Our horses go through a minimum 45-day quarantine once we bring them to Swingin' D. Not only does the break allow us to ensure any infectious illness has passed through their systems, it also gives the horse a chance to decompress and recover from their traumatic experience in the slaughter pipeline. In their first 45 days, horses see our farrier and veterinarian. Most get their teeth floated (many for the first time, and all get annual vaccines and worming. Before they leave us, all males are gelded.
The application approval process can take weeks, so you might want to get started right away - even before you find a horse. If you agree with our methods and requirements, fill out an adoption application and let us know your needs and preferences. That way, when we find a horse that meets your criteria, you're ahead of the game.
Each horse we rescue costs up to $1,500 to buy from the kill lot, transport to safety, evaluate, rehabilitate, retrain and prepare for adoption. Your donations of time, goods and money help to defray the cost of loving horses from slaughter to sanctuary, and enable us to save even more equine lives.
By the time our horses are ready for adoption, they’ve spent a minimum of 45 days with us. Most are with us several months before we list them for adoption. That means they’re like family, so we make sure they’re adopted to adopters who will love them like we do. We’ve learned that people are more likely to take care of something they’ve earned. We’ve also learned that even the best sob stories end the same as the worst sob stories: Things just didn’t work out with the horse. Most of the time, the horse gets the blame.
When you adopt a horse from Swingin’ D, your horse is vetted, vaccinated, trimmed, evaluated and good to go. Most have a clean Coggins or health certificate. The horse’s teeth will either be floated, or we’ll tell you when the vet recommends its next floating. We give you whatever records we have, along with the name and number of the vet that treated it. You’re free to call the vet to verify what we tell you. We use reputable, licensed veterinarians that have no ties to our organization, so you’re also free to Google them to check their references.
While we work hard to get our horses ready for adoption, they’re still horses, so they’re not perfect. If you’ve ever bought a horse, you know that most (if not all) horses are marketed as:
You also know that it’s not possible for all horses to be 8 years old (or under 10); but that’s a desirable age, so that’s how they’re marketed. We’ve gotten horses we were told were 12 years old that were closer to 30. Horses billed as “broke to ride and drive” had never laid eyes on a saddle. We’ve been told in-tact horses were geldings, and that geldings were studs. We’re not here to sell horses. We’re here to provide Happily Ever After for horse and rider.
When you get a horse from Swingin’ D, we tell you everything we know about the horse. We go by the age the veterinarian gives us – not the seller – and we share the challenges we’ve had with the horse. The last thing we want is for one of our horses to be discarded because it wasn’t a good fit with the adopter. Horses can feel disappointment, just as they feel fear and anger. It takes another full month to re-tune a horse that’s returned by someone who wasn’t prepared for the responsibility.
Our goal is not just adoption. Our goal is success. If that means we hold on to a horse for a year until it’s ready, so be it. We’re grateful for the many successes we’ve had; and we look forward to many more.
Some of our horses are a challenge. That means they’re not right for every rider. When that’s the case, we tell you up front – sometimes multiple times. We know that people fall in love with a horse because of the way it looks; and once you’re in love, you stop listening to potential pitfalls. We tell you in every way we can the challenges you may face with your chosen horse.
All Swingin’ D adoptions require a contract. Our contracts are a conglomeration of best practices from established rescue organizations, and they’re not negotiable, so please don’t waste your time haggling. If we say it in the contract, it’s because we believe it’s possible (so do other rescue organizations).