Heart of Phoenix: An Adoption How To

Click here to apply to Adopt 

Adoption is the BEST option!

Read over the adoption process, please.

The single most important thing to us is matching the right horse with the right home. We do not misrepresent our horses. We want them to find a forever home and have large investments made into their rehab and retraining, so we are not looking to find a “temporary” home. Our horses have been floated, vaccinated, wormed, had a coggins pull, farrier care and more.


We ask you ONLY apply once you’re certain you want to complete the process and meet the HOP horse(s) of your choice. Please do NOT Apply until you are certain you are dedicated to the idea of adoption should the horse meet your requirements upon application approval.

Make sure to submit an application once you have all requested information included. Incomplete Applications cannot be processed.

HOP can connect you with one or more of our hundreds of HAPPY ADOPTERS across the USA if you would like to make sure adopters are glad about their partnership with HOP, so just ask!


There is both an application and adoption Agreement. The Application is filled out first. If you’re approved, meet and fall in LOVE with the HOP horse you’ve selected, an Adoption Agreement is required. This read the agreement before applying. This agreement works much like a life time lease. It does not allow for sale, auction or giving away of the HOP horse. HOP horses must come back to us at any point you cannot provide for their needs or at such time you do not wish to continue the adoption. HOP refunds the majority of their fee if the horse returns to us in the same condition he left us in, as well.

Your Facility:

We require safe fence, a shelter (nothing must be fancy), access to clean water, plenty of room exercise and a property free of overcrowding. Barbed wire is typically not accepted as safe fence, especially if loose or used around areas where horses congregate for feeding. Boarding facility are happily accepted if they meet these terms.

Your Care History:

You must have references from various backgrounds able to speak to your quality of care for animals, your equine knowledge, your facility and your overall character. If you currently own horses, a farrier reference is a firm requirement. A very solid vet reference goes a long way, and if your small animal vet knows you best, this reference can work well for the application. Equine dentist, 4H leaders, Trainers and boarding barn owners you work with all make wonderful references.

Your Experience:

We will not allow a horse to go to a person who is not able to handle and ride the horse safely. The only exception where we pair a rider with a horse who needs a more experienced home is when the adopter is putting the horse into training and also taking lessons. If you are a beginner rider and owner, we can consider your application if you are working with a trainer. Typically, first time owners must be in a boarding facility where they are taking lessons for at least the first 12 months of an adoption unless a trainer is going to visit your facility.

Your Dedication:

We are looking for adopters who have a solid history of good equine or animal care (if they are new to horses, your small animal care can be used to qualify). We want adopters really interested in caring for their horse for many years to come. If you have a history of indiscriminately breeding, selling, trading or swapping horses, we cannot consider your application. If you give all of your own vaccines, do your own dental care and farrier care, typically we cannot gain enough outsider information through references to consider your applications, though rare exceptions have been made. If all of your references have not known you for at least 1 year, we ask you wait to apply until you build more long term references.

Once you get to this point, you’re READY to Apply:

The application is interactive and easy. APPLY here. Then email a copy of your driver’s license, facility fence, pastures and current horses to: equinerescue@live.com

Remember, you must submit the $15 Application Fee via mail or paypal. The address is PO BOX 81 / Shoals, WV 25562 or Paypal: Equinerescue@live.com. This serves to help us be sure you’re serious, as applications take days of volunteer time to complete, and it is important you are serious about meeting a HOP horse.

It can be a bit of a wait while we work on the Application.

The process can take several days to several weeks depending on how quickly we can touch base with your references. Feel free to check in during the process. Please call your references and explain a representative from Heart of Phoenix will be contacting them shortly. You are responsible to ask ALL references to return our calls or messages.
The Application must be approved by our Board of Directors unanimously. First approved applicant has first option on horse in question.

If you’re approved, Please get in touch to arrange a meeting at the foster location where the horse you are interested in resides in a timely manner. We cannot hold horses, unfortunately, long term.

Only Approved Adopters may visit the horses. Once approved, you can meet Any horse that could meet your needs within the rescue. You are not obligated or expected to adopt UNLESS The horse is a GREAT MATCH for you. Should you meet another HOP horse during a visit that may work better, you’re welcome to consider another horse if you’re approved to adopt.

The Adoption Agreement: Have the Adoption Agreement read, signed and notarized Once you Select a Horse. A horse cannot leave our facility without this agreement signs

Download: The Adoption Agreement and make sure to have this with you and notarized on adoption day.

6. Pick up the adopted equine or arrange safe transport

You must arrange safe transport or afford to hire reputable transport for your adoptive horse. Horses will not leave in unsafe trailers for any reason. Transport is a cost the adopter must cover. Transporter suggestions are located here.


Photos of your newly adopted horse at your facility must be emailed, text or sent via Facebook within 48 hours of arriving at your facility. You must send photo updates every month via email or social media to HOP. Adopters shall complete a veterinarian screening with verifiable statement of equine condition at the conclusion of the first 12 months of adoption to confirm equine is at a healthy weight and is receiving care that meets the standards listed within this contract. or a HOP team member can visit your farm if you’re near by. After the first year, you shall provide twice yearly updates which must include 2 photos that are current for that season, as well as an overview of the equine’s condition for as long as the horse is in your care. Photos need to show the horse’s whole body and the facility. Remember, a HOP horse can be returned and must be returned should you cease to be able to provide care for any reason. Our horses cannot ever be given away, sold, auctioned or likewise. They can only come to HOP should you be unable to continue their care.

Extra Bits of Helpful Information

We do not adopt more than 2 horses to any applicant within a 6 month period of time. Adoptions of more than 2 are possible with an extremely strong equine history, income verification and only if you own your property.

Some blogs that encourage adoption and further explain why ADOPTION ROCKS!

Take a moment to read:

What Does Adoption Mean at Heart of Phoenix: A Blog

The Adoption Option

Adoption: Perfect Choice



An approved applicant. They are in compliance with all of the board’s requirement for adoption. This adopter is able to adopt as soon as a suitable match in the rescue is found.


Tier 2

An applicant who has submitted an application that we could not fully process or we felt needed some time to gain more experience, improve their facility or that would not be a good fit for the desired horse. This applicant can chose to stay in contact with the rescue and work with us to become an approved adopter in time. We believe Tier 2 applicants can adopt from HOP in the future.


Tier 3

An applicant we believe isn’t well suited to adoption through Heart of Phoenix. There are various reasons why the board may arrive at this decision; however, once made, the decision is final. Anyone filling out the application agrees to never harass or make demeaning remarks about Heart of Phoenix based on the rescue’s decision on an application.

Adoption is a mutually rewarding agreement that benefits the adopter and the horse to the fullest. This process if tailored to give the maximum safety to the rescued horses and the most support to the adopter. We appreciate the many, many adopters who have found the process worth their while and would do it all over again.

Foster Horse Locations
Huntington, WV – Ashland, Ky – Hamlin, WV – St. Albans, WV – Canmer, Ky – Grayson, Ky – Coal Gr
ove, OH – Sunni Bell Stables, PA – Lesage, WV – Milton, WV

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