Not honestly representing rescue horses when trying to get them adopted

Discussion in 'Horse Rescue / Adoption' started by slc, Dec 10, 2016.

  1. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Most rescues are very good with how they place horses with adopters. But some are not. And it is hard to tell, which ones are good and which ones are not.

    Years ago I was looking for a rescue pony. One rescue I contacted encouraged me to go look at a very nice sweet gelding. It was at a vet clinic as the rescue was full up.

    Now...when I called up to make an appointment the vet started talking. It turned out the horse had not been handled, the vet (who the rescue had said was a brilliant horsewoman) could not touch the horse and was getting three people to come over to hold the animal while she took a blood sample, to see if the colt was gelded. They didn't even know if the horse was gelded or not. The horse was with another one and as the vet said they could not be separated without both getting very badly injured....the more I talked to the vet the less it sounded like the rescuer had described.

    I had never stated my level of experience, and the rescuer had never asked. So the rescue could have placed that horse with anyone. Anyone. And I've heard plenty of other accounts like the above from other people, many rank beginners or intermediates who still aren't ready for a rough horse.

    Folks, especially people who haven't handled a lot of untouched, unbroke, unsocialized horses, or aren't familiar with how dangerous unhandled horses can be, folks, please, please be careful what you believe. You may even have trained one or two of them, without getting the full picture of how bad some of them are.

    Possibly the worst is the unhandled horse that's also been abused. Erratic, unpredictable behavior is the norm. It's great to feel sorry for them, but most people need to feel sorry from a distance.

    Start by underestimating drastically, what you can handle. Underestimate how much time you have to work with the horse, and underestimate how much you can handle. Over-estimate the cost if you have to hire a trainer. Be aware that horses may be misrepresented.

    Take a more experienced person with you. Don't fall in love over the internet or on the phone and then press forward no matter what you find out about the horse. Have the horse drug tested by a vet. Check for signs of fatigue from being tired out or deprived of feed or water to quiet the horse. And don't believe most of what a person trying to move a horse tells you, whether it's a rescue or a regular sale. Not because they all are liars, but because you can't tell which ones are and which ones aren't.
    BroadaxJuniorMint likes this.
  2. Garfield70

    Garfield70 Senior Member

    Oct 26, 2012
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    When you get a horse from a rescue organisation take the same precautions as if you buy it from private. Go to see it, try how it behaves on the ground and under saddle, have a pre purchase exam made. Maybe take your trainer or another very experienced horse person with you to evaluate it for you.
    CoffeeBean and slc like this.
  3. meljean

    meljean Senior Member

    Oct 31, 2006
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    To me, some of the rescues are catering to the "oh I have ALWAYS wanted a horsie" crowd. And majority of them have no horse experience to speak of either.

    As well as, someone that doesn't know much about horses , can easily ruin even a well trained horse in matter of weeks.
    NBChoice, ginster, CoffeeBean and 5 others like this.
  4. sherian

    sherian Senior Member

    Mar 12, 2011
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    honestly think most of the rescues have to much Disney and not enough practical experience - they misrepresent not out of a desire to make a quick buck but simply are too clueless to properly evaluate a horse
  5. manesntails

    manesntails Senior Member

    May 21, 2010
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    My experience is that FEW know enough about horses to be in the business of horses at all, never mind fooling with rehabbing and reselling them. It takes a Horseman to do it without using the word rescue. If you need to use the word, you probably aren't qualified for the job.
    CoffeeBean and sherian like this.
  6. slc

    slc Senior Member

    Feb 19, 2004
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    Some, of course.

    And others, don't kid yourself. They know exactly what they're doing. Exactly.

    They're 'old horse traders' and are just wearing the rescue t-shirt because it is useful to them.

    I know people like this. Sure, being a rescuer puts them in touch with a naïve population and that's useful to them. But they have no respect for anyone. They always think they're one step ahead of everyone.

    I think that's the kind of person I ran into that time.

    The big usefulness of the 'rescue' guise is that they can always act like they had no idea the horse was that bad. And in fact, a lot of not-really beginners, more like intermediate riders, will stick with a horse and not bring him back to her, because it's their ego, their expertise that they think they have to prove something. So they're useful, too.
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2016
  7. cschattner

    cschattner Senior Member

    Dec 26, 2009
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    Got a problem w the "oh he is just so sweet and needs love" right now.
    Stunning walker, buckskin w lots of mane and tail. could stair at him all day.
    Skitzo personality, panics at ever little thing, afraid of fences.
    The last time he was saddled in the barn they cross tied him in a stall. they put a saddle on him, lightly cinched as always, he flipped in the stall and busted the dividing wall.
    He doesn't get saddled in the barn anymore.

    Owners are very nice people but they are convinced he can be saved. My boss/trainer/bo is hesitant to get on him for their sessions. If I have to catch him I automatically take a half hour out of my day.

    When he is out on pasture he is terrified of the gate connecting the dirt lot and the grass pasture. even w brave herd mates. nothing I do gets him through that gate. No 4 wheeler, grain bucket, leading, lunge whip nothing.

    Not all horses can be saved. The sellers marketed him as trail
  8. NikkiBlaze14

    NikkiBlaze14 Full Member

    Dec 17, 2015
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    I don't really have anything else to say that hasn't already been said. I've had experience with both horse rescue/free adoption and I've tried to offer my advice to the 'buyers/adopters' but my advice went in one ear and out the other. This person just started getting into horses last year and they are much older and much more afraid which we all know what that means...Lots of newbies don't quite get that if you give a horse and inch, it will take a mile and quickly problems arise that they can't fix or don't know what happened.
    I've always wanted to take on a rescue, well more like adopt a BLM mustang...I'd rather take on one of them then an abused older horse that probably doesn't have much chance to be saved. Once that experience happens it's pretty much engraved in their brain...Most will never get over it.
  9. NBChoice

    NBChoice Senior Member

    May 15, 2014
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    I knew someone in high school that had basically zero horse experience. She claimed that she had a horse when she was really little and she would just ride him bareback everywhere. Okay. Maybe. But that doesn't mean she knew a thing about horses.
    Anyway. She got on this kick where she wanted to own a horse, so she went to a rescue... because you know, she wanted to "save" a horse and they were cheaper there than buying a sound, easy trail horse.
    She ended up with a 4 year old mare that was green broke. She bought a cheap hunt saddle from me, which I told her was way too small for her... but hey, I got the cash in hand, and I couldn't talk her out of it, so whatever.

    Anyway. After a month or so she was advertising her skills as a trainer and that she could give lessons. Turns out she actually had to send the mare back to the rescue because she was too much horse for her. She ended up with an older gelding who she bought from someone, who I believe she also had to return because she didn't hold up her end of the deal by paying the monthly payments.

    Anyway. The point of that whole long story was really meant to be that the rescue didn't even care that they had given a 4 year old green broke, spooky mare to a girl who had no experience with handling horses. Stupid. I don't support a rescue unless I know that they vet the potential owners thoroughly, as well as their horses.
    NikkiBlaze14 likes this.
  10. Compadre

    Compadre Senior Member

    Aug 9, 2012
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    I used to work with a rescue. I liked starting them, so I would take a promising rescue horse, put it here broke under saddle, and let the rescue rehome it. A rescue horse feels like way less of a crap shoot if you at least already know it can be ridden.

    Let me tell you, not every kill pen buy who "just needs time and attention" is actually worth saving. Releasing to the Mustang herd, maybe. But if a beautiful, sweet seeming horse ends up in the kill pen, be very skeptical.

    First bad experience: beautiful, blood bay tobiano mare. Thick, cow bred looking girl. "Green broke." Kill pen buy. Never rode her without ending up in the dirt. She would get angry and snort and stamp if you were in her space too long.

    2nd: Another kill pen pull. A chestnut gaited mare. Apparently "kids could ride." (This was the last "project horse" I agreed to.) I found out why. She would spook and crow hop anytime your legs touched her sides, brushed a branch, etc. Didn't even have to touch her . So yes, kids were ok on her (but really, yikes), but she almost killed me. She bucked me three full circles around my round pen (after doing great for a short period of time) and when I finally tucked and rolled, all I see are two hooves coming down toward my chest. I'm not sure how I avoided it, but for once I did not "get back on the horse," I sent her back to the rescue and prayed no one would ever try to touch her.

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