White and brown horse Denny with his owner in his new home

Adopting a horse FAQs

Many people interested in rehoming a horse or pony have the same questions, so we've put a list of the most frequently asked questions together for you to look through. If you can't find the question you're looking for, please get in touch through our standard contact us form.

What are the costs involved in rehoming a horse from Blue Cross?

We have included a detailed overview of all the costs involved on our giving a horse a home page. 

How long will the process take from the date I apply to actually getting a horse?

This depends on many different factors, such as the type of horse you’re looking for and the activities you’re hoping to do with them. We have lots of horses of all shapes, sizes and abilities at Blue Cross and we have to find one that’s right for you. We do everything we can to find you a suitable match but this is not always possible immediately. However, we can very quickly provide companions in urgent situations, for example if your horse is struggling to cope with being alone.

I think the horse I saw on your website is perfect for me. Why haven’t you been in contact?

This could be for two reasons. Firstly, the horse might still be under our detailed assessment and isn’t ready for rehoming just yet. Secondly, we receive more than 300 applications for horses every month so we’re not always able to meet each person’s expectations in finding a suitable horse. Please do be patient with us though, as we are hard at work behind the scenes to find you the right horse.

Do I own the horse?

Blue Cross still owns the majority of our horses and most are rehomed on a loan agreement. Our horse welfare coordinators will visit you every so often to give advice and support where needed. The number of visits will depend on you and your horse’s needs.

We have begun piloting a scheme to transfer ownership of horses who have been in their loan homes very happily for a long time.

How long do you look for a suitable horse for me?

Your application will remain active on our system for six months. After this, you will have to submit a new Homefinder form. This is to ensure that our database is kept accurate and up to date. We hope to have found you a horse in this time but it really depends on whether a suitable horse has come to Blue Cross.

Do I need to take out insurance for my new Blue Cross horse?

As part of the loan agreement, you will need to ensure that your Blue Cross horse is covered for public liability in case they injure a person or damage property. You’ll need to give us proof of these documents every year. We strongly recommend you take out a policy that covers vet fees as well, as you will be responsible for paying for any costs if the horse becomes ill or gets injured. We encourage anyone who owns a horse to take out insurance for them.

Do you rehome horses to riding schools?

We will rehome certain horses to riding schools if the level and type of work will suit them. Our rehoming service is tailor made, which means that we look at each case individually and match animals to the right kind of home for them.

What happens if my situation changes and I can no longer keep my horse?

We would find the horse a new home. They would either come back to one of our centres or we would ask you to keep them in the short term while we found a new family for them to go to directly. We ask you to give us three months notice if you want to return a horse to us, so we can ensure we have the space available at our centre or to give us time to find them a new home.

Do you allow barbed wire/stock fences in a field where the horse will be kept?

The use of barbed wire/stock fencing will depend on the purpose of the fence. For example if it’s a boundary or a dividing fence, then this is okay. We may ask you to put up electric fencing to protect the horse from being injured. With all fencing, it’s important that it is fit for purpose and well maintained.

Can I compete with my Blue Cross horse?

This would depend on the horse and we’ll discuss this with you before you rehome them but, if they’re suitable, then this would be no problem at all – and we’d love to hear how you both get on!

Does the horse come with tack?

No, the horse doesn’t come with any tack or rugs because of the costs involved in buying this for every horse in our care.

What happens if the horse turns out to be unsuitable for me? Do I get my money back or do I have to repay if I swap them for a different horse?

Through our tailor made rehoming service we do everything we can to find you a suitable match first time. On the rare occasion that they turn out to be unsuitable, we are unable to give you your money back and you would need to pay the rehoming fee again if you take on another horse. This is because we rely on donations to pay for our work, so we are careful to try to cover all administration costs so that donations are spent in the right way – on helping as many animals as possible.