When you adopt a horse at Swingin’ D, you help to end the cycle of horse slaughter. Why buy from a breeder when you can have a beautiful trained horse AND save lives?
Adoption Fees Cover Costs
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.
There Are No Free Horses
By the time our horses are ready for adoption, they’ve spent a minimum of 30 days with us. That means they’re like family, so we make sure they’re adopted to owners 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.
Here are all the factors that go in to our adoption fees:
- People value what they invest in – either with time, money or heart. They’re more likely to try to make things work with a horse they spent $1,200 on than one they spent $200 on.
- It’s easy to make money at auction on a horse you get for free. A horse purchased for a few hundred bucks will sell at a profit to a kill buyer at auction. We never price a horse under its meat value.
- Horses we adopt out cost us a minimum of $1,500 to rescue and get ready for adoption.
- Horse ownership is expensive. f you can’t afford to purchase a horse, think about whether you can afford the first vet bill for an accident or illness…because they happen. Plan to spend between $2,400 and $3,876 per horse, per year. And that’s for a healthy horse! You’re looking at $200 to $325 per month, per horse. While Swingin’ D has covered much of that cost for the first year, you need to think about every year after.
Swingin’ D Horses are Good to Go
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.
Our Goal is Success
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:
- 8 years old (or under 10)
- 14.3 hands
- Dead broke to ride and drive
- Babysitter, kid-broke
- Stand for farrier
- Easy to catch
- Practically halter themselves
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.
Adopt a Horse at Swingin’ D and You’ll Know What We Know
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.
Not Every Horse is for Every Rider
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. If we say it in the contract, it’s because we believe it’s possible (so do other rescue organizations). Before you ever look at our horses and fall in love, we encourage you to look carefully over the contract and make sure you can live with the standards we require.