ADOPT and...
Adoption is not
A spur of the moment thought. Make the time to find.
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Adopting equines from SWFHR is the perfect opportunity to give love, where it is needed. While the amount of Time & Money behind owning, an equine are factors to be heavily considered when adopting. We are looking for people with a sense of commitment that has been well thought through. Our focus is the future of any equine we care for, ensuring that they never are subjected to any version of neglect or harm ever.

Adopting is about principle and not the path to an inexpensive purchase. While our adoption fees are rather low, (as we understand the cost of rehabilitation will range way above average price points) we do this so we can open the pool of potential adopters. Our screening process is quite rigorous and if there is heart involved it will be seen. That pays much more than cash in our eyes.


The first step to adoption is to fill out an Adoption Intent (AI) Form formerly known as the Adoption Contact Form. This shows your intent or interest in adopting from us and puts you on our records which simplifies the rest of the process. After we receive this form, you will be contacted within 48hrs to advise you if we have anything that meets your request.  If we do have a match we will offer for you to arrange a visit to the rescue to meet & greet a particular horse(s). If we don’t have a match we will notify you and offer you to be added to our Looking List or advise you of other alternatives.

Read more about our adoption guidelines and process. If you are ready click the button below to start your journey.


Questions related to adopting that you might have are listed below.

Policy On Age Ranges for Adoption:

It is the policy of SWFHR to make it possible for all to give their time to a noble cause. But we do have a policy on age ranges which are listed below: If you are:

  • [18+] --> Can officially adopt
  • [under 18] --> Can not officially adopt but an imediate guardian can. Provided they go through the adoption precheck and participation requirements too.
    • Guardian units must be fully involved 
    • Official responsibility lies in the hands of the guardian

COVID-19... a concern not to be taken lightly, we've taken steps to reduce our staff and current volunteer's exposure to new people, at least at our facility:

  • Masks are currently not a requirement at SWFHR.  Adoption visitors may wear whatever protection they care to but our staff will not. If you are sick we reserve the right to refuse entry for you until you are better.

The need for your information helps in 2 ways. 

  1. it provides us with information so we may narrow your request so we don't waste each other's time showing you horses that don't meet your request
  2. if we don't have anything for your request we can suggest for you join our OERA Project program for Horses In-need Of Homes.  Read more about the OERA Project, a program based on the principle that we can not take in every horse but we want to help.

We get calls all the time from people looking to re-home their equine(s) yet our capacity limitations are generally exceeded 98% of the time. The purpose of the Adoption Intent Form is to make it possible for the equines that we physically cannot take in to have a chance of being paired up with potential adopters that may not find what they are looking for at our facility.

If you choose to be part of our OERA Project program your request stays active for 1 month allowing the chance we might find a horse for you and your request.

After 1 month we will mark your request as not active unless otherwise requested.

Normal Volunteer Hours are either 7 or 8 am (depending on the day) to Sundown daily. In special circumstances, volunteers may start earlier than 7 am.

On average most volunteers come out 1 to 3 days a week.

The amount of volunteering time on any given day, depending on the shift a volunteer covers when they come out.

  • AM Shift is about 4-6 hours
  • PM Shift is about 2-4 hours

AM Shift - starts at either 7 or 8 am depending on the day.

We respect that not everyone has the property to directly possess a horse.  Boarding is a reasonable option that we may accept under these guidelines

  • should any inspected boarding facility fail, the requester accepts to find a new place
  • we understand boarding facilities may not be open to inspection from a horse rescue
    • if this is the case, you will have to find a new location
  • we will not insist on a facility to repair or construct anything, beyond that which would be considered a respectable amount of safety failures. Detailed as:
    • Barbed wire on any part of the fence
      • yes even the old school top line barbed wire
    • Fence condition
      • rotten or weak points
      • mended or weak joins
      • loose or unsecured
      • protrusions of danger
        • nails
        • stapes 
      • dangerous design
        • anything less than 3 rung fence is beyond dangerous for containment


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Words or rather the choice of words can change the meaning of everything.  In what we do, you will NEVER hear us use the word SELL but rather ADOPT.  We consider the word sell as void of compassion for something with a sole or living character.

There a few different fees a potential adopter may need to consider when adopting any equine.


  • (since 2012) a standard adoption fee of $350.00 has been in place
  • to be paid in full only on the date of transportation during adoption contract signing
    • there is no pre-payment holds
    • all the way to the point of payment an adoption may be denied
      • so we certainly don't need to deal with the return of money
  • the Adoption Fee can be considered as a donation.
    • a receipt will be provided for you to discuss with your accountant



We will perform a background check on all who will have contact with the equine.

  • direct family only
  • if found, that someone associated with the requester that will be in direct contact with an adopted horse, has character or criminal flaws within our guidelines we reserve the right to deny any applicant.

Once following through with a visit to the SWFHR facility… if you’ve found an equine you are considering to adopt at this point you will start the application process by filling out an Adoption Application.  Some key points to mention about the application are as follows:

  • You may board an adopted equine but note we will inspect the boarding facility.
  • We will perform a background check on all who have contact with the equine.
  • If not boarding an adopted equine, you must allow a property inspection for approval.
  • Currently, contracts are binding for a year.
  • We do not sell equines! We do require an adoption donation which can be deductible on your taxes to the extent of the law.

After your application, has been approved you will finalize things by completing the Adoption Agreement with SWFHR.

  • We do offer transportation for a fee above and beyond the adoption donation. The fee will be determined at the time of Agreement.

One (1) year after adoption you will be required to submit an Annual Health Update Form to SWFHR for review.

  • We DO NOT allow any horse to be adopted sight unseen.
  • We DO NOT allow any equine to be adopted within the first 2 weeks of communications. (Basically don’t expect to show up with cash in hand, with a trailer, and have expectations to go home the someday with a horse.)
  • We do NOT discriminate against equine experience level however your commitment & willingness to learn plays a big factor with adoption approvals.
  • We do NOT reserve or take down payments to hold equines for adoption.
  • You will socialize with your potential adopted equine(s) as this is a vital step with adoption approval.
  • SWFHR has a standard adoption fee of $350.00 to be paid in full only on the date of transportation after adoption approval.  Adoption fee can be considered as a donation.
  • Should any potentially adopted equine be sent to official training while under the care of SWFHR, a training fee will be applied on top of the standard adoption fee.  (The training fee is a variable, depending on the amount of time any specific equine has spent at the trainers. The current rate is $600 per month of training.)
  • Adopted equines should not be pastured alone or without a suitable pasture mate unless approved by the Adoption Committee.
  • There are No Warranties. Any potentially adopted equine shall be considered AS IS, without guarantee or warranties of any kind, including implied warranties of merchantability and fitness for a particular purpose.
  • Breeding, Selling, or Trading is NOT allowed under the Adoption Agreement.
  • SWFHR stays connected to our adopted equines and families, in the event problems arise we will always have a spot to bring the equine back to the rescue. (we have seen this a few times in our past with family matters that arise which change the dynamic of the equines future.)

Want to adopt? Read Below to Start

Volunteer Process & Procedure

NOTICE: All potential applicants must schedule a visit first before applying to adopt.

Review our Adopting Guidelines

Guidelines can be reviewed above or by clicking > HERE <

We will make a paper downloadable version soon


Formerly the Adoption Contact Form now the Adoption Intent (AI) Form shows us that you are interested in adopting and the details of what you are looking for.

  1. Complete the Adoption Intent (AI) Form by following this link –>
  2. Be as discipt as possible so we can understand your interests with notes about
    1. Age Range
    2. Breed specifics
    3. Gender
    4. Color
    5. Discipline
    6. Demeanor
    7. Reasoning behind adoption
    8. Intent with the potential horse
    9. What other sources you’ve looked at
    10. Your horse ownership experience
    11. What specifics of living in your care does a horse expect to see or receive
  3. We will review you request and advise you of success or lack of success with matching anything in our care at the time to your request 
  4. If a potential match is found we will send you a link to visit the horses under suggestion
    1. you may see other horse if you like, this would turn into a tour with tour fee expectations


For what we call “obvious reasons”, but to spell it out; we want you to meet a horse or the horse you are interested in before we even consider moving forward.

  1. Schedule an Adoption Visit by following this link –>
  2. Visits are allotted 30 min for initial meeting shaparoned 
    1. shaparoning time constraints dictate this amount of time
  3. Visits are free if you know the horse your interested in unless 
    1. If you are looking with no single horse identified and would like the tour to see what we have, then we request the normal tour fee of ($10 per person)
  4. Family, friends, or professionals may accompany you with prior notice.
  5. You will perform no function but to visit the horse in its rawest form.
  6. Direct contact with the horse will be allowed only one person at a time for safety reasons.
    1. Depending on the chaperone and their specific knowledge of the horse under consideration

When done with your first visit… we’d appreciate that no commitments or guarantees be made by either party until you return for further visits.

Go home, put the time into consideration of what life altering step you are potentially continue to pursue.  Folks spend more time investigating a car before purchase than the impending responsibilities of adopting a horse.  

Once your orientation is complete.

  1. you may be allowed to tag-a-long with a volunteer for a lite exposure of daily work if there are volunteers to do so
  2. you do not have to do this  it is not a requirement but an allowance if you care to do so

Will be held on your first full day of volunteering activities. Anywhere from 3 to 5 hours normally.

Pertaining to Equine Volunteers (98% of volunteers tend to be in this category)

  1. ‘Shadow volunteers’ or Probationary Volunteers will be vetted after multiple visits for knowledge and ability
  2. You will be expected to show up at the normal start time for the day you’ve chosen. (i.e., 7 am or 8 am depending on the day)
    1. Exceptions can be made. Discussion with the volunteer coordinator will apply.
  3. You will be attached to the senior volunteer or volunteer coordinator of the area you are assigned to. You’ll be taught the protocols for
    1. safety & procedural expectations when in and around the horses
    2. feeding
    3. treatments
    4. grooming
    5. barn & paddock cleaning
    6. If deemed needed, you may be marked for class instruction needed
      1. At present time instructors are limited and may not be readily available
      2. Classes may be held on a later date
  • You may board an adopted equine but note we will have to inspect the boarding facility
    • If the facility fails then you will have to find another location
  • If not intending to board an adopted equine, you must allow a property inspection for approval.
  • We will perform a background check on all who will have contact with the equine.
    • direct family only
    • if found, that someone associated with the requester that will be in direct contact with an adopted horse, has character or criminal flaws within our guidelines we reserve the right to deny any applicant.
  • Currently, contracts are binding for a year.

What if SWFHR doesn't have what you're looking for?


As a Rescue we know we can’t justifiably take in every horse in need.  So in 2017 SWFHR narrowed its efforts to focus on the worst of situations… horses that have no human currently responsible for them. The unknown future for these soles wears a badge of need far greater than a horse owned by someone (still responsible for them) who doesn’t want to or can’t much care for them anymore.  The brunt of responsibility still lies in the hand of the current owner.  Even with all that said that doesn’t mean SWFHR can’t help.  SWFHR may not physically take these types of horses into direct care but can help bring awareness of Owned Equines in need of Relocation Assistance.  This is where we introduce people in need to this program project called OERA.

The OERA Project works in 2 directions… from the person in need (a person needing a new home for their horse) to the person looking (you the person wanting a horse).

Contact Us

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