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Horse rescue recommendations

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  • Horse rescue recommendations

    I have a friend who is looking for a driving horse - she has just retired her old pleasure driving STB and is looking for another one but would consider other breeds. She would like to adopt but has had disappointing visits at rescue - horses did not match description. She is an older person, very knowledgeable and can offer an exceptional home, but she knows what she is looking for and does not want to be told that the horse has been trained to drive for pleasure and find out that the pleasure was a record setting race!

    Is there a way to check on the reputation of rescues? She travelled all the way up the East Coast to go look at a few STBs and two were lame and the other 'experienced pleasure driving horse' had been off the track three days.

    I don't know if I can post her email here since she is not a member of COTH but info, recommendations and suggestions of where I could inquire would be much appreciated.

  • #2
    Saddlebred Rescue in NJ.
    Most of their horses know how to drive and the rescue knows about pleasure driving and has the equipment and knowledge to assess the horses accordingly.

    "A good horse is worth more than riches."
    - Spanish Proverb


    • #3
      If she's willing to look at drafts, Gentle Giants (in Mt. Airy, MD) usually has a few horses that can drive.

      The Trials and Jubilations of a Twenty-Something Re-rider
      Happy owner of Kieran the mostly-white-very-large-not-pony.


      • #4
        My advice... if she is looking at a horse that she actually wants to actually use and who will withstand use, advise her to get a PPE prior to adopting. She should get radiographs on all four legs and a test for roaring. It is easy to adopt a driving horse, it is difficult to adopt one that is sound and not too aged... She should expect to spend at least $1500. to $2000. on this because 2 out of 3 are probably going to fail (flame suit on)...

        I speak from the experience of having call and email after email of people who adopt from rescues only to end up with pasture ornaments.

        When the Amish or hitch people ditch their horses at auction, it is often for a reason...
        Luistano Stallion standing for 2013: Wolverine UVF


        • #5
          New Vocations has some standardbreds. I'm not familiar with any of their adoption centers since Lisa Molloy left Lexington though.


          • Original Poster

            Totally agree with you Cielo Azure. What surprises me is that some rescues organizations are not more upfront or not upfront at all about the problems the horse has. I am sure there is the rare gem that could be found at auction, but it is not the majority, unless the horse/pony is very young and untrained.

            What troubles me is to see organizations that are purported to help ex-race horses find a new career misrepresents not one but multiple horses - none of them where as described. I find it sad for the horse who is adopted and hopes for a new home only to be sent back because there was not full disclosure of his/her condition.

            One STB rescue association has an 85% rate of return according to one of the volunteers. I find that really heartbreaking. Especially to find out that the horse was return two or three times for the same reasons and the new adopter is never told what is wrong with it.

            Sally would prefer a STB because they don't have to be kept off pasture like some other easy keeper breeds.

            It is really hard to find good STB, before they race the price is too high and after they have raced many have issues or have been amished. She does not have any STB contacts that would help her find a good horse that was too slow to race and who has a good mind. She was lucky to find Mr. Booberry (she found him on Halloween, hence the name) as a three year-old left by a boarder who had skipped the State. But at almost 30 now, he wants to slow down and she is an avid driver and occasional rider, so she needs a younger horse as well. I told her to join COTH and check the giveaway too, she may be lucky.


            • #7
              has she tried Dreamhorse.com? they get a lot of traffic.


              • #8
                I am assuming STB is standardbred. Here is the Standardbred Retirement Foundation in NJ. I have a friend who was boarding a standardbred when the owner died suddenly and the family would not take responsibility of the horse. My friend contacted them about the horse and the foundation paid for his care until his death. Another friend adopted through them years ago and has always been pleased with the horse.

                "You can't fix stupid"- Ron White


                • #9
                  Originally posted by LauraKY View Post
                  New Vocations has some standardbreds. I'm not familiar with any of their adoption centers since Lisa Molloy left Lexington though.
                  Lisa covered the thoroughbreds (very well too, I might add!) in Lexington. If your friend is interested in STBs, she should contact Dot or Winnie, who cover most of the STB horses that are donated to New Vocations. Here's a link to the STBs currently at NV:


                  I don't think you mention where your friend lives, but if she's anywhere close to Columbus, Ohio, both Dot and Winnie will be at the New Vocations booth during Equine Affaire (April 9 thru 12th), and there are a couple of STB demos during that event.


                  • Original Poster

                    Yes, the STB Retirement Foundation is really gracious in the way they care for STBs but it has been very puzzling and frustrating to try to get information from them about a horse training, temperament or soundness as well as full disclosure of a horse past issues.


                    • Original Poster

                      She is in SC at the moment but will be coming back to MD end of April or so. Is willing to travel and ship horse if need be.

                      Does anyone know this organization:


                      She was thinking of making an appointment to see R Thunder Roan.


                      • #12
                        Scarlet Rose Farm in CT is reputable, IMO. They (like Saddlebred Rescue) get and rehab Amish driving horses. I know of one really nice horse they have, Gabe, but they may have others that are suitable.
                        RIP Sasha, best dog ever, pictured shortly before she died, Death either by euthanasia or natural causes is only the end of the animal inhabiting its body; I believe the spirit lives on.


                        • #13
                          She could also try Blue Star Equiculture in MA for a draft horse.


                          • #14
                            Maybe post a link to this thread in the Driving forum, too.
                            Disclaimer: Just a beginner who knows nothing about nothing


                            • #15
                              I'm excited for the horse she is looking for- I love STB's and I feel happy to think that somewhere out there is a STB who is going to get a wonderful home with a person who really loves him/her.

                              Another place she should consider is posting on the CD-L mailing list. (It's a huge combined driving listserve) She can find it on CarriageDriving.net there are a lot of subscribers (I'm thinking thousands). there have been many horses and ponies for sale listed on there lately- and while many are priced as the highly trained pedigreed horses they are- many others seem to be, as elsewhere in the horse market, "budget cuts" who the owner doesn't really want to sell but can't afford to keep and just wants to see them go to a good home. I wouldn't just look at the archived for sale ads- I'd make sure she posts her own wanted ad.


                              • #16
                                I second the suggestions for Saddlebred Rescue. They get a lot of horses that drive and they get saddlebreds and sometimes standardbreds also. They are a great organization to work with, I have three that came from them in my barn.
                                Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                                Bernard M. Baruch


                                • #17
                                  I may have to don my flame suit here- but your friend sounds like she is looking for something that isn't going to be a quick find... While I applaud the rescue route- and like to lead as many people to adopt not shop, it's not for everyone especially if they have a pretty inflexible criteria. I'll tell you why she might have problems going the rescue route at the end of this post.

                                  I'm a standie person and will send you some direct contacts to try. I've currently got 3 mares- they all drive- but one is pleasure ring appropriate. I mention this plus I've also had many more come through my barn and for the most part- if they've raced- they might always have that "go" in them. (especially if you have a white pick-up truck with ladders on a rack happen to pass by you on the road, but I digress!) I find the breed so darn sensible, smart, with a real work ethic but like all breeds there are some fruit loops.

                                  Now for the quip about rescues. Been doing the horse rescue thing for a looooong time now (probably feels longer than it actually has been!) Keep in mind when you feel you get frustrated with misrepresentation- 99% of rescues are volunteer based with very limited resources to training of horses. Most have a broad- more general- aspect of horse disciplines. Their precious donation dollars are spent on feed and care leaving a smaller stipend if lucky for retraining/riding/driving. Many rely on trainers and riders donating their time. Does this mean you can't find a quality horse at a rescue? Heck no! You'd be really surprised at what a rescue has that needs a good home. It's just that a person looking to adopt already has a good picture in their mind of what they want/need. They might be really experienced in a particular discipline that the rescue group just has a general experience with. So you'll end up have to be willing to spend the extra time to go through each of what the rescue has. It's really not unlike horse shopping because all of us know how frustrating it is when a seller misrepresents. Just bear in mind that the rescue is typically not trying to be misleading- they just might not have the resources to back up a soup to nuts evaluation.


                                  • Original Poster

                                    I did post it for her on the CD-L and got quite a few responses. Many people suggested the Standarbred Retirement Foundation. They do a wonderful job but it is so hard to get accurate information on the horses that it is discouraging to make the 6 hrs trip, schedule a vet and find out that there are serious problems for which the horse was returned to the rescue before that.

                                    This is such a wonderful home, I told the Foundation to try to get the correct info on their horses because they do not want to miss that opportunity of placing a horse there.


                                    • #19
                                      Massachusetts (CT and RI too):
                                      Cath @cbouthillier@hotmail.com, she is an owner/trainer/pleasure horse person. Great contact with her.
                                      Karen @ irideprom@yahoo.com, owner/trainer/rider- she can certainly help with matching the right horse.
                                      John Frost- can't find his email address because yahoo is being a poop but contact Karen or Cath and they will get it for you. He is trainer/owner and does the driving (competing, retraining, the whole nine yards).

                                      Maine: Contact Robyn Cuffey @ SPHOME80@gmail.com SPHO of Maine.

                                      NH: Deb Fransway @ fransway@gsinet.net

                                      There are some groups in New Jersey, NY, and PA as well but the above people I know personally and worked with on STB rescue and groups.


                                      • #20
                                        Saddlebred Rescue in NJ is run out of a show and training barn and they do have a trainer on staff that works with the rescue horses. They do great evaluations on the horses and they have been spot-on with every one that I or my customers adopted from them. They have placed many driving horses of saddlebred, standardbred, draft, morgan and hackney breeds.
                                        Every man has a right to his opinion, but no man has a right to be wrong in his facts.
                                        Bernard M. Baruch