Horse Adoption Program
Through our horse rescue operation, we assist horses of all shapes and sizes, as well as other animals such as pot-belly pigs and community cats. We help them through a period of rehabilitation of the body and mind, and some may become available for adoption to a new, loving home when the time is right for that specific animal. Others remain on the farm to assist with programming such as camps, lessons, and equine-assisted therapy - these horses are available for sponsorship and some may even be available for on-farm partial leases.
If you want to adopt, foster, or lease a horse, please read the guidelines below and fill out and submit the appropriate application form so we can learn about your needs and skills and match you with a horse, or put you on the waiting list to be matched with a horse yet to come in.
So you want to adopt a rescued horse...
When you save the life of a rescued horse, be prepared to be saved right back. The bond you will achieve with your new family member is up to you of course, but it can be quite priceless! You can teach your children how to be responsible and loving, come together as a family unit, or just enjoy a quiet ride along a dirt road or deep in the forest. What's your fancy? However, you must be responsible, and if for whatever reason you cannot care for your horse he or she must be returned to the rescue.
If you are seriously interested in adoption, fostering, or leasing a horse, please fill out and submit the application - you can do so online or you can download the PDF and email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org - either way, this application will address your preferences, needs, and wishes.
Please understand that questions about horses which are submitted outside of this application may not be answered in a timely manner; we do our best and some days we can answer quickly but our volume of emails is often very high. Therefore it is highly suggested that you peruse the horse gallery, and read and follow the Facebook page for comments and updates on various adoptable horses. Please carefully consider your needs, skills, time commitment, and ability to provide for the horse(s) of your choice.
After the application has been submitted, please check in within a few days, via email or the Facebook page to set an appointment for you to meet the animal(s) in whom you are interested. Alternatively, you can come by during one of our open houses, special events, or even come volunteer time to help all the horses and get to know them all this way.
Please note that before your application for foster or adoption can be finalized, you must provide us with current video or photographs of the conditions in which the animal will be living. We may also be able to arrange to do this via site visit from GO or another rescue in your local area. In special cases, we may suggest arranging for your regular veterinarian or farrier to examine the horse. In addition, the boarding facility must sign an acknowledgement form (Attachment A) which you will submit to GO along with a copy of the contract with said boarding facility.
Foster or On-Farm Lease
Once approved for foster or lease, you must sign a contract stipulating the terms of the foster or lease. Please note these horses remain available for adoption and if an adoption application is approved and finalized, you will have to say goodbye - but you will be notified in time to make a decision about adopting the foster horse yourself. Foster homes must be willing to meet with potential adopters to make introductions with the horse, and coordinate with GO and adopters as far as allowing vet exams, hoof trims, or other adoption-related visits during the 10 day holding period. On-farm leases of adoptable horses do terminate on the day the adoption paperwork is finalized, however you will have the 10 day holding period to say your farewells.
Fostering: Horse-related expenses are the responsibility of the foster home, including but not limited to boarding fees, tack, training, transportation, hay, feed, and routine health and hoof care. Extraordinary or unusual veterinary expenses must be reported to Guardian Oak for approval before they are incurred; GO will not refund unapproved expenses. Trainers who will be training the foster horse must be approved by GO.
Leasing: Certain horse-related expenses are the responsibility of the person leasing the horse, including but not limited to personal tack, transportation, and extraordinary feed/hay/health/hoof needs due to the more active lifestyle of the leased horse. The leasing fee is roughly equivalent to the cost of boarding a horse at Guardian Oak Farm, including regular hay. If you desire to lease a horse to ride on the farm, you must demonstrate safe horse handling and riding skills under supervision of a GO lead prior to visiting and working with the horse on your own.
After you have met and decided on a horse, you must submit a nonrefundable $100 holding fee - this marks the horse as not available to any other adopters for a 10 day holding period. This mandatory fee lets us know you are serious and invested in adoption, not simply a tire-kicker! It is important that your application be thorough - but if you need more time to provide information such as references, just let us know! We do carefully screen potential homes, and it can be time consuming and costly especially if a site visit is needed - the holding fee helps with the costs of screening.
The horse's welfare is our foremost concern - please note Guardian Oak reserves the right to refuse adoption to anyone at our discretion.
We are happy to discuss your needs to make the dream come true - adoption prices are set at GO's discretion and while they may be lowered, they are also nonrefundable. To help guarantee the future well-being of adopted horses, Guardian Oak retains co-ownership of the adopted horse. If for any reason he or she cannot stay with you, the horse must be returned to Guardian Oak Farm.
During the 10 day holding period, you may work on arrangements for transporting the horse to his or her new home (at your expense) or you may arrange to board at Guardian Oak Farm - ask us for more information. Prior to the adopted horse leaving the farm, please note that they must be accompanied with a health certificate and current Coggins, at your expense - GO can help arrange a vet visit if desired. If you are unable to complete transportation within 10 days of signing the contract and are not boarding at GO, we do ask that you cover board for each animal. The daily rate is $10 per day.
Please note, before an animal can leave the farm, the adoption fee *must* be paid in full.