typically requests information about horse experience and details about where the horse will be kept if adopted (including measurements of the barn, stable or stall) as well as information about the prospective adopter. Background checks and references are common. The adopter can also request a type of horse, mare or stallion, a particular age, history and colors.

So before adopting it is important to consider your housing arrangements for a horse, because once an application is approved the horse adoption association board will inspect and review your housing arrangements to see whether the horse will be well looked after and cared for.

Horse Rescue

Horse Adoption Online Bidding


There are many online auctions, also known as Internet adoption programs, that offer horse adoptions. The Internet adoption programs are designed to be a simple and easy process. First, the interested adopter can view hundreds and thousands of horses that are available to adopt. All vital information is kept on file so it is ready and available for the web sites. Once you have chosen a horse or find one that appears to suit your expectations, you can complete an online application and bid throughout the auction process.

Bids typically start at approximately $150, and auctions run for at least a week or so. If you are the final bidder you can arrange to view the horse and finalize the purchase. If you are not happy with the outcome, a credit of your payment will be kept for future purchases.

Horse Adoption Papers

Once a horse has been adopted, the new owner will be given adoption papers. The adoption papers contain information on the horse—general history, if it is known, and details such as breed, date of birth, ancestry, bloodlines, mare or stallion and its history on the sports field.

The adoption papers will also have a section on the expectations of the new horse owners, such as caring for the horse, training, exercising, feeding, grooming and other tasks that ensure the health and well-being of the horse. A horse adopter is required to be responsible for such tasks, so it is important to fully assess your situation before considering horse adoption. Horse adoption is very rewarding—for the horse and for the adopter.

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