Posted: Tue Jul 05, 2005 3:26 pm Post subject: Considering adopting a gelding from rescue....
I have been volunteering with a horse rescue group for 1.5 years, and a few months ago came across a horse I am now considering to adopt. I have never owned a horse, and although working at the rescue barn has increased my knowledge of them tremendously, I have no illusions about knowing everything.
This horse (an Arab) is over 20 years old, very nice disposition, quite submissive with the other horses at the barn. Since he was very skinny when he was brought to the rescue, we've been just trying to get him to gain weight, so he has not been ridden for a while (but he is rideable, that we know for sure). To me this however is not an issue, since I am basically looking for a companion horse that I might not even ride (although would take care of exercising him otherwise).
So, I'm writing here since I'd like to hear others' feedback on the situation: do you think it is "right" to even consider adopting this horse if I am not going to ride him? Can a horse be happy as just a companion animal as long as he gets properly taken care of?
I am also already thinking of what I would do in a situation when I could not longer keep him (I like to plan ahead...), and have decided that due to his age I would place him into a horse sanctuary.
Constructive comments welcome!
Oh my...you have hit on one of my personal crusades
Yes, yes, a horse can be perfectly happy and contented to be a pasture pet. Horses have no sense of ambition, no concept of "potential," no real issues with sitting around doing nothing. They're well adapted to spending their lives grazing.
This is a subject near and dear to my heart. I bought my Thoroughbreds to compete as eventers. Each had been to one horse trial when my health problems pretty much required that I cease riding. Twice I started to get the horses and myself back into condition; once I even had us registered for a competition...then my back went out again.
The horses are just as happy whether they're in training or hanging around doing nothing...as long as we don't neglect them. Our TB's do expect devoted attention whether they're working or not. Fortunately, even if I can't ride, we do love them and we spend time with them. I think they'd be much less happy if they were ridden often, but didn't get any attention outside of the riding session.
Yes, yes, yes! If you want to give this horse a happy, loving home, go for it! Whether or not you plan to ride shouldn't make any difference, as long as you will be happy together.