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How to Adopt a Horse from MidAtlantic Horse Rescue

MidAtlantic Horse Rescue has several nice, sensible, sound thoroughbreds available for adoption at all times. We regularly transition horses directly off the track, working with MD’s Beyond the Wire and the horsemen at Delaware Park. With those horses we typically get a lot of  history on the horse which is always helpful. We also buy thoroughbreds at auctions and from area kill pens. Once a horse is “pulled from the pen” and enters our program, we quarantine the horse. During this time we assess their overall physical condition, and have the vet in, if necessary. All of our adoptable horses are up to date on worming, dental work, vaccines, and coggins tests. We regularly have our horses seen by a veterinary chiropractor, pulsed, and treated for ulcers.

As soon as the horses enter our program, we start evaluating them under saddle and introduce them to cavaletti and ground rails. We will continue their schooling until they are adopted. Adoption fees vary, but range up to $2,500 for horses with no restrictions on future use. Our adoption fees pay for our program, and are well under market value. We stand behind our horses forever, and are always available for support and advice. Adoption fees are not negotiable unless a pre-purchase exam reveals some physical issue which will limit future use. Sometimes we rescue horses that have physical issues which limit their riding potential– their fees will reflect that. The expenses associated with those limited horses are significantly above their adoption fees. If you would like more information on adopting any of our horses, or would like to come see them, please call or email.

Our horses are shown by appointment only. We can meet you during the week or on weekends- mornings through early afternoon. Our regular days for showing horses to prospective adopters are Thursdays and Sundays- other days by appointment only. We start afternoon feeding around 3:00 and finish up by 4:00. Due to insurance restrictions, all persons riding must sign a liability release before riding.

Seriously Considering Adopting?

If there is a specific horse you are interested in adopting, you must meet some pre-adoption requirements, such as vet references and a suitable facility with turn-out. You are welcome to have your trainer or vet look at any of our horses. Because safety and suitability are of the utmost importance in placing our horses, we reserve the right to refuse any application.

We cannot hold horses for anyone. You are welcome to come back and ride until you know which is THE one. If there is a suitable horse that you have decided to adopt and want to have the horse vetted, we request a $100- deposit while you arrange for the vet exam. If the horse passes the vet check, the balance of the adoption fee is due immediately and you are free to take your horse home. If the horse does not pass the vet exam and you decide not to adopt that horse, the $100- deposit will be returned in full. If for any reason you change your mind and decide not to adopt the horse before it is vetted, the $100- deposit is non-returnable and will be considered a donation to MAHR. Before you put a deposit on a certain horse, PLEASE make sure you are sincere in wanting to adopt that horse. It is not fair to the horse, other potential adopters, or our program if the horse is made unavailable— yet you are not really sure it is the horse for you. The horse may miss out on a permanent home with a different adopter in the meantime, and we can’t go save another horse from slaughter while we are waiting for you to make up your mind. Once you do put a deposit on a horse, we hope that you can make all arrangements to finalize that adoption and take the horse home within a week or 10 days.

We ask that all vet exams are scheduled in a timely manner and upon completion of the adoption process, you take your new horse home as soon as possible, so we can rescue another horse right away.

Upon finalization of the adoption, the balance of the adoption fee must be paid in full before the horse can leave the farm. This can be paid by certified check, cashier’s check, ( made payable to MidAtlantic Horse Rescue ), Venmo, or cash. Please note, as per our adoption contract, adoption fees are non-refundable.

Upon completion of the adoption process, the adopter does assume ownership of the horse. We will call you for the first few months you have your new horse, to check that everything is going smoothly and answer any questions. Of course, you can always call us for help or advice!

Are You Committed?

We are committed to making the best possible match between horse and rider. We do stand behind our horses, but cannot foresee all future circumstances. We expect all adopters to have a strong commitment to all of the responsibilities that horse ownership entails- financial, time, and otherwise. If you run into a problem with your new horse, we expect that you will pursue any and all options to continue to provide the horse with a good home, to include different training approaches, shoeing, care, etc. If you do encounter a situation where you feel you can no longer provide the proper home for your adopted horse, or if the horse develops some physical issue, call us and we will try to help you solve the problem or give you suggestions for the placement or resale of your horse. We cannot simply take a horse back at any time without notice because some circumstance has changed for the adopter or because a physical condition has developed. We will do our best to help you place the horse or take it back in a timely fashion. We do not want our horses where they are not wanted. Remember, we have limited space and generally have a waiting list of horses wanting to come in, horses that might otherwise go to slaughter if we can’t take them– as well as those horses awaiting a cruel and horrifying fate EVERY Monday at the livestock auction. Our track record has been excellent, with only about 2% of our adopted horses needing to be rehomed for one reason or another. Call us and talk to us and we will work together towards a solution that will work for all involved— most of all, the horse!

We understand that riders advance, or change their goals, or circumstances may change, necessitating the sale of the horse down the road. We request, though, that you notify MidAtlantic Horse Rescue in advance if you decide to sell one of our adoptees in the future.

Questions? Just call or email, we’ll be happy to answer them. We’ve also collected a few helpful resources for you:

Selecting a Horse From the Track – Part 1

Selecting a Horse From the Track – Part 2

Selecting a Horse From the Track – Part 3

Restarting an Off-Track Thoroughbred

Interested in one of our horses?

Horses are kept on a private farm and shown by appointment only! If you want to meet the horses you must make an appointment- we do not live on the farm so don’t just drop by- you will be wasting a trip! Thanks for understanding.

Download and print an adoption application and agreement and fax to 410-885-5685 when completed. 

Adoption Application

Adoption Agreement