Before You Give Your Horse Away

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Sometimes finding the best home for a horse outweighs the importance of receiving a payment or the horse in return. Owners do give their horses away for any number of reasons, but before you give your horse away, consider these tips.

Avoid Advertising

The offer of a free horse often seems too good to pass up. If you advertise the fact that your horse is available, you may receive many inquiries from people who really aren’t ready to have a horse, or who may be looking to turn around and sell your horse for a profit. It can be difficult to weed through these inquiries, so if possible, avoid advertising your horse. Speak with your vet, trainer, and farrier, and let them know that you’re looking for a home for your horse. Word of mouth may be the best way to find a new owner when you’re offering your horse up for free.

Do Your Research

When deciding on the best new home for your horse, do your research. You might find a private home which seems ideal, or you might consider donating your horse to a therapeutic riding program. Spend plenty of time researching the potential home. Look into the quality of care that the home has previously provided to horses, and find out what happens when the horses are no longer usable. Don’t count on a first right of refusal agreement to keep your horse safe; there are countless stories of these agreements being ignored, and the horse’s previous owner not finding out that the horse had been sold on until too late.

Check References

Checking references is an absolute must when preparing to give away your horse. Ask the “buyer” for references and call them to discuss the buyer. Ask detailed questions about the buyer’s riding experience, horse care experience, and overall treatment of horses. Speaking with references may alert you to issues, or may help confirm that you’ve found a great home for your horse.

Draw Up a Bill of Sale

Even if you’re giving your horse away, it’s still important to have a bill of sale. A bill of sale makes the transaction official, and your horse’s future owner may need it as proof of ownership in the future. There are sample bills of sale available online that you can tailor for your use. Be sure to include identifying features of the horse, such as a tattoo number, distinctive markings, and an overall physical description. Charge the “buyer” $1 for the horse; the exchange of money is necessary to validate the “sale.”

When you give your horse away, treat the experience much the same way you would approach selling a horse. The more research on potential homes that you do, the more confidently you can make your decision to rehome your horse.

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