Since our inception, we have saved the lives of dozens of horses whose slaughter in a Mexican slaughterhouse was certain. We have given these horses nourishment in a peaceful environment and, when possible, adopted them to owners who sign contracts binding them to responsible ownership – and to the promise the horse will never again enter the slaughter pipeline.
We’ve seen it time and again: Horses arrive with terror uncertainty in their eyes. You can almost see the hell they’ve been through. Some are so thin, so terrified and so sickly, we wonder if we’ll ever be able to rehabilitate them and find them a soul human. So far, we’ve successfully socialized even the most hopeless cases. We tell them all the same thing: “Your life is about to change forever. The horror is behind you. We’ll do whatever we can to ensure no one ever betrays you again.”
The horses we save from slaughter are available for adoption after a minimum 30-day quarantine and evaluation. We keep new horses a minimum of 30 yards from the rest of the herd in case they picked up an illness or disease from the kill pen or in transit.
All of our horses are examined and vaccinated by our veterinarian, who also examines their teeth and floats them if necessary. By the time you adopt a Swingin’ D horse, you have a pretty good picture of the horse’s health and temperament.
Adopters are required to sign a contract that guarantees you will continue a quality level of care, safe keeping and use. Our goal is to never again allow one of our horses to enter the slaughter pipeline because of neglect, abuse or ignorance.
Our horses graze on 12 acres of verdant pasture and romp on a pond beach by day. Those that need it receive a daily grain supplement suitable for their health needs. We also provide supplements for older horses, babies and horses with hoof issues. We provide plenty of fresh water in multiple troughs throughout the ranch.
Our horses find shelter from inclement weather or intense sunlight in several three-sided sheds and one large barn. We hope to one day build a new main barn where each horse can have its own stall.
Swingin’ D has one main pasture and four additional paddocks for various levels of quarantine. After our new rescues are symptom-free for 30 days, we move them to a paddock adjacent to the herd, then ease them in to the main pasture when they appear settled.
We take hoof care so seriously, we’ve revoked an adoption over the adopter’s failure to address the horse’s farrier needs.
We schedule pedicures every 6 to 8 weeks in order to ensure our horses’ hooves are in tip top shape. Proper hoof health is essential to preventing lameness – a leading cause of horses ending up on kill lots. Without proper care, a horse’s feet can develop too much heel or toe, leading to discomfort or infection and resulting in severe pain. Treatment for such pain can be expensive, whereas paying to have a barefoot horse trimmed is only about $35 to $45.
Life gets busy and we all have full plates, but putting a horses’ hooves on the bottom of your priorities list can lead to a host of expensive problems.
We watch for the following symptoms of hoof issues:
Discomfort: You can always tell when a horse is ouchie in the feet. They move gingerly and hang their head low. They often stand with their front feet splayed from the back feet.
Chipping or cracking: Since our horses are barefoot, they’re always chipping their hooves. Problems arise when the crack affects the hoof wall.
Flaring: We watch for feet to flare with toes out or in.
Infection: If unaddressed, hoof diseases and disorders like thrush or white line disease can cause permanent lameness.
Our Foster Program offers a variety of options, including a “trial basis” foster for certain hard-to-adopt horses.
Rarely, a horse we rescue has been through so much prior to its arrival, only a certain personality will be able to break through with him. For those rare horses, we offer a foster program in which prospective adopters may “try” the horse for 30 days prior to committing to adopt it.
Our trial basis foster fee starts at $350, which is refundable within the first week you take the horse. If, from the 8th through the 30th day, you decide you want to adopt the horse, we apply your $350 foster fee toward the adoption fee. (The foster fee is not refundable after the first week, regardless of whether you elect to adopt the horse.)
The foster program is only available for certain special needs horses. If you’re interested in the “trial” concept, take a look at our lease program.
To get an idea of how seriously we take adoptions, please look carefully over the adoption requirements so you fully comprehend our stringent expectations of the commitment you’re about to make. For responsible horse owners who value horses the way we do, the contract is a mere formality. Swingin’ D horse adoption is not for flippers or casual owners.
We pamper our horses for a minimum of 45 days after we rescue them from slaughter to ensure they’re not infected with anything that could harm other horses. They’re available for adoption after their quarantine and veterinary evaluation.
Please look carefully over our adoption requirements to ensure you’re qualified and that you fully comprehend the commitment you wish to make. Contract terms and fees are not negotiable; though we will discount fees for riding prospect horses if an adopter commits to continuing the horse’s training with our trainers. As riding prospects graduate to riding horses, their fees will increase accordingly.
Please note: No matter who tells you a horse is fit for children, assume and believe nothing. We only know what we’re told and what we’ve observed about the horses we rescue; but, unless you’re a very experienced rider, we highly recommend you invest in a professional trainer for at least two weeks after you adopt. Assume the worst and celebrate if you’re wrong.
WE DO NOT HOLD HORSES. Whichever approved adopter hands in the adoption contract with the full adoption fee first gets the horse.
We understand the decision to adopt a horse is monumental, and we encourage you to not enter into horse adoption lightly. We’re not in the business of adopting out horses; nor are we in the business of horse trading. We’re in the business of Happily Ever After, which means adopters make a lifetime commitment to protect and provide for the horses we place.
The last thing we want is for one of our horses to have to change hands, ever again in their lives if we can help it. We admire people who tell us they’ve owned the same horse for 10, 20, even 30 years. We frown upon those who go through horses like they do toothbrushes. In our opinion, horses are not tools. Horses are companions that would give their lives for their trusted humans. (That’s why more than 80,000 march onto death trailers bound for Mexico and Canada every year.)
Horse ownership isn’t for everyone, so we offer something that feels like ownership, without the expense and commitment. Lease a horse of your choice with us for $350 a month (plus the cost of grain). The horse remains at Swingin’ D, and you get to act like it’s yours until the lease is up. Visit, ride, groom, play…Let us worry about the rest.