"What's all this about? Why can't I just take the horse I want?"
Let’s get one thing settled right off the bat. If you’re here looking for a cheap horse, you’ve come to the wrong place. You’ll find plenty of wonderful rescues that let horses go for below horse meat price. That’s not us. Our adoption rates take into consideration the age, health, abilities and temperament of the horse. The same horse on the open market would fetch twice our adoption rate. We’re not desperate to unload horses. We’re not interested in profit. Adoption fees are not negotiable, so please don’t waste time haggling.
If that were the case, we’d literally be the worst flippers on the planet. You’d be shocked if you knew how much of our personal retirement savings we’ve spent rescuing horses from slaughter and nursing them back to health. We typically spend a minimum of $1,500 on each horse. Our IRS filing (form 990PF) in 2017 shows we personally donated about $19,000 to the rescue and received no salary. No one receives a salary. So no, we’re not flippers.
"You're just flippers trying to make money."
"Adoptions should be free."
And I should have been born with blonde hair and a faster metabolism. Free horses end up as cheeseburgers in some foreign country. Great for fine diners in Asia or Europe…not so great for the horse that’s feeding them. People tend to invest more time and effort into something they worked hard to earn. It’s a whole lot harder to walk away from a horse that’s not meeting your expectations if you invested your hard-earned money into it. Not to mention, free horses attract true flippers. True flippers will sell to anyone – even kill buyers. We will never adopt out a horse at an adoption fee that can make money for the adopter. Our sole concern is the welfare of the horse we place outside our care – not in whether the human can get his or her money back.
You’re taking a risk buying any horse. If you buy a horse off of Craigslist or at an auction, how do you know the seller’s claims are true? Just about every horse we’ve ever bought (or looked at buying) was “14.3 hands, 8-9 years old, great feet and teeth, broke to ride with a calm temperament.” One horse was “about 17” until we learned it was closer to 30. In nearly all cases, the vet and our experience told a different story. We provide vet records (with the age from the vet), farrier information and an honest evaluation of the horse. The last thing we want is for an adoption to fail because we provided inaccurate or misleading information.
"I'm taking a risk adopting a kill pen horse."
Why all the fuss?
This is the reality of the unwanted horse problem in America. These horses’ humans dumped them for dead. Generous, compassionate donors rescued them from kill pens and sent them to a hub where they were supposed to be afforded healthy quarantine. Does this look healthy? This is why we have adoption requirements.
We know our requirements will scare off a lot of people. But we're not in this business to please people (though our Success Stories might indicate otherwise). We're in this business to save horses from the threat of slaughter, and to slowly choke off the slaughter pipeline through responsible ownership. It's the only way to end the unwanted horse crisis. We are not horse traders, nor do we believe in horse trading. Our personal philosophy is that, when you bring in a horse, you commit to its well being until its death. Our adoption requirements are meant to ensure our horses go adopters with a similar philosophy, and who have the resources necessary to provide for the horse throughout its life. Horse ownership is expensive, consuming and should be scary. It should not be taken lightly.
- Must be at least 21 years of age (younger applicants that meet our requirements may have a legal guardian or parent cosign)
- Able to prove the financially-responsible party earns a household income of no less than $35,000/year (horses are expensive)
- Live within a 50-mile radius of Coweta, Oklahoma
- Must be able to demonstrate prior ownership of a horse (unless applicant can demonstrate sufficient equine experience)
- Must be able to satisfactorily explain how prior horse ownership ended
- Must either demonstrate experience, or be working with a trainer
- Must have at least two non-family personal references that have eyewitness knowledge of the applicant’s horse experience
- Must have a vet reference that has treated adopter’s horse(s) within the last two years (if not, then applicant must agree to schedule and pay for an initial farm call with a licensed veterinarian) *If applicant does not have a veterinarian, Swingin’ D can provide a list of names
- If applicant or applicant’s family owns the facility – must have at least 1 acre per horse
- If applicant plans to board the horse, the boarding facility must have at least ½ acre per horse
- Since all horses are adopted in Oklahoma, all horses must have access to adequate shelter
- Shelters for each horse must be at least 10 x 12 and have three sides, with one full side facing the north
- Two-horse run-ins should be at least 12 x 24
- Wood or vinyl rail, split rail – at least two rails high (we recommend wood screws, with slats facing inside the pen)
- Woven wire horse fence, no-climb fence, mesh fence, field fence, etc.
- Electric tape, braided rope, coated wire (highly visible) – at least 3 strands high
- Barbed wire is only appropriate at the top (one strand) to prevent leaning
Swingin’ D currently only adopts to individuals who live or will board the horse within 50 miles of Coweta, Oklahoma.