HOURSE in VT, harness racer rescue & retraining

Thinking About Adoption?

Where To Start

     Our adoption process begins with your submission of an accurate and complete preliminary application for adoption along with a $50 processing fee. The information you provide will guide us in making a suitable match between horse and horseman.

     As this is a humane organization, our purpose is to protect the horse for life from misuse, abuse, neglect and slaughter. Therefore, you will see when you receive our Adoption Agreement that you can not sell, trade, lease or give the horse away. If there comes a time when you are no longer interested or can no longer afford to keep the horse, he must be returned to the H.O.U.R.S.E. in VT host farm. Mares can not be bred without written permission. We require an annual health statement signed by your veterinarian.

     Please, be assured that you are the complete guardian of the horse and you are free to enjoy him in any approved humane, responsible capacity you wish to follow for as long as you desire. (Commercial or Bartered venues will be considered on a case by case basis.) Our goal is for you both to enjoy a lasting, mutually rewarding relationship as horse and horseman.

Shelter, fencing, and turnout

You must have a shelter for your horse to protect him from frigid winter weather and the heat and flies of summer. Fancy barns are not required; in fact we encourage a free stall arrangement where the horse can come and go as he pleases. Our minimum standard for shelter is a three sided shed of 10 x 10 ft square with an 8' ceiling. This must be of sturdy, safe construction with no protruding nails, sharp edges, etc., and it must be kept clean. Cement or paved floors must be planked or rubber matted and bedded.

You will need at least one acre of turnout per horse for exercise. Fencing must be sturdy and in good repair. Speed fence, rail fence, livestock wire with rail at top, and smooth electric wire are all good choices. Barbed wire is strictly forbidden. You must dismantle the barbed wire and run electric fence inside it. Barbed wire fencing can be dangerous for horses; their propensity for mischief and then panic ensures the likelihood of serious or mortal injury for horses kept in barbed wire.

Feed, vet and farrier

Grain must be stored in a locked place where the curious horse cannot raid and binge on it. You must have free choice water available 24 hrs. a day. The horse should get a visit from the farrier every 6 to 8 weeks and the vet once a year. You can administer dewormer according to product directions. These basic expenses are about $1500 a year.

Quality time with you

Your horse should be groomed regularly, particularly in spring when he sheds his winter coat. If he is on a training or working routine, be consistent with your schedule -- once a week, every day, etc. Don't forget carrots, apples, pats, kisses and kind words.

New to horse-keeping? Consider volunteering at our barn. It's an easy way to see what's involved -- and you'll be helping our cause!

Judicious and Cherry Charm,
happily adopted horses home at last

Your Responsibility

     Inexperienced horsemen must be committed to learning humane and responsible horsemanship through qualified riding instruction and other educational resources. This may seem daunting or even demanding to a person inexperienced in horsemanship but safety for you and the horse is the number one responsibility of any good horseman. When you are properly prepared to meet your horse's needs and the challenges of horsemanship, your chores will go easier, leaving you more time to enjoy your horse.

     Please complete our preliminary application and return it with photos of your barn and turn out area, along with $50 to

H.O.U.R.S.E. in VT.
525 Vt Rte 109
Jeffersonville VT 05464

(Incomplete applications will not be considered.)

     This information will be reviewed and, when a suitable horse becomes available, you will be invited to come have a look. Because we depend on owners and trainers in harness racing to donate their unraceable Standardbreds to H.O.U.R.S.E. in VT, there is no way to determine what type of horses will come in or when they will come. We actively recruit horses from April through September, however it is a purely random pattern of circumstances we work in. It may take a few weeks or a few months to have a suitable horse available for you. You are welcome to visit the horses at our foster farm by appointment, but this has no bearing on the placement of horses.

     We like to place horses in the "backyards" of caring, responsible people, but we will consider boarding situations. Our primary responsibility is to the horse. His best interests are the very purpose for our existence. If you see it our way, we look forward to hearing from you soon.

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"Movement is the primeval element of his being, joyous movement in the wide spaciousness of freedom."
              Hans-Heinrich Isenbardt

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