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A Few Things to Assure a Successful OTTB Adoption

 

Although we think we are a great adoption program, the bottom line is that it is always about the horses. If War Horses does not have the kind of horse you are looking for, well, we are all about helping to find another Thoroughbred from another track in another program a chance for a good home.


To make your task of finding a new horse a positive and successful experience, we have come up with some guidelines, which will hopefully save some time for you, and explain the hows and whys of choosing the best non-profit. 


Adoption Application


Potential adopters must be age 20 or older. If a teen or younger child is to be the rider of the new horse, a parent or guardian must sign the application as the party responsible for the horse's care. 


Applications will not be accepted without photos and complete reference information. There is no fee to submit an application, but an appointment to visit the farm cannot be scheduled until the application has been received by us.


If you have questions, please do not hesitate to call 215-272-6716 (cell),

or 434-352-5058. Email warhorsesottbs@gmail.com



Gradually introducing your new Thoroughbred to pasturemates can initially be a nailbiting experience if you are anything like me--a worrywart about your horse's safety and happiness. Let them meet potential buddies over the fence, make sure all hind shoes are removed to prevent injuring from "getting to know you" antics. Once the squealing and posturing is over, still keep watch and check frequently. Make sure the field is big enough that the boss of the field cannot corner or crowd the new guy. And do give them separate piles of hay if there is not enough grass! Did your mom ever ask you to share one candy bar with your brother? You know what can happen...let them have their own. We don't recommend run in sheds with separate entrances, like a stall door set up. Someone is bound to be chased and knock a hip or head on an stall opening. 

Bernie the Maestro raced for six years, but settled in very quickly with a little time and GRASS!!

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How War Horses are Special

     

    Our adoption fees start at $1,000 for these special fellas. Most have had some retraining and all are ready for new careers. Although all of  us at Rose Bower LOVE the older racehorses, we would like every potential adopter to understand that in some ways, Thoroughbreds are very different from other breeds. If you have never owned or cared for a Thoroughbred before, be prepared to feed these wonderful horses a high fat feed and let them have access to good quality hay (and lots of it) at all times. While many former racehorses eventually enjoy hours of turnout time, remember their racetrack schedules: living in clean, fly free, stalls next to buddies 22 hours a day! Our guys have lived on the racetrack longer than their younger barnmates, and have enjoyed their daily routines for many more years than a four or five-year-old.

    Don't panic, but don't ignore your horse when, new to turn-out he is happily trotting around investigating and picking at grass and 15 minutes later he's running the fence and yelling. Bring him in and start again at the same time the next day, gradually lengthening the time that they are calm in their safe (no barb wire) fenced in paddocks. Make sure they can see their equine buddies, too, as horses are herd animals and a Thoroughbred new to a boarding stable has to adjust to a completely new atmosphere. He will relax and enjoy his new life with some time and patience on your part, don't worry!


How Can Adopters Choose the Best Horse for the Job?


In my 5 1/2 years as Program Administrator for Turning For Home, I had the honor of working with some of the best and most generous veterinarians on the East Coast. Dr. Yanik Gasiorowski may have been new to the Mid Atlantic Equine Hospital in Ringoes, NJ, but he had a unique understanding of the challenges in helping Thoroughbred racehorses, and their adopters, experience smooth transitions into their new lives together. As former Editor of the PTHA News, I was equally lucky in being able to interview him about racetrack injuries and some misconceptions people may have about our beautiful four-legged athletes.