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Looking for Info on Donating a Horse

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  • Looking for Info on Donating a Horse

    I have a horse for sale that I cannot seem to sell. I wondered about donating him somewhere . . . anyone have any experience with that? Do I contact schools and inquire if they are interested? How does that work? I need to get this horse sold SOON and am at a loss as to what else to do.

  • #2
    What area of the country are you in? I can make recommendations for schools in most areas.


    • #3
      Word of mouth - the recommendation of someone you trust - is the best way to find a reputable program. Then, yes, you would contact that program to discuss their criteria and whether your horse would be a good fit. If you are seeking a tax write-off, be sure they qualify and that you understand that process.

      I had a good experience donating a horse to a university program. I contacted college programs, therapeutic programs, and school horse lesson programs. The good ones were all very clear about their criteria and what the horse would be expected to do. They all requested video, and then a trial period. In most cases, it was up to the donor to get the horse to them and to pick it up if it didn't work out.

      There is a website: donatemyhorse.com that may provide some useful information.

      Good luck finding a good home!
      Heads up, Hearts up


      • #4
        I actually just recently researched this as I wanted to donate my horse to my college. Anyway, it's a great idea except for two things. One is, once you donate the horse, the school can do whatever it wants with him including turning right back around and selling it or sending it to auction, etc. The other thing that I know someone else mentioned is they usually want the horse on trial for one to two months depending on the program. I understand the reasoning behind that but I would be pretty leary about sending my horse somewhere for one to two months. There are some great schools though and in Virginia I have heard great things about the donation process.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Jack16 View Post
          One is, once you donate the horse, the school can do whatever it wants with him including turning right back around and selling it or sending it to auction, etc.
          As I understand it, the schools are not allowed to sell the horses for a period of time following donation (I think it is a couple of years) for just this reason.


          • #6
            Anything (horse or whatever) that has an appraised value of over $5K MUST be kept (owned) by the school for a minimum of 3 years. The only way they could sell it is to get the appraised value for the sale and then the donor would have to pay tax on that amount. Since most horses have a slightly inflated appraisal, they are not going to get sold for that amount.

            It is true that once you donate your horse, you turn over all rights to that horse. Some schools will contact you if they need to get rid of the horse for whatever reason. Others won't. Speak with the director and get a feel for what the school is like and how they treat their horses.


            • #7
              If you aren't looking for a tax write off...

              You could list this horse on the giveaway forum here on COTH. It gives you the opportunity to choose what you feel is the right home for the horse and you can have a right of first refusal contract. There are lots of people who can offer a wonderful home, but don't have the chunk of cash to put down for the purchase.

              I know this would not be a donation, but it might be a solution to get the horse out of your barn.


              • #8
                My trainer and BO is also the assistant to the Equestrian Dept. at the local university. They presently have almost 160 horses.
                It is correct that the school MUST keep the horse for a specific period of time prior to re-homing if the horse doesn't work out in the program. However, if you make it clear that you want the horse back should it not work out, they absolutely should contact you prior to anything else. Not all horses are cut out for multiple riders and a schoolie situation. You probably already know if your horse is suitable, so be sure to communicate thoroughly your wishes should you go through with a donation.
                Some days the best thing about my job is that the chair spins.


                • #9
                  Originally posted by rwh View Post
                  As I understand it, the schools are not allowed to sell the horses for a period of time following donation (I think it is a couple of years) for just this reason.
                  Nope, they can take him in the front barn door and right out the back barn door straight to the meat man. I have seen it happen with my own eyes too many times to believe any differently. Hang around New Holland long enough and you learn things you wish you didn' know.
                  McDowell Racing Stables

                  Home Away From Home


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Laurierace View Post
                    Nope, they can take him in the front barn door and right out the back barn door straight to the meat man. I have seen it happen with my own eyes too many times to believe any differently. Hang around New Holland long enough and you learn things you wish you didn' know.
                    Yes - they "can" do this, however it is illegal and they could get their donors in a lot of trouble with the IRS. Reputable programs know the IRS rules...


                    • #11
                      I did this with myf irst horse when I went to college (many moons ago). They did end up selling her but it was at least a year or more, don't remember.

                      Trouble now is that with the economy being bad a lot of people have this same idea and many programs are full. You might be better off giving him/her away to a fellow trusted horse person if the schools are full. The write off would be nice, but if you end up paying board another year before you can find a place to donate, you'd be better off with just a straight giveaway.

                      Good luck!
                      Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved. - William Jennings Bryan