Frequently Asked Questions 

How much does it cost to adopt a Red Bucket horse? 
Based on the level of training that the horse has received, the adoption fees may vary:

  • $500 donkey or companion animal
  • $1,500 saddle and trail horses
  • Other fees based on training level

Red Bucket Equine Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Funds donated in excess of the adoption fee are tax deductible, and will be used to save and re-home other desperate and deserving horses and donkeys.


How much does it cost to transport the horse?

All adopters are responsible for arranging transportation for their adopted horse. Our policy dictates that a Red Bucket horse must be wrapped or wearing shipping boots and loaded onto a trailer by a Red Bucket representative.


How much money should I set aside monthly to care for a rescue horse?

Depending on where you keep your horse and whether you have it in training at a training stable, we estimate that the average monthly cost of owning a horse is upwards of $800 per month.  Many people want to adopt but are not prepared for expenses like vet/dentist (shots/dental work/worming), farrier (shoes/trimming), feed (hay/grain), board, and other expenses that a horse typically requires. Red Bucket will actively assist qualified adopters with budget preparation.


What if there is a horse that I like, but we want to make sure that it is a good fit?

If there is serious interest in the horse and it appears to be a good fit for both the horse and the potential adopter, we offer a first right of refusal. The first right of refusal removes the pressure from rushing to a decision. We will remove the horse from the “available” adoption list and we will work with you to assess if it is good fit. You will have the freedom to see what is right for you – there will be no pressure to make a quick decision. Forever is a very long time.


Once we think we have found the right horse and Red Bucket agrees, what are the next steps?

Prior to finalizing the contract, we invite and encourage your family members, trainer, vet and farrier to visit the horse and Red Bucket as you are making your final decision. A member of the Red Bucket team will conduct a home visit and will provide coaching and support for bringing your horse home forever. Prior to the adoption being finalized the adoption contract will be prepared and signed by both parties. The contract is a formalization of the commitment that a donor is making to the horse. Family members, friends and photographs of the special event are welcome!


What should I expect when looking for a horse?

Adopting a horse means committing to caring for this animal for the rest of his life, not abandoning him because he can no longer live up to unrealistic expectations. We encourage our adopters to be clear about their wish list and their expectations. Far too many people come with a whole list of requirements that few horses could possibly live up to. Red Bucket will not consider adoption requests based on color or markings. The horse’s temperament and your riding ability is what is really important when looking for a horse that is going to be yours for the rest of his life (the average life expectancy is 20-30 years, but many horses live MUCH longer).


What should I expect during the adoption process?

We want the adoption process to be rewarding, memorable and meaningful. We will attempt to accommodate your schedule in calendaring appointments. We welcome your family members and trainer, and we will provide an abundance of time with the horse that you are considering. Prior to adopting a horse, we will conduct a home visit for the purpose of building a supportive lifetime partnership. During this visit we may provide coaching on fencing, hay storage, etc.


Can horses be adopted out of state?

Part of the Red Bucket promise is that we follow up on our horses with periodic wellness checks. In order for us to consider a horse being re-homed out of state, we must have the assurance that it is the right fit for the horse, that we have a strong relationship with the adopter, and we have the ability to follow up and uphold our commitment to the horse, who is ultimately our client.


Do I have to keep the horse at my home?

Most important to us is that the horse has a loving and safe home. This might be at your home or another suitable environment such as a local stable or equestrian center. The horse’s home should provide opportunity for daily enrichment, turnout, socialization and an appropriate amount of supervision.


Can I relocate the horse?

The horse cannot be relocated without notifying Red Bucket and receiving an additional home visit.


Who maintains the title of the horse?

Because the goal for a Red Bucket horse is a forever home, the title to the horse remains with Red Bucket. We provide all necessary documentation required for boarding, showing, etc.


Are the horses current on their vaccinations?

We pride ourselves on the level of care we provide our horses. All of our horses are current on their vaccines.


What if I can’t keep the horse anymore for some reason?

The horse has the Red Bucket guarantee, which includes the promise of being able to come back to Red Bucket in the event that there is a change of circumstances for the adopter. The horse cannot be sold, given away, leased, loaned, or relocated.


Can I try the horse out?

Part of the Red Bucket way is to create an environment where anyone who comes to adopt a horse is given plenty of time to bond with the horse. We offer riding lessons, instruction, coaching, and plenty of supervised time getting to know the horse. Red Bucket has a very high level of commitment to both our horses and our adopters.


What level of riding experience do I need?

We match horses based on the level of riding experience, temperament and level of training. Because horse ownership is such a huge responsibility, we encourage adopters to take lessons, lease, and actively prepare themselves prior to adopting.


What if I am having trouble with my new horse?

Red Bucket offers field support and coaching for our adopters. We are committed to removing all obstacles to horses staying in their new homes forever.


Can the mares be bred?

No. Red Bucket horses cannot be bred. One of the contributors to the number of unwanted horses is over breeding. Red Bucket takes a very strong “Adopt, don’t breed” position.


Can I have a horse vet checked?

Absolutely. Red Bucket encourages our adopters to be thorough in their efforts to choose their horse.


What if I can’t afford to adopt a horse right now? What can I do to help this cause?

Consider becoming a sponsor! It’s a great way to be part of a horse’s life and helps give them a second chance, without the added financial burden of ownership. We are a 501(c)3 non-profit organization that operates 100% through charitable funding. Please click on our “how to help” tab to see other ways you can help us help the horses!