Most of the horses up for adoption are in top condition. Many of them are right off the racing season and have been exercised regularly and have had routine veterinary exams. All horses up for adoption have had Coggins tests. Of course, a few of the horses are in need of rest or possible vet care. Each horse is its own special case.
Once we receive your application, it usually only takes a few days to be approved or disapproved. Once you are approved, we will inform you on the various horses that are available. You can then make arrangements to meet the horse or horses you are interested in. Once you've found your new friend, all you have to do is pay your adoption fee and get your Standardbred home.
All Standardbreds are naturally gaited. They either pace or trot. Pacers are more common. Standardbreds are receptive learners and can learn just about any gait you can teach. Many of the horses in our program have gone on to compete and win in many national titles and many different gaits and competitions.
Many of the horses have been broke to saddle already. Most of them have been handled and trained very well during their racing careers. If your horse is not broke to ride, it will most likely already have great ground manners and will lift all its legs and tolerate any tack you might need. Standardbreds are known for their great dispositions, and breaking to saddle isn't very difficult with a little experience and time.
A healthy Standardbred should easily live to be 30 years old. The mandatory retirement age for a harness racing horse is 14. There are horses in our program in any age group. Most of the horses up for adoption have many healthy years ahead of them. All they need is a loving home.
Each horse has a story of its own. Some of the horses were not fast enough to win their races, and others had minor injury and the owner chose to retire the horse instead of risking further injury. Other horses reached mandatory retirement.
Many people think that because the horse is up for adoption, nobody wants it and it has no value. This couldn't be further from the truth. Many of our horses have a market value well into the thousands, but the owners were more concerned with finding a good home for them. Most harness racers are good people and build a strong bond with their horses over a racing career. Many of them choose to put their horses in the adoption program knowing that they will go to good, caring homes. Once a horse goes to market, who knows what will happen to that horse. Once a horse is put in our program, we know where that horse is.
All of the money for adoption fees goes back into the program. Your adoption fee goes directly to food, vet care, and all the other expenses that come along with this type of work. If you adopt a horse, you won't just be helping the animal you adopt. You will be helping all the other horses that get placed in ASAP.