What Makes a Horse More Likely to End up Neglected?

What Makes a Horse More Likely to End up Neglected?

There absolutely are factors that help keep a horse considered more valued in a sales market, thus more apt to be fed, vetted and to receive farrier care.

While no horse that leaves a safe home is guaranteed protection 100% from neglect, here are things that make a horse less apt to end up with us.

We’ve found these things true, not only after in-taking more than eleven hundred equines, but also after traveling the country and asking these questions of rescues and those in training and sales:

A horse is more vulnerable:

1) Being a Mare or Stallion.

Mares end up with us far more frequently, followed (distantly) by stallions. Geldings pull up the end. We get far fewer of them than either of the others.

2) Being under 15hh tall.

Most all horses that come into HOP are well under 15hh. The taller the horse, the less likely we are to have them in our rescue. 16hh horses are exceedingly rare to arrive, and when we get them, historically, they have injury or have major health issues that are chronic.

3) Being unstarted.

The less training a horse has, the greater the odds of a poor future.

4) Being a plain color.

While if the horse is a gelding and/or tall, this doesn’t factor, it’s a definite added challenge if the horse is small or has any other issue on this list to contend with. Bays and chestnuts, especially those without white, are overlooked most.

5) Having a Chronic Issue.

While some of these chronic issues actually really need a kind, end of life solution, many people do not offer their horses this mercy. Conditions like DSLD, Uveitis, Navicular, genetic disorders, severe rotation, DDFT long term injury, Heaves/COPD, Cushings, Cribbers, Ringbone and others medical problems of this ilk absolutely leave a horse with far fewer home possibilities (sometimes zero). They are far more likely to find their way to us than any other type of horse.

6) Senior Horses.

Now, if the senior is a big gelding and not over 22 without a single issue, it’s not too bad. And if the senior is beginner safe with just a minor health issue and not over 22, again, it’s not too bad. It’s just if a horse is actually quite aged, are poor for a safe spot.

7) Non-Beginner Safe Horses

A high level performance horse who is sound is one thing and valued, but an average trail or fun show type horse who is for an intermediate or above type is harder to rehome.

I want to end this and say, there are always exceptions.

This Gelding below was a flashy, 16hh 12 year old TWH without a soundness issue and very broke to ride for anyone when he came to us in a legal case about 7 years ago as a body score of 1, near death.

But truly, there are things that help a horse retain value when they change hands. Keep that in mind when you consider selling or giving a horse away.

One thought on “What Makes a Horse More Likely to End up Neglected?

  1. I would add here the absence of normal photos, videos, as well as an adequate description on the sites. It’s unbearable.

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