Thursday, January 6, 2011
The Cost of a "Free" Horse
At the inception of The Second Race, we wanted to be as easy a resource as possible for both the adopter and the trainer/owner asking for assistance. This included offering "free" horses to our network of potential adopters. While the idea of a free horse, is tempting, a horse is never free.
Nor is the responsibility of the adopter to ensure that the horse finds a happy and healthy home and life. The Second Race has discovered on occasion in the past 18 months, that those that received a "free" horse from us, didn't perhaps have the "buy in" needed to ensure that their new horse was a forever horse in their care. Let us explain.
When, Sharla Sanders the founder of The Second Race worked in middle management at a number one mortgage company in America, she was responsible for the broker division and managed 46 employees. The division went from having three separate managers, to just one (Sharla) in a years time. There were lots of disgruntled employees, change is hard for everyone and managing expectations was important to the success of the company. Sharla and her manager a VP determined that there had to be "buy in" from the employees in order to reach our goals. A bonus plan was re-designed whereby all members of the team had to collectively reach benchmarks, goals and exceed expectations together, for anyone to receive a bonus. At first, this was not well received, but in a very short time everyone learned they had to work together to get their increase in salary, in other words, they bought into the mission of the company and expectations. Without doing this, those that did well would expect their bonuses and those that did not, continued to do sub par performance. Its all about the buy in, you have to feel that you are invested in order to make something matter to you, its just human nature. Anything given and not earned is never appreciated in the same manner.
Taking that same thought process into consideration, The Second Race has decided that beginning this month, there will be an adoption fee for our horses. $ 500 will be required and the adopter will be responsible for the Coggins/Health Cert and transport should a horse go across state lines. The Second Race paid for the shipping of horses, and Coggins and found not only was this costly, but it was easy for someone to consider "giving back" a horse or attempting to transfer a horse to another party, because as mentioned above in our opinion, a stake in that horse was not present.
Our mission is to continue to provide an easy transition from the race track, lay up farm or breeding operation for the horsemen, but we also believe that an adopter should be more vested in the adoption of one of our horses, and so therefore the change in procedure. Please note, if a horse is not owned by The Second Race, the horse will still be offered for free, unless the current owner agrees that some type of fee should be attached to the horses adoption. These will be on a case by case basis.
One way to find out about the cost of horse ownership is to do research prior to adoption. Here is a recent book written by a life long horsewomen that clearly and easily shares her years of experience. A horse is a lifetime (a horse's life span can be as much as 25 years) commitment, and should be treated as such.
To read more about 'What A Free Horse Really Costs' or to order the book go to Diane Mollers' website http://www.freehorsecosts.com/ A portion of her book sales, will benefit a rescue organization, Habitat for Horses.
- ▼ 2011 (9)
- ► 2010 (39)