Some of the 2016 Companion Adoptions!
A truly amazing thing has happened in this year. Sound Equine Options (SEO) has already found homes for six pasture companion horses. Six does not sound like that many adoptions does it? In the grand scheme of things it is not, but to SEO board members and volunteers, one companion home is like hitting the lottery!
Americans love their pets. 42% of households own a dog. 35% of households own a cat. Unfortunately, the potential number of homes for horses drops to below 1% of US households. Now, take into account the limited number of potential homes for a horse and add in the fact that 95% of those homes want a horse they can ride. Are you starting to see how wonderful and rare these homes are?
What is a pasture companion horse? To SEO, it is a horse that one reason or another should not be ridden. Maybe the horse is comfortable in the pasture but when ridden, becomes painful due to arthritis. Perhaps it is an elderly horse that has never received any training. Occasionally it is a horse that due to previous harsh treatment by humans, will just never quite be secure enough to be safely ridden.
Where do these horses come from? In almost every large group of horses that come to us from law enforcement cases, there will at least be one horse that needs to be a pasture companion. Often, we do not know until we get the horse healthy and start to evaluate if they have had any training.
One of the more frustrating things we deal with is a constant stream of horse owners asking us to take their older horses on because they can’t ride them anymore. “We just need to find a retirement home, for free”. After years of faithfully packing their owner around, many of these horses get handed off to the first person that will take them. Often, that person does not have the knowledge or financial means to properly care for them, and the horse suffers. We have ended up with several of these horses after the new owner is charged with neglect.
The average pasture pet stays in SEO care for 1.5 years before we can find them a home. During that time they take up finances that could be going to help many other more adoptable horses, but we know they deserve a fair chance. Many of the elderly pasture pets end up being some of the sweetest horses, with the largest personalities that we work with. Hard to believe they were so easily discarded.
So, it is with heartfelt gratitude that we celebrate the kind and generous people that have opened their homes to these deserving horses. We also want you to know that your donations are what have allowed us to give these horses a fighting chance.