Upon receiving and approving your Horse Adoption Interest Application, FLSS School Horse Retirement Program committee members will contact you to schedule an appointment to visit Lord Stirling Stables (or wherever the horse of interest is boarded). Expect two or more visits to determine compatibility of horse and handler.
If a match between a horse and potential adopter is successful, FLSS School Horse Retirement Program committee members will contact references and schedule an appointment to inspect the property where the horse will be kept.
If approved, make arrangements for transporting the horse to its new home. The adoption agreement will need to be completed along with the payment of the non-refundable adoption fee at the time of transport. You will recieve a FLSSSHRP Yearly Horse Health Form which includes: the horse's current turnout schedule and diet, vaccination dates, farrier dates, dental procedure dates, deworming schedule and FEC results, current medications, blanket and tack sizing, behavioral information, and any additional recommendations for care of the horse. You will also recieve copies of all veterinary records as well as a current Coggins Form.
The FLSS School Horse Retirement Program can occasionally transport the horse to the designated facility pending volunteer availability and distance.
WHAT DOES AVAILABLE FOR ADOPTION MEAN?
Horses listed as "Available for Adoption" are horses owned by the FLSS School Horse Retirement Program who have been retired from riding lessons at Lord Stirling Stables and are seeking forever homes.
What is flssshrp's adoption radius?
FLSSSHRP offers horses for adoption in the following states only:
How does flssshrp assess levels of horse handling experience in potential adopters?
Beginner – A beginner handler is still gaining confidence working with and around horses. Beginner handlers have basic training in leading and grooming well-behaved horses.
Intermediate – An intermediate handler is confident working with and around horses. Intermediate handlers have experience in leading and grooming horses and can correct minor inappropriate behaviors (such as pulling to stop and graze, refusal to pick up feet for cleaning, or spooking at shiny objects).
Advanced – An advanced handler is an expert in working with and around horses. Advanced handlers have experience training young or inexperienced horses in proper ground manners, including overcoming problematic behaviors (such as bolting, rearing, biting, or spooking). (DEFHR)
HOW DOES FLSSSHRP ASSESS LEVELS OF HORSEBACK RIDING EXPERIENCE IN POTENTIAL ADOPTERS?
Beginner – A beginner rider is still gaining confidence in the saddle. Beginner riders are developing a balanced seat and mastering basic commands (such as moving forward from the leg, steering, halting, and backing up). The beginner rider is learning to tack, mount, and ride independently.
Intermediate – An intermediate rider has confidence riding well-schooled horses. Intermediate riders are developing an independent seat and can control their horse in unfamiliar circumstances (such as in the field, on the trail, or at a horse show). The intermediate rider can tack, mount, and ride independently – correcting minor inappropriate behaviors (such as walking off from the mounting block, kicking out in upward transitions, and stopping at the entry gate).
Advanced – An advanced rider is an experienced rider with confidence training young or green horses. Advanced riders rely on groundwork training and an independent seat to guide horses in engaging in correct and effective movement, overcoming new obstacles, and correcting inappropriate behaviors (such as bolting, bucking, or spooking). (DEFHR)
Why does FLSSSHRP CHARGE AN ADOPTION FEE?
FLSSSHRP asks for an adoption fee (donation) as a way to continue to fund the boarding costs and support the care of other horses in the retirement program until their forever homes are found. Adoption fees vary from $250 to $1,200 depending on the horse's ability, soundness, temperament, and training.
Consider that it costs the FLSSSHRP at least $4500 per horse per year (not including emergency veterinary costs) in board, farrier, vaccination, dental, and deworming costs.
How long does the adoption process take?
After at least 2 visits to ensure successful pairing with a horse, completing the adoption process can take up to two weeks. This allows FLSSSHRP time to contact your references, conduct a farm inspection, and prepare the horse for transit. Head over to our Adoption Process page for more details.
WHY aren't there more HORSES available that are SUITABLE FOR BEGINNER HANDLERS AND RIDERS?
The mission of the FLSS School Horse Retirement Program is, in summary, to re-home horses retired from the Lord Stirling Stable Riding Lesson Program. Horses that are suitable for beginner handlers and riders are worth their weight in gold; as such, they tend to remain in the riding program for most of their lives, as it is geared towards beginner riders, camps, pony rides, and therapeutic programs.
The vast majority of horses that go through our program are retired from riding lessons due to soundness/injury or behavioral reasons. Many are simply "one-person" horses that don't fit into the mold of "lesson horse." This is where a horse handler or rider with a more advanced skill set can come in and continue with the horse's training or taking care of any special needs.
Beginner-suitable horses do become available for adoption from time to time, so please check our Available for Adoption page.
wHAT MEDICAL CARE WILL I BE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE if i adopt a horse?
All horses adopted from FLSSSHRP are up-to-date on their care, including vaccinations, Coggins, farrier care, dental care and deworming. When adopted, copies of medical records and/or history are given to the adopter as well as a Yearly Horse Health and Management Form. For horses with unique needs, recommendations for future care are included.
When adopting, consider that veterinary, farrier, deworming, and dental care will cost you at minimum $1000 per year. This total does not including emergency veterinary care costs or any special shoeing needs.
FLSSSHRP requires that all adopted horses receive prompt veterinary care as needed at the adopter's expense. The minimum includes: yearly inoculations, yearly dental exams, regular deworming, and appropriate hoof care every 6-8 weeks.
can i stop by to see the horses?
An appointment can be scheduled with FLSSHRP Committee Members to present a horse to you only after a Horse Adoption Interest Application is completed and submitted via our website. This saves both us and you time by allowing us to check your references and get your application approved before your visit is scheduled.
We require that you sign our release of liability waiver before handling or riding any of our horses.
What type of BOARDING FACILITY OR FARM WILL BE APPROVED to house the horse?
The FLSSSHRP approves placement at most boarding facilities with a positive history in the horse community as well as backyard farms operated by individuals with Advanced horse handling and care experience. The Adopter will, at his/her/their own expense, provide constant access to a dry, safe, comfortable shelter for the horse. At a minimum, you should have a well-constructed, three-sided shed available for the horse or a box stall in a barn. Manure should be removed from the stall or shelter every day. Turnout requirements for horses are at least 1 acre per horse and utilizing the rotational grazing recommendations of your state. Horses are social animals and will require a companion or to be boarded around other horses.
what type of food will i be required to feed the horse if i adopt?
The Adopter will, at his/her/their own expense, provide the placed horse/pony with adequate quantities of wholesome hay. Horses should maintain a body score of 5 or 6. Unrestricted access to clean, potable water is essential. Grass pasture should be used cautiously with horses prone to founder or obesity, and others should be slowly acclimated. Senior horses will have special feeding and dietary requirements. Please a consult your veterinarian for more feeding recommendations.
For those new to horse ownership or considering adoption, please read: