Have you been thinking about bringing home a rescue horse in the future? Taking on a rescue horse is a noble effort, but before you make that commitment, you’ll need to be sure that you’re prepared for everything that comes with that choice. Here are five things you should know about bringing home a rescue horse.
Rescue Horses Require Quarantine
Many rescue horses need to be quarantined before being introduced to your barn or your other horses. This is particularly true if you’re bringing in a rescue horse directly from the location he’s been rescued from. You never know what kinds of diseases a horse may be carrying, so it’s best to set up a full quarantine to keep your other horses protected.
Rescue Horses May Require Costly Care
Though rescue horses are often free or highly affordable to acquire, keeping them can be just the opposite. Many rescue horses have been lacking adequate care for a period of time, and this can mean that they require costly care once in your possession. Issues like treating illnesses, putting weight on a horse, or correcting poor hoof growth can be expensive to fix.
You Don’t Know What a Rescue’s Temperament Will Be
When rescue horses are undernourished, their energy levels and temperaments aren’t quite what they would normally be. It’s hard to judge just what a rescue horse’s temperament will be until you have rehabilitated and conditioned the horse.
Rescues Require Time Before Saddle Fitting
If you bring home a rescue horse who is in poor physical condition, then be prepared to make some compromises with your saddle for the time being. If the horse is ready to be ridden, then you will need to find a saddle which fits the horse as best as possible – for the time being. When you’re building up a horse’s weight and muscling, the shape of his back will change, and you’ll need to do another saddle fitting a few months from now as the horse becomes better conditioned.
Rescues Take Patience
Working with a rescue horse is a little bit like peeling an onion. You uncover layer by layer, and as you progress you may also come across issues, such as trust or holes in the horse’s training. Working with a rescue horse takes patience, and you need to understand that while you’ll have some progress, you may also encounter setbacks.
Rescuing a horse can be highly rewarding. Just make sure that you’re ready for the challenges that come with rescuing a horse.