Are you thinking about rescuing a horse? It’s a wonderful experience, but only if you’re truly ready for it. Here are seven points to consider before you decide to rescue a horse.
1. Safe Space
Your rescue horse will need a safe space when he arrives at your farm. This may be a separate turnout until the horse is strong enough and ready to go out with a herd. But remember, too, that a rescue horse will often need to be quarantined – especially if you have other horses living at your farm. Is your facility properly set up to quarantine a horse, or is there a quarantine facility nearby that you could use?
2. Nutritional Needs
If a rescue horse is underweight or has been neglected, then he will have very specific nutritional needs. You may need to work with a vet to get the horse’s weight back up and to find a nutritional plan that works for him. Be prepared for extra feed costs, especially in the beginning of your care for the rescue horse.
3. Health Issues
Sadly, many rescue horses have health issues. These may or may not be evident when the horse first arrives at your farm. If you rescue a horse, the same as if you buy a new horse, make sure that you budget savings for any vet bills and treatments that the horse may need.
4. Training Issues
Oftentimes the background that you receive on a rescue horse is a little fuzzy at best. If you take on a rescue horse, you may not know how much training the horse has, or if he is even trained to ride. If you take on a rescue with plans of riding it, realize that there may be significant training involved before you can get to that point.
Rescue horses often require more intensive treatment than your average horse. For instance, a horse whose hooves have gone uncared for may require more frequent farrier visits and special shoeing. If you find that the horse needs training above what you can provide, then sending the horse to a professional trainer may be necessary. If you’re planning to rescue a horse, then make sure that you build up a large savings for these unexpected expenses.
When you take on a rescue horse, you’re making a long-term commitment. Be prepared for lots of work and many expenses. But remember that you’ll also be lucky enough to give this rescue horse a great life.
If a horse has been abused or neglected, he probably won’t be ready to trust anyone right away. Remember that you will need to be patient and will have to build a relationship with this horse before he can fully trust you. It takes time, but it’s also a very rewarding process.