I will be the first to admit that, as a horse person living in the Bluegrass, I’m a bit spoiled. Evening drives to the barn take me past one multimillion dollar Thoroughbred breeding farm after another. I get to admire herds of broodmares as they grow increasingly round, and delight in fields full of leggy foals and rowdy weanlings. I can’t help but wonder, however, where all these horses end up. Will that handsome chestnut go on to be a stakes-winning racehorse? Will that flashy filly rise up the sport horse ranks? Truth is, after their performance and breeding careers are over, or if an owner falls on hard times, many of these animals will be in need of new homes. Some might find respite in an equine rescue or adoption facility, and the lucky ones will land in a forever home.

With today’s surplus of so-called “unwanted” horses, The Horse is a big proponent of equine adoption and is proud to have united more than 650 horses with new owners through TheHorse.com’s Free Horse Listings. However, there’s more to adopting a horse than simply picking one out of a field, loading him in the trailer, and voila, meet your new trail horse! The adoption process is just that–a process.

If you read Part 1 of our Adoption Series, you learned that prospective adopters should do their homework to find a reputable facility, become familiar with policies, and work with personnel to find the horse best suited for their needs. Part 2 helps guide you through that critical transition phase after you adopt a horse. As it turns out