Ideally, every horse would have a loving owner willing and able to care for him throughout life. In reality, lots of horses of all breeds and backgrounds end up without a secure home, putting them at risk for neglect or abandonment. Even owners with the best intentions for their horses can find themselves unable to keep up with the expense of caring for a horse.
Several breed registries have created programs to help owners find secure homes for their horses if they are no longer willing or able to care for them. All of the programs work essentially the same way: someone who is interested in a particular horse can sign up with the registry. If the current owner of that horse decides they can no longer care for that horse, they can log on to the program to find the contact information for anyone interested in taking ownership of the horse. The programs are strictly voluntary and not enforced by the associations, but they provide a venue for horse owners to connect in a way that was not possible before.
The programs are intended to give breeders or past owners of a horse to regain ownership of that horse if he ever needs a retirement home. However, anyone can sign up for a horse that they admired in the show ring, rode in a lesson program or simply would like to own. In some cases, participation is limited to association members.
Here are some of the currently existing programs:
American Quarter Horse Association Full Circle Program (Formerly Greener Pastures)
The American Quarter Horse Association developed the Greener Pastures program to reunite breeders and previous owners with horses they remember well. Through the free program, AQHA members will be able to indicate on a horse’s registration certificate that if the horse ever becomes unwanted, unusable or simply ready for retirement that the member will – if possible – assist in providing or finding a suitable home. Learn more >>
American Saddlebred Horse Association “My Meadows” Program
The My Meadows program is offered by the ASHA in order to help members retire their American Saddlebreds. If a horse should ever become unwanted, the individual with custody of the horse may visit the horse’s page on ASHA.net to see if someone has agreed to assist with retiring the horse.
Learn more >>
American Morgan Horse Association Full Circle Program
The Full Circle program allows, at no charge, anyone with interest in a Morgan to record his or her name and contact information in the AMHA record of that horse. If that horse should ever become unwanted, the individual with custody of the horse at that time can contact the AMHA Registry Department to see if the horse has been enrolled in Full Circle.
Learn more >>
The Jockey Club Thoroughbred Connect
The Jockey Club, the registry for Thoroughbreds in the United States, has announced a new service to help place ex-racehorses in new homes after their careers at the track have ended. Called Thoroughbred Connect, the service allows customers to put their name and contact information in the database to let the current owner of a Thoroughbred that they are interested in providing a home should the horse ever need one. Learn more >>
United States Trotting Association Full Circle
The USTA’s Full Circle program can help you know if a registered Standardbred that’s important to you ever needs your help. There’s no cost, no obligation, no need to be a member and it’s simple to enroll 1 or 100 horses. Learn more >>