Looking for a new pleasure horse and you have decided you wanted to rescue one (similar to the way you go to the animal shelter for a new cat or dog)? Where does one begin to look?
- You can go to a horse broker. A horse broker's main motive is to make a profit. So you can expect to pay top dollar for a rescue that could have be bought much cheaper earlier in the pipeline. Another problem with going through a horse broker is you allow them to make a maximum profit encouraging them to go to horse sales to buy more horses which runs the price up higher for rescues. That being said, if you want to make the experience the most 'pleasant' for you (not having to see the ugly side of the horse trade), make sure you see and test 'drive' the horse before handing your money over to make sure you know what you are getting. If possible, have your own vet check the horse out. Ask to see the horse's papers if a registered breed; failure to have papers may mean the horse came off a kill lot and the broker may profiteering from the slaughter horse trade. After all, if you are paying prime dollar for the horse, don't you deserve the right to know what you are getting? Also, depending on the horse broker, if you have other horses you need to quarantine the horse to make sure your new friend doesn't spread illness to your other horses.
- You can buy a horse off a feed/kill lot. I will never say never buy a horse of a feed/kill lot, as you are saving a horse from slaughter but realize by doing so, you are allowing the person selling the horse to make a profit off your sympathy and encouraging them to buy more horses (sometimes dealers will buy a horse from a smaller sale and send the same horse to another auction in an effort to jack the purchase price of the horse up) increasing the price they can receive plus it allows people further down the slaughter pipe line to make money. How shady may this be? At one sale recently, a person operating the sale and feed lot there bought four decent horses that he would be able to sell at a profit in the auction and paid the seller a price which allowed him to buy from the very same person ten horses that went to slaughter. Would those horses have gone to slaughter anyway? Perhaps, but the fact is you may be helping to contribute to this type of dealing. Quarantine is mandatory.
- You can buy a horse from an auction, any auction. There you are buying a horse 'as is' but you do have the ability to check them out somewhat before the acing. However, you need to realize horse auctions many ways is a circuit. Depending on the size of the auction, they may be a feeder auction where horses are purchased at a lower price and brought to the next auction to obtain a higher price, where the horse may once again be sent to slaughter directly, or sent to another auction to jack the price up. Once again quarantine is a must as they are loaded into a small area where you don't know which horse may or many not be sick. Yes, you are saving a horse, but you are allowing the horse trade to continue and making people richer by your purchase. The higher up in the auction circuit, the more people are making money.
The question though is how do you find these horses with all these different avenues of advertising?
Fortunately, there is a new group on Facebook called Horse Rescue States which lists information by state to allow people the opportunity to rescue horses locally. At the present time, when they become aware of horses being offered for $350 or less from other sources, a listing is being made maintained where you can identify horses in your local area available and who to contact.. Why the $350 limit? A horse being sold for $350 or under is more at risk for horse slaughter so by identifying theses horses at risk, the hope is the horses will be saved without contributing to the profit of those making money off the unfortunate horses, hopefully reducing the pipeline of available horses for slaughter.
So take a look on Facebook for Horse Rescue States and look up your own state to see what horses are available for purchase. You may find yourself with your new best buddy at the lowest cost and help reduce the amount of money those dealing with slaughter horses may make.
Horse Rescue States. Saving horses starts locally. Start here.