The adult horse we rescue from slaughter has been through hell. Most often a gelding, he comes to Swingin’ D Horse Rescue in pretty bad shape. He doesn’t trust humans, he’s afraid of his own shadow, he’s starved and sick.

The Ultimate Betrayal for an Adult Horse

Adult horses rescued from slaughter have been through hell.

Harry was bailed from a kill lot and taken to a hub. His foster family fell on hard financial times and didn’t have the money to feed him. He came to us at between a 2 and 3 body condition score.

Think about that adult horse that winds up on a kill lot. Take Harry (left), for example. What did it take to get get this perfectly-healthy, well-trained, 25-year-old ranch horse here? Remember that horses live in fight or flight mode. So in Harry’s mind, everything he encounters wants to kill and eat him.

First, Harry trusted his human enough to allow him to catch him and put a halter on him. He overcame his natural terror and allowed a human to lead him around by a rope. Fighting his fear again, he allowed his human to throw a heavy hunk of cow skin on his back and fasten a tight strap around his belly. Then he allowed his human to jump on his back. He learned to carry his trusted human over logs, rocks and water.

Every step Harry took was a huge leap of faith, believing his human was his leader – a leader he could trust with his life.

Imagine the fear Harry had to fight to allow himself to be led onto a little box with wheels. Any time his friends got on the box, he never saw them again. But once again, Harry put his ultimate trust in his human – his leader.

Then one day, his trusted leader hauls him on that scary metal box to a yard where a loud human barks out commands. Cowboys wave cards around, yelling and spitting and shuffling Harry and other horses around. Harry’s trusted leader heads in one direction, while Harry’s dragged on to another scary metal box, never to see his trusted human again.

Foster an Adult Horse

For some of the horses we save from slaughter, their future success depends on their fit with their human adopter. While the vast majority of horses get over their trauma with time, some take longer. We’ve seen some pretty hopeless cases, but we’ve never failed at socializing a doomed horse. Sometimes a horse just needs to find the right human to restore its trust and confidence. That’s what our foster program is all about.

If you think you connect with one of our special needs horses, you pay a foster fee of $300 and take him home for a period of 30 days. The first hurdle is the first seven days. If you and the horse don’t connect in the first week, bring the horse back and we’ll refund your foster fee. Once you make it past that first hurdle, you improve your chance of going the distance.

If, at any time in that 30 days, something just clicks and you know you’ve found your soul horse, let us know and we’ll complete the adoption. The $300 foster fee applies toward the adoption fee.

We only offer the foster program for special needs horses. If you like the idea of a “trial” concept, check out our lease program.