Surrendering a Horse

Help….I am looking for a new home for my horse.  Are you able to help me?

A question people ask AGES all too often. People enduring hardships like unemployment, foreclosure,
illness, or divorce ask AGES for help by taking in their horses. Unfortunately, AGES is nearly always at full
capacity and has a long waiting list of horses that need our help.

When spaces do open up at AGES, usually due to a horse being adopted, AGES fills that space with
another horse. Many of our horses are owner surrendered. In addition, AGES takes in horses that have
been seized or surrendered to the local authorities.  AGES also rescues horses from auctions. Because of
the commitment we make to each of our horses, we keep the number of horses at AGES at a level we
can safely manage.   

When space becomes available, AGES typically takes in the same type of horse that was just adopted
out.  For example, if the adopted horse was a project or pasture horse, AGES takes in another pasture or
project.  Typically these horses take longer, potentially 2 years or more to find new homes for.  Please
consider this if your horse is a pasture or project horse.   The more sound horses AGES accepts helps
financially support the pasture and project horses AGES takes in.

Since AGES does not have openings at all times, we have prepared a list of available options to help
horse owners with their animals. Please read and consider each carefully before completing the surrender form. 


 1. Keep your horse
Horse ownership is a responsibility. So before giving up on that responsibility, have all available
options  been  explored  to  lower  expenses?  The safest  place  for  a  horse  is right  at  home;
therefore, prior to relinquishing your horse, please consider these money?saving tips:

•  Find lower cost boarding options. If full care board is too expensive, look into partial
care board, self?care board or pasture board. You may have to give up some amenities,
like a riding arena, but keeping your horse safe often means making sacrifices.

•  Locate a cheaper source of hay.   

•  Buy  in  bulk. Go  in  with  other  horse  owners to  purchase  items  like  hay,  grain,  and
shavings in bulk for better pricing.

•  Prioritize spending. If money is tight, focus on the most necessary care, like vaccinations
and hoof trimming.

•  Seek out temporary assistance. Help (i.e. free or low cost vet clinics) is out there.  By
networking and searching, temporary assistance can be found.

2. Leasing your horse
Leasing your horse is an option that may provide relief from both the financial aspects of horse
ownership and the day to day care of the horse, without the risk of giving up ownership. Most
full leases require the lessee to pay for board, hay and grain, and routine vet and farrier care. 
The lessee in turn has full use of the horse. Another option is a shared Lease, meaning the care
costs are split with a lessee in exchange for riding privileges. Additional information regarding
leasing options can be found on the Internet.  Please research and make careful decisions asto
how the lease should be structured.

3. Euthanasia
Is your horse elderly, emotionally unstable, or medically unsound?  If the horse is elderly (25?
30+ years old) and has been with you all or a good portion of its life, a change at this age is
difficult and  can be  confusing for him/her.   Along with emotionally unstable and medically
unsound horses, elderly horses are typically pasture pets.  Finding homes for these horses are
difficult especially in financially hard times.  It typically takes a minimum of 2 years to find a new
home for a pasture pet.  Sometimes in these cases, euthanizing the horse is the more humane

4. Retirement Facility
AGES’  main  mission  with  each  horse  is to rehabilitate  it,  when  possible, to  his/her  fullest
physical  and mental  potential. Once  overall  health, wellbeing  and soundness  of  a  horse  is
accomplished, is to find them a new home.  AGES is not a retirement facility. If your horse is not
ready for euthanasia and you do not wish the horse to be rehomed, then a retirement facility
may be an option.