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Where would you donate a horse?

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  • Where would you donate a horse?

    Where would you donate a horse? Preferably Zone 1 or 2.

    He is a 15.1 appendix, 13 years old. Slightly goey and quirky, but I think he would work out for the more advanced W/T/C and 2ft riders. Has a stop, but will teach a rider to RIDE (not a dirty stop, you can tell when it's coming, and when he's worked every day over the same 10 jumps in the same ring, he'll get over it.). He can go higher, but he takes more ride. He needs work, and I've outgrown him.

    I've heard UNH, UMass, I've heard both yes and no to Mt. Holyoke. What about Ethel Walker? SUNY Stonybrook? Skidmore? Brown?

    Dont ask yourself what the world needs; ask yourself what makes you come alive. And then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive. -Howard Thurman

  • #2
    It's a little farther away in Zone 3, but St. Timothy's School, Garrison Forest School and McDonogh School (all Batimore area) accept donations and have lovely riding programs.
    Who is John Galt?


    • #3
      I'm a 2008 alum of Sweet Briar College, and would not hesitate for a moment to donate a horse there. It's a little south of where you're focused, but IMO well worth a look.

      Fastidious care and management, excellent farriers and vets, chiropractors, acupuncturists, huge grassy turnout. I cannot speak highly enough of the way their animals are treated.

      I'd be happy to answer any questions you might have.

      As an aside: regardless of where you donate him, don't forget that if he is valued under a certain amount ($5k?) then the institution can sell him right away if they'd like. I've read some horror stories on these boards of people who have donated horses and then found out they got sold at an auction or something. It would likely behoove you to take measures to insure that the school contact you if they decide to "get rid of" him.


      • #4
        If I were in that area and had a horse to donate it would go to Dartmouth because of what I saw with horses who were donated.

        They will keep in touch with owners if requested in case the horse doesn't work out, and if the horse goes a few years then develops a soundness problem they retire them, don't send them to auction. Or at least that's what happened with every horse they retired while I was there, since different people talked about going to visit various retired horses.
        If Kim Kardashian wants to set up a gofundme to purchase the Wu Tang album from Martin Shkreli, guess what people you DON'T HAVE TO DONATE.


        • #5
          My mare would like to be donated to a petting zoo with a gianormous pasture in which resides a handsome Warmblood Stallion. The pasture would also feature ample yummy forage, a mud hole/swimming pond, and a large sand pit for rolling. Every day little children would tell her how pretty she is, pet her, and feed her carrots and peppermints. By night she would lounge in the pasture, roll in the mud, swim in the pond, and flirt with the handsome Warmblood Stallion. I did not make this up, I am only repeating what my mare has told me.


          • #6
            Try Dana Hall School in Ma. The horses there have a very good life.


            • #7
              Stoneleigh Burnham School


              • #8
                I donated my mare to UNH. While she doesn't live a pampered lifestyle, she's fat, happy, and having a blast with the students there. Sarah Hamilton and Chris Keim know their stuff and are super nice. They have riders who are both willing and able to ride quirkier/more difficult horses and are less likely to try to dump a horse after it's donated just because it isn't perfect.

                I know a very nice horse who was donated to Dartmouth and Dartmouth turned around and tried to pawn it off on anyone they could. They seem to cycle through donated horses there (from what I've noticed).
                "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"


                • #9
                  I donated my gelding to Nazereth College in Rochester, NY. He is still there and going strong 3 years later. I also went to Cazenovia...I wanted to donate there, but they were only looking for beefy 3' horses at the time, and my boy had a 2'6 limit.
                  I WAS a proud member of the *I'm In My 20's and Hope to Be a Good Rider Someday* clique..but now I am 30!!!!!!!!!!!
                  My new blog about my Finger Lakes Finest:
                  She Ain't No Small Potato!


                  • #10
                    I went to Ethel Walker and I think it's a good program. I would donate a horse there. Sounds like he could be useful for some of their students.
                    Tucker the Wunderkind


                    • #11
                      Why not sell him instead of donate?

                      Just curious.


                      • #12
                        I donated to Stoneleigh Burnham about 10 years ago. It was a long time ago but the same person I dealt with is still there. I contacted them after donating (maybe 2 years later) to check up on her since I hadn't heard anything. In the email back they said, "Thank you for your donation but the horse is no longer here." There was no other explanation or even a hint where she went or when she left. I was kinda turned off that they didn't politely contact me (yes I know they are busy) before selling her, sending her to auction, giving her to a student, etc.

                        However, I understood that I did sign her over and I had no control of what happened to her just like if I sold her - don't tell yourself that where you donate is a forever home because it is not! I tried finding her with local forums and also contacting the Dutch Registery - no luck. In a bizarre turn of events, I ran into this horse just last year at a A show on the Cape. I couldn't trace her journey to the current owners. She was happy and healthy so I didn't worry about it any longer - just glad she was safe.

                        I'd donate again ONLY if I had it in writting that they contact me before rehoming the horse. While she was there, the care was top-notch however.


                        • #13
                          I personally, would donate to my boarding school, if I wanted to donate. Kent School in Kent CT. Michael Page is the head coach. I rode there for four years with my own horses. But, the facility is amazing and the horses are cared for exceptionally - daily turnout, well fed, and the BM is very knowledgeable.

                          The school horses are "leased" out to one student a term - so one rider will work with the horse for the term and if they click the whole year. Kent does not participate in as many shows as some of the other horse-inclined boarding schools. But, they do go to A shows (HITS, Old Salem, WEF - when I was there 1998-2002).

                          When I was there horses ready to retire were either given back to owners or placed in a retirement home a short distance away.
                          Coruscant Stables


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Ray View Post
                            Stoneleigh Burnham School
                            Absolutely not. I have a handful of horror stories, and someone right above me posted too. The horses are pretty well-cared for while they're at the actual school, but are essentially treated like trash the second the school is done with them and shipped off to the local auction.

                            If anyone is interested, PM me. But I would absolutely never donate a horse to them.


                            • #15
                              I donated my horse about 9 months ago to the Oldfields School and could not be happier with them. Aside from having first right of refusal in the donation contract (something not all schools will give you) I have been out there to visit him a couple of times and he is always immaculately groomed, shiny, fat and happy. It really turned out to be an ideal situation.


                              • #16
                                No way in hell would I ever donate my horse to a university. Nope. Never. You might want to do a search to hear people's stories about what happened once they donated their horse. I worked at a university (one mentioned in this thread but I will not post it in a public forum) and after seeing what goes on "behind the scenes" up close and personal, there is no way i'd do that to my horse. One of my horses came from that program - he was donated many years ago by someone else. Thankfully he was able to get out of there and now lives a very good life unlike before.

                                (And don't be so sure your horse won't get "dumped" when they find him no longer useful )...
                                "When a horse greets you with a nicker & regards you with a large & liquid eye, the question of where you want to be & what you want to do has been answered." CANTER New England


                                • #17
                                  The bottom line is this: even if the care is fantastic at the school, virtually EVERY school will not keep their horses forever and WILL NOT retire the horse. Perhaps there are exceptions, but it is really important to keep this bottom line in mind.

                                  If you stop to think about it -- how else could these programs exist? How else can they have so many openings? How could they pay to retire so many horses? They can't. Just know this going in -- and it applies to just about every school out there.

                                  [Some make more of an effort than others -- some dump at auction, some give the horses to former students etc].
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                                  • #18
                                    Many schools have a folder for each horse and students can be put on the retirement list. I'm the only one on "my" horses retirement list, which is fine by me as he is currently ready to be retired :-)
                                    "The horse you get off f is not the same horse you got on. It is your job as a rider to ensure that as often as possible, the change is for the better" - unknown author


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by SMF11 View Post
                                      [Some make more of an effort than others -- some dump at auction, some give the horses to former students etc].
                                      And THAT is the key point. No, it's unrealistic to think that every school retires their horses to a big field 'til the end of their days. But there are schools who simply ship the horses off to auction without even attempting to contact anyone....and then there are those, some of which have been mentioned, who keep detailed files on the horses and genuinely care that they end up in a good home after they've done their job.

                                      You just have to make sure you do your research and send your horse to one of the latter types.


                                      • #20
                                        It doesn't sound to me like this horse is a particularly good candidate for a school? A hottish, smallish stopper would not have been welcome in my lesson program. That type of horse tends to do best with one rider who can get the hang of him and learn to ride him well.

                                        I would consider selling him inexpensively as a 4H mount, etc. Network around and local trainers should be able to find him a good situation. You won't get the tax writeoff, but that would probably not be significant anyway.