What to do if you can?t keep your horse

Although you might believe, as with many others, that owning a horse is a lifelong commitment, you may still find yourself in a situation where keeping your horse is no longer an option.? Whether it?s a divorce, unexpected job loss, or increased barn expenses, here are some tips on how to handle this difficult situation.

  • Stop beating yourself up.? Remember, the reason? you are agonizing over this decision is precisely because you love your horse and want what is best for him.? If you can?t afford to pay his monthly expenses, never mind unexpected vet fees, are you really giving him the best home possible??
  • Talk to family and friends, and your contacts in the horse community.? The best option is always to pass your horse on to someone you know.? Ideally you want to avoid having to run an ad in the paper or advertise on the Internet.
  • Be willing to talk about different options.? Leasing can be a great option for cutting expenses.? Leases are very flexible, encompassing everything from a one day a week riding time to the leasee taking on all responsibility for caring for the horse.? With open dialogue, you might be able to find a way to hang onto ownership of your horse.
  • When you do find the right person to take your horse, be sure to draw up a contract.? Indicate that if the buyer can no longer care for the horse that they have to give you the option of buying him back.? If you would like to be able to visit your horse, you might want to include this in the contract as well.
  • Follow your gut and try not to make any impulse decisions.? If the person doesn?t feel right to you, then chances are they aren?t.? Move on to the next prospect.
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2 Responses

  1. Joni Solis says:

    >When you do find the right person to take your horse, be sure to draw up a contract. Indicate that if the buyer can no longer care for the horse that they have to give you the option of buying him back.

    This is great advice even if you are selling your horse and not giving it away for free or adopting it out. Also ask people you know in the area to let you know how the horse is doing from time to time. Check the horse in person once a year too.

    Keeping a horse on pasture with a run in shed is cheap in some areas than keeping the horse in a stall. So check out that option.

    If you have a horse that is easy to get along with and has no bad habits it will be easier to re-home him or her, so keep training. Clicker trained horses love learning.

  2. Kelly says:

    Giving up a horse because you can no longer afford to keep it is one of the toughest decisions a horse owner will ever face. The best way to head that decision off is to make sure your horse is very well trained and has perfect manners. A horse like that will always be in demand. If you start laxing off in the handling and training then your horse will be harder to place in that perfect new home.

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