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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2008
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    796

    Default What is wrong w/rescues selling horses for their true value?

    Flame suit on, so don't hold back.
    I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this matter.

    I am not talking about the starved neglected old horse that needs thousands put in just to get it healthy. What I am interested to know is why you think it is bad or good for a rescue selling/adopting out a horse for $x especially if they have an appraisal stating that is what the animal is worth?

    What if they got a young horse and put lots of training in it? Basically assume a usable, show ready/sound animal?



  2. #2
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    Default

    Personally, I have zero problem with that. It's a great idea. I know a few very outstanding horsemen and -women who have been doing that very thing on an individual level for years. The old lady lounging about nibbling alfalfa in my back yard is the fruit of one such woman's efforts.

    Caveat: I think it's a great idea, as long as the horse is actually sold to the new owner. I would not ever pay an "adoption fee" equivalent to a fair market price for a horse that I would not own outright, that would come with strings attached as to what I could do with him/her, where the horse could be boarded, etc., including no right to resell the horse later on, as many rescues seem to do.

    (Personally, I won't enter any such "adoption" agreement for the smallest fee, for any horse or other animal. I want to own animals, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, not adopt furbabies. I have no patience with that sort of froofiness. )
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  3. #3
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    Jan. 4, 2007
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    TX
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    44,840

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mzm farm View Post
    Flame suit on, so don't hold back.
    I would like to hear everyone's opinion on this matter.

    I am not talking about the starved neglected old horse that needs thousands put in just to get it healthy. What I am interested to know is why you think it is bad or good for a rescue selling/adopting out a horse for $x especially if they have an appraisal stating that is what the animal is worth?

    What if they got a young horse and put lots of training in it? Basically assume a usable, show ready/sound animal?
    I don't know where a rescue stands, if they are tax exempt, if they conduct business as a training barn and start selling horses in the regular market?

    I guess that you would have to ask the IRS to make a judgement on that one.

    I know that some rescues go to a trader, they call the trader pens "feedlot" and buy perfectly good horses out of there and resell them at a profit.
    The trader may have told them they were going to ship them to slaughter, but in many cases, those traders were laughing all the way to the bank, the horses were just going on to the next sale and hoping they can sell for a little more and make their cut.
    That is the way they make a living, knowing what their markets are, buying cheap and selling higher, hopefully.

    The rescues that did that were skirting the line, in fact becoming one more trader.
    When confronted, they said that their motives were pure, so I guess that exhonerated them from being called horse traders.

    CBER is supposed to be one of them, for what I have heard, along with a few others.

    There are true rescues out there, that take in horses in real immediate need and those are unquestionable rescuing horses.
    How they price the horses they then sell is never in question.



  4. #4
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    Default

    Bluey has a good point: a rescue operating as a licensed non-profit -- or even not-for-profit -- organization must meet numerous conditions. Sales for fair market value might violate some of the financial must-haves for continued licensing as a 501-3(c) or whatever their status might be.

    But rescues can be set up as for-profit operations. In that case, the application of the name "rescue" versus "sales barn" or "horse trader" would be more a matter of perception than of any clear definition. The individuals I mentioned earlier who did take in -- by acquiring for free or for a very low price -- various types of "unwanteds," turn them into useful equine citizens, and re-sell them at a fair market price would fall into this category.
    Equinox Equine Massage

    In the depth of winter, I finally learned that there was in me invincible summer.
    -Albert Camus



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2007
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    Michigan
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    11,038

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coloredhorse View Post

    Caveat: I think it's a great idea, as long as the horse is actually sold to the new owner. I would not ever pay an "adoption fee" equivalent to a fair market price for a horse that I would not own outright, that would come with strings attached as to what I could do with him/her, where the horse could be boarded, etc., including no right to resell the horse later on, as many rescues seem to do.

    (Personally, I won't enter any such "adoption" agreement for the smallest fee, for any horse or other animal. I want to own animals, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, not adopt furbabies. I have no patience with that sort of froofiness. )
    IAWTC. I will not "adopt" a horse, I will buy one. And if a rescue has put a lot of money into a horse I will pay fair market value, assuming there is COMPLETE transfer of title. I assume that the profit margin, if any (how many of us really MAKE money on sales unless we're breeding WB babies or TB sales colts?) is going towards the not-insignificant expenses of running a horse rescue.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep. 15, 2006
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    1,511

    Default I think here is what people would have a problem with...

    And this is a known PERSONALLY by me what they did...

    A friend of mine was looking at a BIG (17 3 or so) horse they were telling me about. Happen to mention he was a warmblood. brand and all, and a rescue had him for sale for $9k. They had gotten the horse as a give away, and was supposed to find him a good TRAIL home. He had hip problems that would prevent him from ever being a decent show horse.. When my friend told them they knew the story on this horse, the supposed rescue just hung up on them, and refused to answer their calls.
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Oct. 8, 2002
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    Maryland
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    10,104

    Default

    I don't think there's anything wrong with selling a horse for closer to market value. Most groups who do this have invested a significant amount of time and money to make a horse worth that much in the first place and probably are not fully covering the costs of doing so.

    Not all horses at rescues are washed up and worthless - if one is actually worth more, why not ask more, and have more money in the end to put back into the program?

    There's sort of a double edged sword with pricing rescue horses (or any sale horse, honestly). Too low, and everyone assumes something is wrong with it. Too high, and people think you have some nerve asking that for a rescue horse (even if it's jumping 3' and been to competitions and would be worth twice as much on the open market)!
    "smile a lot can let us ride happy,it is good thing"

    My CANTER blog.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 12, 2007
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    4,227

    Exclamation YES!

    Absolutely! I believe they SHOULD sell the rehabilitated animals for their FULL value so that they can extend their philanthropy to help other animals in danger. And people who TRULY have the animals best interests at heart should be GLAD for it! Even CHAMPION IT!

    Rescues should be run like a business with the bottom line in mind. Unfunded philanthropy is a poor excuse for a charity.

    Too many good ones go under because they underestimate their VALUE!

    Added: There is no way you can tell me you HAVE to sell a horse for a pittance to PROVE it is a rescue or not for profit! The horses I rescue i can spend THOUSANDS on to rehabilitate. Darn straight I want all they are worth so I can offer my home to more that are in dire dire need. A rescue worth it's salt has spent well more than the pitiful adoption price to help this poor critter. To help others they need MONEY! This foolishness of a $300 adoption fee has to end!
    "If you don't know where you are going, any road will take you there"



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 23, 2004
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    Camden, De
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    Default

    Ditto what caffeinated said. I am involved with the retraining and sales of many of the horses that come through our program and you walk that line between too cheap and to expensive for a rescue. We do allow a horse to transfer ownership and make sure we research the homes they are going to the best of our ability.

    I will say we have some very nice horses that come through that are actually quite talented, sound and have no issues. The profit (if you can call it profit) of these horses goes to the horses that may not be able to be rehomed.

    For example, the two horses that are currently in retraining at my farm are quite nice and I believe there will be a profit and see nothing wrong with that. We put a lot of time retraining, taking off the farm trips and putting all that initial baby show mileage on them. Then you have teeth, chiro, feet and other expenses plus the cost to board them.
    Horses here: http://dixierumble.wordpress.com/
    Two lovely 3 yr ottb's that have all the right pieces to exel in the show world. Look at the 3 yr going down to those jumps his second time ever seeing a jump! Both of them were just to slow for racing and donated by trainers who are happy to see them move into new careers. I always feel like we serve the horses better by putting in that retraining so someone else can take them to the next steps but doesn't have to do all the really hard work of the transition from track to riding horse. It is very hard to sell ottb's with no retraining which is why the retraining program was put into place. Ultimately, it better serves the rescue as a whole by creating a bit more money in a time when donations are down.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
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    Out for Lent
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    Default

    I think the problem is that they got them for free, as donation, or surrender.

    or that the officers of the rescue profit nicely from the proceeds of the sale.

    What I have a problem with - at any price - is the you have all the duties and non of the rights deals they impose on the interested party.

    I mean, even as not for profit you can make money, you just can't profit from it, it has to go back into the organization. And I do not know any group that can afford to not get the extra 1k or maybe more dollars to buff their finances.

    I just can't stomach 10k 'adoption fees' <insert vomit icon here>
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  11. #11
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    Jan. 23, 2000
    Location
    Virginia
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    Default

    I always feel like we serve the horses better by putting in that retraining so someone else can take them to the next steps but doesn't have to do all the really hard work of the transition from track to riding horse. It is very hard to sell ottb's with no retraining which is why the retraining program was put into place. Ultimately, it better serves the rescue as a whole by creating a bit more money in a time when donations are down.
    I think what you do is great. There's a lot of folks out there who would LOVE an OTTB but are too intimidated to buy one directly off the track, for whatever reason. This way, they have some idea of what the horse is like away from the track, it has a few miles on it, and can therefore be a bit more comfortable with the idea.
    ---
    They're small hearts.



  12. #12
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    Mar. 12, 2006
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    Default

    Honestly- it's a shame there are not more programs to restart and resell ex-racers. Niki was restarted when I got her- I don't think I could have managed a fresh ottb. But she had all the basics in place.

    I think they should be marketed at true value- if the non-profit is returning profits to the organization, it makes a lot of sense to profit from the ones that are profitable.... to support the lovable money pits.

    I think adoption is different- if there are limits- ie, you can't resell the adopted horse.... then you do need to cut the price somewhat because the horse has a restriction.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 22, 2005
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    3,788

    Default

    An "adoption" for which the rescue retains "ownership" (in effect, leasing the horse out) and/or inisists that the horse be returned to the rescue if the "adoptor" can't keep him shouldn't be thinking they can get "true market value" as an "adoption fee".

    If it is instead a "purchase price" where ownership truly transfers to person putting up the money, then the rescue should be "selling" for whatever the market will bear.

    I'd buy a horse from the latter. I wouldn't adopt from, donate to, or volunteer for in any way shape or form for the former.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 1999
    Posts
    863

    Default

    I had an unpleasant experience recently with a group that takes unwanted horses for a tax donation, then turns around and sells them quickly. I didn't get the sense that they were upfront about the physical or personality issues with each horse, more of a trader type situation.



  15. #15
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    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Lorena, Texas
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    4,114

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by magnolia73 View Post
    I think adoption is different- if there are limits- ie, you can't resell the adopted horse.... then you do need to cut the price somewhat because the horse has a restriction.
    Since we do have restrictions on our adopters, we follow this philosophy - we charge fees based on the horses' experience, abilities, training, issues, etc. and we try to set them below 'fair market value'. If a horse doesn't get adopted, we lower his/her fee, too, after a while.

    Our guys do go out with current vet work, at a good weight, current farrier care and de-worming. And a 30 day money-back guarantee (can return the horse within the first 30 days for a full refund). We do have to bring in money to help offset expenses, but we realize we have to give something if we want to place restrictions.

    I don't think there's any limits/rules governing what a nonprofit can adopt out or sell horses for, as long as they're acting within the scope of their mission. You can make a profit as a nonprofit, and you can pay salaries. However, your founders/employees/whoever can't get dividends or shares of the profit.
    Visit us at Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society - www.bluebonnetequine.org

    Want to get involved in rescue or start your own? Check out How to Start a Horse Rescue - www.howtostartarescue.com



  16. #16
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    Feb. 11, 2004
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    Ga
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    2,109

    Default

    I have no problem with a rescue selling a horse for it's face value as long as the $$ generated go back to helping the elders or sick/lame etc. at the rescue. Sometimes rescues do get nice horses that their owners just cannot keep anymore and they don't want to send them to auction. Should the rescue just give the horse away or charge a very low donation fee? NO! Rescues need every dime they can gather these days with the flood of horses that come and as long as the money they make (same as a fund raiser in my humble opinion) goes straight back into the rescue and not the pocket of an individual (thinking Celetia/Crossed Sabers here), I have absolutely no problem with it.

    Most rescues don't get those caliber of horses in very often, they mostly get the ones no one wants that are ill, lame, starved, wild, etc. But in the event that they do get a nice horse, I want that legitimate rescue to get every dime they can out of the "nice" horse to help the others that aren't "so nice".

    Heck - to me the old ones are the nicest anyway..lol..thanks to Lori at Sunkissed Acres, I now have an oldie but goodie that is slightly swaybacked and my grandson thinks she should be up there with Secretariat. He is so excited!~! He will get to take one lesson a week on the old girl and my little girl boarder will take one lesson a week (so she overcomes her fear and timidity and can ride her pony - another Sunkissed baby) and neither will ride the horse more than 20 minutes each on alternating days..so my oldie now has the life of leisure except on Sat. mornings..and she will be cared for here till she goes over the bridge to meet Aloha.

    That's my point - most rescues don't get the 10,000 dressage horse, they get the oldies but goodies, or the navicular and lame..

    So if they happen to have one that comes in that can continue in a career, what is the harm in the rescue selling the horse to cover the others that can no longer have a career?



  17. #17
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    Feb. 26, 2008
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    796

    Default

    Wow, I am glad to hear so many reasonable voices out there. I thought perhaps I was alone in my "business" like thinking about rescuing animals and putting the "profits" into helping others.

    Thanks for the thoughts!



  18. #18
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    Jul. 31, 2008
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    Default

    [X= person/ farm/ rescue/ whatever]

    I have NO problem with X who gets a horse from the track, slaughter truck, starving backyard, abusive home, uneducated kid, etc (even if said horse is free) and training, feeding, worming, gaining trust, etc and sells it for whatever the market deems it is worth. If they sell a free horse for a million bucks? more power to them!

    I have a HUGE problem with X who gets the same horse from the same situation and asks the same amount, be it big or small, only calls it an "adoption fee" and attaches a million stipulations to said horses future care.



  19. #19
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    Apr. 7, 2005
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    summerville GA
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    Default

    I am a rescue and proud of it but................................I will tell you if you are buying a horse or adopting one from here. There is a difference. I have learned along the way that no one wants to adopt a young horse from me, train it, put tons of time and money into it, and we own it. Heck no. And neither do I want someone who adopts a two year old from me, to come back in 25 years when I am in a wheelchair, and tell me I own this horse and owe it retirement.

    So, when people come here to adopt, if they have the ability to train and are so inclined to look at our young horses, then they will purchase that horse. They will own it forever or until they sell it. Our prices for sucha horse will generally be about the same and the reason being, we wont have the same money into it. They generally get adopted quickly and so, it is profitable to a degree or at least more profitable than an oldie.

    I have no problem with a rescue selling a good horse. I do if they sell the old folks or the ones with problems who will likely require the services once more. But a young healthy horse, heck, something has to help support those who will never be adopted.

    But, just because you have the money to buy a horse, doesnt mean you will get one of mine. I still want the same quality of home. I dont want a horse dealer to purchase and provide horses for that purpose.
    Our horses are not seen as the old and disabled they may have become, but rather as the mighty steeds they once believed themselves to be.

    Sunkissed Acres Rescue and Retirement



  20. #20
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    Jan. 2, 2009
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by coloredhorse View Post
    Personally, I have zero problem with that. It's a great idea. I know a few very outstanding horsemen and -women who have been doing that very thing on an individual level for years. The old lady lounging about nibbling alfalfa in my back yard is the fruit of one such woman's efforts.

    Caveat: I think it's a great idea, as long as the horse is actually sold to the new owner. I would not ever pay an "adoption fee" equivalent to a fair market price for a horse that I would not own outright, that would come with strings attached as to what I could do with him/her, where the horse could be boarded, etc., including no right to resell the horse later on, as many rescues seem to do.

    (Personally, I won't enter any such "adoption" agreement for the smallest fee, for any horse or other animal. I want to own animals, with all the rights and responsibilities that entails, not adopt furbabies. I have no patience with that sort of froofiness. )
    I am in total agreement with you. I believe that humane societies hurt more animals than they help due to their "adoption" contracts. I believe that many more people, myself included, would search for their new pet at the local society if they actually received a bill of sale. I have nothing against asking questions about a persons ability to care for/house said animal and/or even ask for vet references, ect. But once I have answered those question to your satisfaction and you accept my money then said animal's ownership transfers to me!



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