Good intentions? Sign here!
Rule Number One in horse rescue: The very best intentions are about as meaningful as flatulence in the wind.
Pardon the crudeness, but after preparing the paperwork and horses for five adoptions, and watching every promise and commitment melt away with the speed of a 5G text message, I’m entitled.
Good intentions are fine. They’re even better in writing. They’re best when they’re kept.
Adopting, not buying
Swingin’ D Horse Rescue saves abused and neglected horses that were once the center of their owners’ worlds but – through no fault of their own – found themselves on the back burner of life and in line for slaughter. We spend thousands of dollars rehabilitating and training these broken souls, and untold hours and energy convincing them that not all humans are trash. Why on earth would we turn around and put them right back in peril?
We don’t sell horses cheap. We don’t need to get rid of horses. We’d rather miss out on a dozen adoptions than ever again be forced to pick up another of our horses failed by the humans we entrusted to their care. We’ll find the right adopters, or we’ll keep them forever.
Duty to Protect
Why can’t we just take people’s word for it, that they’ll take care of the horse and not sell it for slaughter, you ask? Because, to be frank, lying liars lie. And, as honest and forthright as someone may seem today, stuff happens; and we have a duty to protect these horses from the drama of some human’s life.
I never again want to have to look into the eyes of a creature that trusted me as I sent him off to an adopter with a mouth full of promises and a world full of excuses when we check in on him months later to find him hundreds of pounds lighter, with a dull coat and dead, hopeless eyes. Or the horse down in the pasture in the searing heat, too weak and in pain to get to the trough because his adopter failed to provide the hoof care he needed. Or the well started horse with tremendous potential, now so neglected and ignored, he can’t even be caught anymore.
Without the contract, who would have checked in on these horses? Who would have ensured they received the veterinary care and feed they needed to survive?
Had we checked on these horses and found them healthy and not half dead in the pasture, they’d still be with their adopters today. But that’s not how we found them; and the adoption contract was the only thing that protected them.
One more time, with feeling
I’ve said it before and I guess I’ll say it until I don’t need to say it anymore: If you’re looking for a cheap horse and you think adoption is your answer, you’re in the wrong place. We don’t sell horses and an adoption contract is not a bill of sale. If you’re looking for a cheap horse, how are you going to pay the $2,500 required to care for it each year?
For sincere adopters who put a lot of thought into their decision, the contract is a non issue.Â Most see it as an aid and Swinginâ€™ D as support â€“ not a looming threat.Â They understand horses are expensiveÂ and time consuming. They know what’s required to keep a horse healthy and active. Those who are new to horses use the contract as a guide to caring for their new horse.Â
Those who enter into the decision lightly are jolted by the contract because it details exactly what is required to keep a horse healthy and safe, and imposes penalties for failing the horse. If you’re committed to keeping the horse safe and healthy throughout its life, you and your horse will live Happily Ever After without interference from us. If you’re concerned about what might happen if you fail to keep the horse safe and healthy, you might want to reconsider whether you’re ready for any horse. Think about fostering or leasing instead.
We’re not willing to roll the dice on an adopter’s readiness; hence, the contract. We don’t require anything in the contract that a horse – any horse – wouldn’t absolutely need. We just put it in writing to ensure good intentions come true.