1. Rescued horses are all crazy, and they can’t be trusted! Just look at these crazy ones!
Actually, it’s a gigantic myth that only crazy, problem horses end up in rescue. Most horses find themselves in rescue due to no fault of their own. In general, humans are the ones that have let the horse down, not the other way around. Besides, a reputable rescue will NOT knowingly place a dangerous horse with someone.
2. A foster horse will probably not get along with my current herd.
There are exceptions to every rule, but most horses find their place in a herd relatively quickly and painlessly.
3. Fostering rescued horses is SO expensive.
While we appreciate anything fosters are willing to provide for our horses, HHF covers all veterinary, medical, and farrier expenses. Most of the time fosters are expected to provide the forage and grain for their foster, but we do fund-raise to alleviate hay expenses when we can and reimburse for feed if the foster requests us to do so.
4. Usually rescue horses are lame and unsound for riding.
Yet another common myth. The larger percentage of horses we get in to rescue are perfectly sound, and many come through already broke to ride.
5. Fostering sounds like a really long commitment.
Although some horses are in foster long term, countless horses are adopted out in 3-6 months or less. Just let us know up front if you are limited on the time you can foster. You will never be stranded or forced to keep a foster horse longer than you are able.
6. If you’re not a really confident or experienced horse person, there’s no point in trying to be a foster.
Fostering is actually a GREAT option for you. Experience what horse ownership will be like with support and guidance the whole way. You may have to wait for the right fit to come into rescue as we will match your experience level with the horse you foster, but being inexperienced is definitely not a deal breaker.
7. Rescue horses are all work and no play!
Each case varies, but not every horse that comes in to rescue is a major rehab case. And for the ones that are, there is nothing more rewarding than bringing an animal from the depths of despair and the point of giving up and giving them a new chance at life.
8. A foster or rescue horse can’t win any ribbons or trophies.
False. We’ve had multiple foster horses win in the show pen with just a little work, and countless adopted horses go on to be great in the show arena.
9. I have kids, and they would not be safe around a foster horse.
Technically speaking, there’s a risk when hanging out with any 1200 pound creature with a mind of it’s own…. But we’ve had a whole slew of horses that actually crave attention and are very well mannered around children. (It is important to teach children equine safety around any horse or pony.)
10. I’ll get too attached to my foster.
Every foster we have, has or had this apprehension. They also know that one horse adopted to another home, really means two horses saved. It’s a selfless act, really, and no one said it’s easy, but it’s worth it and it’s doable. You’ll have lots of support to remind you why you are letting your foster go on to a new home, and it is truly so rewarding. If it happens, and you can’t let your foster go…. You’ll be the best kind of failure out there… a foster failure!
11. I would if I could, but I don’t have enough space to foster a horse.
Valid point. Allow us introduce you to pigs, geese, ducks, chickens, goats, or sheep that all need a foster, too. They don’t require near the room a horse will!
So, give it some thought! If you’ve got room in your pasture and room in your heart, reach out to us. You can learn more about our foster program or apply to foster here: http://hickoryhillfarmtn.org/support-hhf-2/become-a-foster/
If we are not close enough to you, please check out a rescue near you and reach out to them! We accept fosters all over Tennessee, but there are also several other great rescues in Tennessee that may utilize fosters; check them out too: River Edge Farm Horse Rescue, Volunteer Equine Advocates, East TN Miniature Horse & Donkey Rescue, Redemption Road Rescue, Safe Harbor Equine & Livestock Rescue, Horse Haven of TN