Last month Maya at Hope's Legacy asked us to write about our herd for the Hope's Legacy Newsletter. They, of course, had to shorten it to fit ;-) but we thought it might be good to put the unabridged version up here. If you're not familiar with Hope's Legacy, it's worth checking out their website. Before we moved to Virginia (an exceptionally horsey state), we had no idea that there were abuse/neglect/seizure/abandonment issues with equine in same way there are with dogs and cats. We are grateful for Hope's Legacy for the work they do to fill the gap for these wonderful creatures. You can learn more about them and their work at www.hopeslegacy.com. Or, if you stop by when I'm selling eggs, feel free to ask us about our four legged critters (who are just as fun as our two-legged feathered ladies).
Why Adopt? One family’s story:
We are the happy home for Chip, Ivy and Scooby, three Hope’s Legacy equines. When we were asked to write something for the Hope's Legacy Newsletter about “why it was important for your family to adopt” a thousand reasons popped into our mind, but we’ll just share three main categories for our choice.
1. We only ever adopt our pets; it shouldn’t be different just because it’s a horse.
It’s probably worth mentioning here that our pre-horse pets over the years have all been rescues. Some were abandoned or feral and we rescued them ourselves. Some, we adopted from shelters.
Obviously, we support and exclusively practice animal adoption, but the depth of commitment to adoption is tested when it’s a 1,000-pound animal you’re adding to your family! People who happily adopt a dog from the pound often don’t know about or consider adopting when they choose to get a horse. Is it really the same?
Having done it a few times now, we can tell you: yes it is. When you adopt, you look for a good fit for you and the animal – whether it’s a 5-pound cat or a 1,000 pound OTTB. Some people prefer purebreds, some don’t care – whichever you prefer can be found through adoption. There are horses available that will someday charm judges in the show-ring, horses for companionship, or horses for trail-riding. Just like adopting a cat or dog from the shelter, the right fit can be found with patience and visits to the animal.
2. It’s logical.
Adoption needn’t be an emotional or altruistic decision – it’s the best option if you think about it. If you’ve looked at horse ads, you know there are no unicorns to be purchased. There are also none for adoption. But by adopting a horse from a reputable rescue, you know you are not going to ride a horse that’s been drugged to be calm when you test ride it. Additionally, a good rescue is going to tell you about any issues they have witnessed. They want the horse to find its forever home, and if it’s not with you, they hope it will be with someone else. They’re not going to push you to take the horse. If the fit isn’t right, they might not even let you take that horse. Their biggest profit is the horse’s well-being, not their own bank account.
Additionally, with a reputable rescue, you pay for what you get. In our experience, a $1,000 horse probably has $2,000 to $4,000 invested in it with vet bills and training. A $500 horse probably has $1,500 to $2,000 into it already. No horse is a sure thing, but no living thing (our human selves included) is a sure bet. With a reputable rescue you get as close to sure as you can ever get.
3. The rewards are huge.
People who have never adopted think the adopted animal receives the greatest benefit. However, the reality is that the human receives the largest benefit. Accepting and caring for another creature without constraints or requirements opens a person’s mind and heart. You can bond with a purchased animal, but it’s different and deeper with a rescue. If you’ve done it, you know what we’re talking about. If you haven’t done it, it’s impossible to explain, but trust us, it’s amazing.
The other reasons we only adopt are too numerous to list, but they are all tied to the same reason we (and many of you) choose to do anything. We are each here for a purpose – you, me, all of us – and if we can do one small thing to help care for, nurture, or shelter another creature we share this world with (animal or human), we come closer to fulfilling that purpose. That is something important for our children to learn and take out into the world. It’s something we need to practice for ourselves and show to others. We adopt because we are able to, we adopt because we should, we adopt because it benefits us, we adopt because it’s the only option that makes sense. If you try it you will find that life is sunnier, funnier and better when you: #adoptdontshop.