A 501(c)3 nonprofit charity … because every horse matters

Adoption Guidelines

Adopt a Rescued Pony or Horse

We are delighted that you are thinking about adopting a horse. We just want to make sure you have considered your financial commitment, as well as the physical and emotional commitment you will make. Your adoption fee is only one small part of the financial commitment you will be making. In addition to adequate feeding, our adoption policy mandates regular visits from a farrier, a routine worming schedule and at least one visit per year from your veterinarian for annual vaccinations.

Horses require equipment including halters, bridles, leads, saddles, brushes, buckets, blankets, salt licks, and of course shelter from the elements. Some of the horses that come through FLFES may require additional medications, special feeds or supplements.You will be responsible for your horse’s daily care. Even if you board him or her at a stable, you will need to visit regularly to groom, attend to him and check on his well being.

If you are planning to keep your horse at your own place, remember, it gets COLD in the winter, and mornings come early! There are no “days off” from feeding, grooming and cleaning stalls and paddocks.

You will be making an emotional commitment to your horse as well.

Your horse is completely dependent upon you for his well being. There is not much “wild” left in domestic horses, they do not know how to “fend for themselves.” Your horse will depend on you to make decisions that put his needs first. Your daily schedule will revolve around his care. Your family vacations will need to include arrangements for his care. When the time comes that his quality of life is compromised due to age or a chronic, debilitating health issue, he again will depend on you to make the decisions. Most of the time, that kind of decision is extremely difficult to make. But you must make that decision based on what is best for the animal.

As it is our policy to make at least one or more annual visit to the adoptive homes, we will not send horses out of the state of Maine.

Equine Adoption Guidelines

1. All adoptions will include a signed contract, no exceptions.

2. Contracts will vary based on the individual needs of the horse. All contracts will require (not all inclusive):

  • Adequate feed including good quality hay (and grain if necessary) to maintain optimum health
  • A minimum of a three-sided, permanent shelter which will adequately protect the horse from the elements
  • Proper fencing (which may be electric, board and rail, corral panels, etc)
  • Adequate turn out space (minimum half-acre per animal)
  • Regular visits (at no more than eight-week intervals) from a professional farrier
  • Annual vaccines
  • Routine worming
  • Routine dentistry

3. Most adoptions require an adoption fee. This fee will vary depending upon a number of variables including the horse’s age, physical abilities or challenges, and the amount of money that has gone into its rehabilitation.

4. Adopted horses may not be resold, loaned or leased out.

5. Adoption contracts will include specific details regarding the horse’s care. If the agreed upon care and management directives are not followed, FLFES has the right to reclaim the animal, based on breach of contract.

6. Pre-adoption inspection of your property or the property where the horse will be board may be required to ensure safety, adequate shelter and fencing.

7. Applicants who have had been issued a warning/citation, or been convicted for humane violations including, but not limited to animal cruelty or negligence, or domestic violence are not eligible to adopt.

If you can meet these guidelines and are interested in adopting a horse (all are in PDF format):


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First Light Farm Equine Shelter is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Your generous donations are tax deductible.

Licensed Animal Shelter Facility 7 MRSA 3932-A by the Maine Welfare Program.  Lic# F1091

Copyright © 2015. First Light Farm Equine Shelter. All Rights Reserved.

First Light Farm Equine Shelter

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