Surrender 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. 

AGES-surrender-agreement

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.

LeasE 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 as to
how the lease should be structured.

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 option.

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, well being 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.