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Some things I want you to know about us (and any other reputable rescue organization):

We totally understand that the client adopting instead of buying sucks for your bottom line.

It’s absolutely a fact, and unfortunately not one that we can do anything about.  If your client buys from Trainer X, Y, or Z, you are going to get a cut, and that money is very helpful.  I was a trainer myself in my younger years, and understand that being a horse professional is sort of a nightmare wherein you attempt to do what you love but are constantly battered by vet bills, farrier bills, hay bills, non-paying clients, horses that don’t stay sound no matter what you do, blown truck transmissions and clients who float off like butterflies with ADHD to follow different trainers despite the fact that they never expressed any dissatisfaction with the job you were doing.  I get it, truly I do. I get that commission is one of the ways you bring in enough money to stay afloat and that if your client adopts my $1000 rescue horse, you won’t make a dime on that transaction, and since my contract forbids resale, you won’t make a dime when the horse goes out the door, either.

However, a nice horse is a nice horse.  A nice horse will lead to the client enjoying riding, wanting to show, and wanting to take more lessons.  Bottom line is that if your client adopts my $1000 rescue horse, they will be left with far more disposable income to spend on lessons and competition.  Especially with clients who are not multi-millionaires, this is a win-win for both of us.

We totally understand that many of you have had bad experiences with shady rescues.

We have heard it all. Rescues that said horses were sound when really they had a racing injury that meant they should never jump, rescues that lied about the vet care the horse had already received, rescues that lied about the horse’s age, rescues that lied about the horse’s behavior.  We know, and we are sorry you had a bad experience, but don’t tar all of us with the same brush.  You don’t want to be compared to the shady trainers either, do you?  We’ll let you vet check (with YOUR vet, not ours), x-ray, drug test and whatever else you need to feel secure that you know what your client is getting into, and that they are adopting a horse who is physically capable of their competition goals.

And we understand there is still a prejudice against Thoroughbreds in the show ring.

However, there has been a resurgence of interest in Thoroughbreds.  I mean, Denny Emerson (a.k.a. the god of jumping/proper equitation, as far as I’m concerned and many of you agree) loves OTTB’s.  And now there are Thoroughbred shows, which means yet another show circuit to go kick butt at.  This is a new, hot kind of show and a place you can make a name for yourself.  And they are all Thoroughbreds there, so you don’t have to worry about any anti-Thoroughbred sentiment.  Opportunity is knocking!

And we understand your fear that “no resale” means your client will be stuck with an unsuitable horse or a lame one, and won’t be able to show or take lessons, and won’t be able to buy another horse because they can only afford board on one.

This is why we take returns – no questions asked, for the lifetime of the horse. I mean, we’d like to know if the horse developed a bucking issue, of course, but we will never give you attitude or bad mouth you or bash you about a return.  We care about making sure the horse stays safe for life.  I know some rescues have the dream of a “forever home” firmly in place and get very upset whenever a home turns out not to be a “forever  home.”   A “forever home” is a lot like a forever marriage – sure, we’d all like to have that work out but the reality is that many do not.  That’s just life.  We would rather a horse have a great home for a couple of years than sit here on our payroll waiting for Prince Charming, aka the Perfect Adopter who will keep it forever no matter what.  We just had a horse returned – she came back jumping courses, something she did not know when she left.  How is that a bad deal for us?  It isn’t.  Now, if you return it having lost 200 lbs. with rain rot and feet that weren’t done since April, yeah, we are going to have some drama.  We’re very reasonable but it’s a contract, not a suggestion, and it will be enforced.

Really, couldn’t you use a little good karma?

Adopting and showing a rescue horse is a win for all involved.  You look good when your client is kicking $25k horse butt on a rescue – after all, how hard is it to kick butt on a big money horse that (I hate this expression, it’s like saying “I have no intention of making my crappy rider improve, I just want them to keep writing checks) “can take a big joke.”  Believe me, my happiest moment ever at a show was watching a lesson student win the short stirrup hunters on a $700 OTTB rescue, over a $35k welsh pony!  You’re helping to educate the world that truly amazing horses wind up in rescue through no fault of their own.  The horse is living a great life.  You have an awesome story to tell, particularly if the horse goes a lot further up the levels than you first anticipated.  And if the horse kicks butt, it shows that you had an eye for talent and didn’t just gleefully spend the client’s money on the horse with the highest price tag.  That’s the kind of skill and discernment everybody wants in a trainer.   Oh, and when they were starving or abused and end up living the life with chiro and massages and a better wardrobe than I have – that’s good karma all over the place that will help you with everything else in your life. Try it!

That's a rescue?

That’s a rescue?