Adopting a horse who is in need of a home can be a rewarding and exciting experience, but it’s important not to rush into horse ownership.

Owning a horse is a responsibility not to be taken lightly, as any horse owner will attest. Horses are a lot of work and require significant financial resources for food, housing and equipment, as well as veterinary and farrier care. Horses that have been rescued or are looking for a new home because their owners can no longer care for them are no exception. In fact, they can actually require even more care and financial resources if they have been neglected or require retraining.

It’s also essential that you have horse experience or, at the very least, someone to mentor you or assist with the care of your new horse. You may also have to enlist in the help of a professional horse trainer if your horse has behavioural issues or needs to be trained to ride, or re-trained for a new discipline.

If you are thinking about adopting a horse in need of a home, either privately or through an established rescue or re-homing organization, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Am I prepared for the hard work that comes with horse ownership?
  • Do I have the financial resources to maintain a horse?
  • Do I have a suitable place to house a horse?
  • Do I have access to the resources I need to properly care for a horse, especially one with special physical needs?
  • Do I have enough horse experience to safely handle and care for a horse?
  • Am I willing to commit to giving a horse a “forever” home or finding suitable care for it if I’m no longer able to look after it?
  • Have I read the OEF’s official Equine welfare position statement and know what my responsibilities are as an owner?

If adopting a horse is a commitment you are ready to take on, Ontario Equestrian Federation is here to provide you with information and resources to assist you