Here's a discussion topic for you...
Everybody wants to adopt or sell a horse to what I call an "A" home. You all know what an "A" home looks like - immaculate facilities, a knowledgeable owner who is kind and consistent and gets regular vet and farrier care for the horses, a stable income that assures the horses will always get what they need even in tough economic times, etc. But with the horse overpopulation problem and the huge overflow of horses that are not "high demand" horses - horses with little or no training, horses in poor condition, horses with quirks and problems and flaws aplenty - we know they're not all going to get to live at that kind of home.
I have talked with other rescuer friends about the fact that we all have to accept the reality that many horses must be adopted to "C" homes when you rescue. By this, I mean a home that is acceptable, but not outstanding.
If you're a rescuer (or just sell horses in general), what kinds of things are absolute dealbreakers for you? What kind of things are you not thrilled about, but will accept?
We've all had adoptions go bad. Did you have a bad feeling about the people from the start? Or was it a total surprise?
My 2 cents:
My dealbreakers are: Barbed wire (if you have it, you have to rip it out and replace it with hot tape before the horse is delivered), other horses on the property looking in poor weight or like they don't get hoof care, inadequate shelter, obvious dangers (fence boards down with nails sticking up, for example) and of course having ever surrendered an animal to a rescue or shelter. If I find that you've had any kind of past conviction for abuse or neglect, you're out. I don't care if it was 20 years ago. Some horses may have a longer list of dealbreakers, depending on their needs.
Adoptions gone bad...I only really got surprised once, and that was a case where I still don't get it...it was someone who I thought had enough knowledge and "eye" to see if a horse dropped weight significantly, and guess what, they didn't see it at all. Very odd. I got the horse back, no permanent harm done, and I know it wasn't malicious or deliberate, but I am still not sure how I could have avoided that one and it bugs me. Still, at least I caught it in time thanks to follow-up. Screening adopters is probably like interviewing job applicants - I assume the more you do it, the better you get at correctly sensing when someone isn't on the level. But then again, at what point do you have to worry that you are getting paranoid and turning into the person who won't adopt to anyone?
I have seen a lot of foster homes go bad, and go bad suddenly with very little warning. Rescuer friends had to quickly repo horses from someone who had a meltdown and wound up in a mental ward. You know, there was no reason to believe that was going to happen. Ultimately, shit happens and they did their job in that they were doing enough follow-up to catch it before the horses suffered permanent damage.
All very interesting questions, and ones that we all have to face over this upcoming winter full of horses in need. What's your take? How do we balance wanting great homes with the very real need to actually place horses?
And I must confess...despite my best intentions to resist my old, cute, redheaded Thoroughbred mare addiction, I fell off the wagon again. This is Thai's My Mama and she is currently rehabbing with Karen V, a definite "A" home! She has had 10 foals and won $9,155 on the track. It's the typical story - abandoned now that she isn't popping 'em out anymore. The cool news is that she appears to be sound so I am ecstatic - I may have finally rescued something I can ride! Thanks to Kerrie for helping to get her to safety, and to Karen for giving her a safe place to spend the holidays! I hear that she nickers for food with her head already in the bucket. OMG. Is that not the cutest thing EVER?
We have a LOT of Thoroughbreds in need in the PNW...please, please, please contact me if you have a good home to offer. Want tall and with h/j or dressage potential? No problem! They are cheap to free, just get in touch and tell me what you want. I can set you up with a tall, short backed, 2 year old filly, black with a blaze face, and many more. Teenage/twenty-something broodmares coming out our ears, of course...
Thursday, December 4, 2008
Here's a discussion topic for you...
Posted by fuglyhorseoftheday at 11:15 AM