END OF THE TRAIL HORSE RESCUE ADOPTION PROCESS
So you are ready to add an equine companion into your life! We are so glad you are interested in bringing home a horse from End of the Trail. Our adoption process is set up with the well being of our horses in mind. It is very important to us that these beautiful animals find the right home and that our wonderful homes find the right horse!
The First Step is to be sure you are ready for the commitment of owning a horse. There are many other options to get the horse experience besides ownership. Horses require a great deal of time and financial support. As any seasoned horse person will tell you "the cost of buying the horse is the cheapest part". It will cost an average of $2,600 each year to care for a healthy horse. This does not include any injuries, illnesses, or emergency vet visits. We suggest you volunteer at a horse facility and spend time working around equine professionals before you get a horse of your own. If you aren't sure that you want to commit to ownership quite yet try taking lessons, working with a friend's horse, or leasing/fostering a horse so you can get the feeling of what horse ownership is. We want our horses to go to life time homes so be sure you are willing to commit 30+ years to the horse you take on. And realize that as your horses ages they will need more and more care.
Alright, you know for sure you want the responsibility of owning your own horse. That's wonderful! Step Two is to decided what kind of horse will best fit with you and our life style. What do you want to do with your horse? A cow horse is a very different animal from a dressage horse and trail horse is yet another breed entirely. If you know what you want the horse for do some research. What type of horses are best for your chosen sport? Do you want a high drive horse or one who will just plod along? Temperament is more important than breed. Next what does your horse need physically? A large rider will need a larger horse, someone who rides daily will need a different type of horse than someone who rides once a month.
Once you have an idea of who your horse needs to be Step Three consists of reading and filling out our Adoption Process Road Map and the Foster Application and emailing it to us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or dropping it off at our facility (by appointment only). This application will help us to match you with a horse that fits your needs. Be aware that we are a rescue and we can't just generate the perfect horse but this does give us a jumping off point. We will select a number of horses we feel would make a good fit for you.
Step Four will be when you meet the horses. After you have submitted your application please give us a call at (970)323-5400 to set up an appointment with the Barn Manager. We will have you come out and introduce you to the horses we feel would be a good match. From this point you will have some time to interact with each of these horses and select one or two that you connect with.
In Step Five you will participate in our Horsemanship 101 class, at the end of the session you will complete a Horsemanship Evaluation. This is to gauge your experience level and see how you and the horse(s) interact. If you have passed the Horsemanship Evaluation you will then be asked to spend time with your horse(s) on our facility to build a relationship with them. We recommend at least once a week (if you are a current volunteer working your horse must be kept separate from the days/times you volunteer). We define working with as grooming and handling your horse on the ground. This can include but is not limited to lunging, backing, leading, working through obstacle courses, and taking your horse for walks. If you did not pass the Evaluation you will continue working with your horse(s) under the supervision of a EOTT representative until such time as you have mastered the skills covered in the evaluation. If you plan on riding the horse(s) you must then complete a riding evaluation. If you pass then you can move on the next step. If there are any concerns you will have to work with our instructor until such time as you are able to pass the evaluation. (All lessons are at the adopters expense).
After working with your horse consistently and passing both the Horsemanship and Riding Evaluations you will move on to Step Six. In Step Six we will do a facility check of where the horse(s) will be housed. Here are the housing requirements:
The Horse Must Be Provided With
- Adequate Shelter
- A safe Enclosure (pasture, dry lot, etc)
- Enough space to move around comfortably and to lay down
- Safe, horse proof fences
- Access to fresh clean water 24/7
- Access to high quality feed fitting the dietary needs of the individual horse.
- The horse must be housed with at least one other equine
If your facility is fit for the horse then in Step Seven you will schedule a meeting with the Executive Director and Barn Manger to review all paperwork. At this point you will need to have filled out and signed the Adoption Process Road Map, Foster Application, Foster Care Contract, and Foster/Adoption Regulations. All these forms must be complete and turned into a EOTT Representative before the horse(s) leave the facility. Once all the paperwork has been cleared you are ready to pick up your Horse!
In Step Eight you will begin the six month foster period of having the horse at your facility. This foster period will mimic the adoption and give you a trail run at horse ownership. This means that you are fully responsible for the care and upkeep of the horse from this point out. However the horse is still owned by EOTT and you are required to report any illness or injury to EOTT along with copies of the vet records. Within 24 hours of taking possession of the horse you are required to call EOTT with an update on the horse. After that we require weekly updates via phone or email for the first month. And monthly updates from that point out. Once the six month trial period is over you are ready to complete the last step! Step Nine includes filling out the Adoption Application, paying the Adoption Fee, and meeting with the Brand Inspector to add your name to the horse's Brand Inspection! Dream Catcher Therapy Center Inc. and End of the Trail Horse Rescue will remain as CO-Owners of the horses to ensure the horse is never sold or sent to auction.
Congratulations! You have officially adopted your horse(s). We do ask for Biannual updates on the horse(s) and to be notified of any illness, (major) injury, or death.
Now go enjoy your horse!