Q: How much does it cost to adopt a horse?
A: We ask the potential adopters to spend at least 3 months caring for and sponsoring the horse before the final papers are signed. Costs range, but include: board, feed, supplements, hoof care, vaccinations and other vet care, and training. We ask for a donation of $1,000 as we do care for a number of horses and can only continue our work if we have support. This nominal amount is a fraction of what horse ownership entails but shows us that potential adopter is serious and capable to provide for the well-being of their new family member.
Q: I live out of state. Can I have the horse shipped to me?
A: We require all potential adopters to spend at least three months getting to know the horse before the final decision is made by both sides. This would require you to be in proximity to the horse who has to remain at their current location.
Q: I live in an equestrian community or want to move the horse to a stable closer to me for the three month trial period. Is that possible?
A: On a case-by-case basis, we may consider moving the horse if we feel there is high possibility of it becoming a permanent placement. The location has to be relatively close as we would have to be able to visit and evaluate the home. You will still need to meet the horse in person and spend at least some time at the current location getting to know the horse.
Q: After I spend time with the horse and decide that I do want to make the adoption permanent, do I own the horse outright?
A: All our adoptions are a life-time lease. That means TheraPony retains “ownership” of the horses. You will not be able to sell or transfer the horse to another individual without prior written approval by TheraPony. You are required to return the horse to TheraPony should you not be able to care for it any longer. This is to ensure that our horses never have to be “rescued” again.
Q: Is there a monthly fee for the lease and can you take the horse back any time?
A: No. There is no monthly fee to TheraPony for the lifetime lease. You are, however, responsible for all costs incurred by the horse, that includes all board, feed, and medical bills. TheraPony may only take the horse back in extreme situations, such as abuse or neglect, which is outlined in the contract.
Q: I don’t want to jump through hoops. Can I just buy the horse? I’ll pay twice what it’s worth so I can take it home now.
A: Sorry, we do not sell horses. And we don’t have that many hoops to jump through. Our adoption guidelines are in place to insure that both you and the horse are happy and the placement is forever. There is nothing worse than bringing home a half-ton animal and finding out a week later that your personalities don’t match. Trust us. Plus all our horses are priceless, so paying “double” would be quite impossible.
Q: Am I getting a healthy horse?
A: A phrase “heathy as a horse” is quite misleading. Horses are proned to all sorts of ailments. When they come in, all our horses have some kind of health or behavior issues. We work on making them better before placing them for adoption. You will not get a Grand Prix horse from us. We do our best to get the horses to their optimal health, but some have suffered severe neglect or abuse, or simply suffer from old age, and their health can only be maintained. You will get full disclosure on any past or present issues. We also highly encourage a pre-purchase exam and trainer evaluation for any horse that is intended for riding.
Q: I see horses listed on your site that have owner’s contact information. What’s the scoop on them?
A: We believe that the best place for any horse is with a loving owner. When people fall on hard times or simply don’t have enough time for their horse, we try to help them place their horse before it needs to be “rescued”. We believe that staying in their current home, with their herd and people who love them, is better for the horse’s well-being than being moved around. Providing the horse with stability allows for a less stressful transition. Since you are dealing directly with the owner, you are not bound by the same adoption procedures as TheraPony horses. We do highly encourage the owners to charge a reasonable adoption fee and sign an adoption contract.
Q: I saw you refer to yourselves as the horses’ “mom” and “dad”. Do you own them?
A: We treat all the animals in our care as if they are our own. It can take years to rehabilitate and place an animals, especially a horse. In the meantime, they have a “family” of their own with “mom”, “dad”, “brothers”, and “sisters”.
Q: My child loves horses and wants to have one of their own. Lessons are so expensive. I think I want to get an older horse and just let them practice taking care of it.
A: You are right, lessons can be quite expensive. There is a reason for that: horses are quite expensive to keep. The funny thing about owning your own horse is that you spend very little time riding and a lot of time cleaning, feeding, brushing, and visiting with the vet. Horses can get seriously ill or die simply by eating the wrong food. Older and more “mellow” horses usually suffer from arthritis, requiring continuous medical care. While we love to see older horses get adopted, we highly discourage it as a “practice” horse. Your child will eventually get tired of picking up poop and brushing and will want to do more than just walk around on a horse, at which point your older horse will become yours to care for while your child gets lessons and asks for a riding horse. Horse can live 30+ years. The later years are the less riding/more medical care years. Are you ready for that commitment?
Q: I am not sure if I am ready for a horse. It’s expensive, I don’t have that much time, I don’t even know if I want to ride, but I do love horses. What should I do?
A: Well, you can help care for a horse without the responsibility of owning one! You can volunteer your time or you can sponsor a horse. There are different levels of sponsorship, you can stay within a budget and still make a difference. You can also lease a horse, which is a good first step on the road to ownership. Remember that TheraPony is a 501c3 non-profit organization. All donations for a sponsorship are tax deductible.