In this episode, we discuss the difficult topic of what should happen with our horses in the unfortunate event we are unable to care for them anymore.
We discuss the importance of contingency plans, finding a suitable caregiver, providing clear written instructions, setting aside financial support, and so much more.
[00:00:00] Welcome to season four of the willing equine podcast, the podcast, where we chat about all things, horses and being the best horse people we can be for our horses. My name is Adele Shaw. I'm a certified behavior consultant, and my passion is for creating positive relationships between horses and people.
[00:00:29] Today. I wanna talk about contingency plans, if something should happen to us and in the unfortunate event that as your horse's caregiver, your, their primary caregiver, that something happens to you and you are no longer able to either care for your horses, or you're no longer here to be able to care for them. So one's a little bit more temporary or just like life changes and the other one is more permanent. This is, unfortunately I know like a really kind of sad topic, but I think it's extremely important to talk about, and to be prepared for. Things happen all the time. Unexpectedly your age isn't necessarily always the biggest factor here. Meaning sometimes yes, some people get to pass away peacefully from old age. But there's other things that happen. I mean, people die in car wrecks. We become, you know, injured in some way or we lose our primary income or there's just a lot of things that could happen. And I I'll leave it kind of up to your imagination to think about the different possibilities for what could or couldn't happen when it comes to us and our lives and just different things that could happen. And so it's only the responsible thing to do, or it is the responsible thing to do to prepare ahead of time for these things.
[00:01:50] And we do this for our kids. I have, you know, three children of my own, and we have a will that if something were to happen to my husband or I, that, you know, this is how the children would be cared for and, you know, going forward, who they would be living with. And, you know, we set aside. Different, you know, funds and support systems for them, should that unfortunate event happen? A lot of I've heard of a lot of people doing this for their pets as well. And I think it's time to talk about what to do with our horses. Especially considering horses are very expensive, large animals that not everybody is properly prepared or trained to be able to care for. And they also, I mean, there's also not a you know, large quantity of homes out there just readily available for horses. So that's the other part of it too, is there's a limited number of homes available to horses in general and anytime, you know, horse is in that situation where they're looking for a new home, they are at risk. Even if we feel like, you know, going about our daily lives. Oh yeah, of course my family would take care of them or my friends would take care of 'em. That's not always the case. Sometimes they can't financially take care of 'em sometimes they don't know what to do to take care of 'em sometimes it would be too painful for them emotionally to take care of an animal that was your animal in the event that you're no longer here. So that's also something to consider. On top of that, we need to not just assume and throw that financial responsibility onto people around us. I don't feel like that's really fair or respectful to do without discussing it with them first. So today I wanna talk about some different things that we can do to prepare for those unfortunate events that make sure that our horses are well cared for and go on to live long happy lives should something happened to us. And again, I know this is a tough topic and maybe right now, isn't the time to listen to this episode, but maybe it is. I, I think the right time is now for most people, but I understand if you know, this is a tough topic to discuss right now. I just hope you come back to it when you're ready to think about what should we do in the event, or what should we prepare ahead of time that in the event I'm not able to take care of my horse. Like how can I help my horse in, well past my time here on this planet? So yeah, so with that being said, the first things first is it's going to be important to find out who in your life would be properly prepared and able to and then not only able to, but willing to take care of your horses should something happen. Now let's not just to go around assuming that our family members will do so, or that our friends will do so that's again, like I said before, not always fair and not something that they are able to do. And it would be a surprise to them that, you know, if, if somebody were to pass away tomorrow and then the next day they found out, oh, I've just been willed all of these horses that I am not prepared for. And I didn't know anything about, or you know, even if it wasn't an official will kind of situation, it would just be an unexpected surprise. And we want the people that will be taking care of our horses to be prepared for it. Now, of course, it's always gonna be unexpected and surprise, I mean, in most cases. But, we can take steps to prepare people and, and make sure that they are okay with taking on horses. Should an event happen, should something happen?
[00:05:20] So talking to people, finding somebody, you know, having that discussion, going to your best friend, going to your spouse, going to your in-laws, going to your sister. I don't know whoever it is. And talking to them about, hey, you know, of course, hopefully nothing ever happens. But should something happen tomorrow or in 10 months or whatever, or in 10 years, would you be willing to assume responsibility for my horses? Can I put you in my will as their guardian after I pass? And you know, they're gonna need to think about it. So give 'em time, you know, and I would also have a guideline and outline of like what you're thinking that would look like.
[00:06:03] So for me, I personally don't really care that my horses do anything in particular. I just want them to stay together and I want them to live a natural life. So my idea of when, if I were to ask my spouse or a friend or whoever to take care of my horses, if I should pass. I would like them to remain as a herd as much as possible and be provided with 24/ 7 forage and have a basic mineral balancer and have plenty of room to run and, and hoof trims every five weeks by this trimmer and vet care by this vet, you know, periodically or whenever is needed. That would be the part of my will. I don't need them to train the horses. I don't need them to ride them. I don't need them to show them. I don't really care. As long as the horses are getting to live as horses and stay as a, a herd as a unit, as a band and getting to live a happy life. Now I do have a couple of horses that. There's well, and we can dive into this a little bit more. There are a couple horses that I don't know that, should I pass, you know what, I'm, there's some different things I would talk about with that horse. Well, let's go into that in a minute. So that would be like my ideal, my first step, right. That they would all stay together and all that, but that's expensive. I have seven horses to just give somebody seven horses, all of a sudden and expect them to provide all of those meet all those needs is really, is a lot to ask somebody. So we're gonna go into some ways to help with that in a minute.
[00:07:28] But what you could also do is maybe you have your herds or herd, and maybe you find a couple of different people that you could split the horses up amongst, and that would be more practical. So maybe you have one person that you feel would go really well with these two or three horses. And one person that goes really well with these two to three horses or whatever, or it could be just one horse. I like to keep mine together as a herd. So I want them to move together. So I'd love to have like, I, right now I have a herd of three, three and two. They're just paired up that way right now. They're technically, I feel like they all are herd, even though they're separated by fencing, they all socialize together. They all know each other. I can turn them all out together and they do just fine. It's just, I have, 'em separated like that for feeding and also for training and just other factors as well. And also one of the factors is that one of the horses is a higher risk to my mini. So I have purposely separated that horse with her other members have her herd from the mini and his members of his herd. So it's a safety thing for those two horses or that one horse, really? So yeah. Maybe then I say, okay, this person can you take these three horses? And this person, can you take these three horses? And, you know, and I would find people that I felt like could provide them with their needs. You know, if I have any horses with more medical needs or who need special handling, maybe horses, like a couple of mine really need very respectful and cooperative handling. So everything needs to be done through cooperative care. Needs to be very patient and as positive, as pleasant as possible. Done very carefully, et cetera, just due to trauma or physical issues or whatever it is, those particular horses I'm going to prioritize, going to a home where I know that the person has a lot of training in that area and is prepared to meet those needs. Versus I have a couple of other horses where they're a little bit more easy going and they could blend into a mixed, you know, negative reinforcement, positive reinforcement home, or even go back to negative reinforcement handling.
[00:09:32] They are just more of, you know, quote average horse. And so I feel a little bit more comfortable putting them into a home is that is meeting all of their basic needs, but may not be training exactly the way that I was training or may not be as like I'm gonna use the term. I don't know. You know, technically correct, but the like a trauma informed home or a home that understands cooperative care. And so those couple of horses would have a little bit more flexibility on the type of home they went to, as long as their needs were met. And I was still trying to keep 'em together as best as possible. But anyway, I'm getting a little bit derailed.
[00:10:07] These are just the different things that I think about like the different individual horses and what their needs are, is very important to consider. It's not just horses. It's, okay, this horse is like this and needs this kind of handling. Okay. They're not gonna be suitable to a more beginner home. This horse, however, is really chill and relaxed and just need some pasture and some you know, room to roam and could be handled easily by almost anybody. Okay. They can go to this kind of home. So. You know, looking at your individual horses and what their needs are, and then talking to those homes and you may need to try a few people, cuz again, it's a lot to ask somebody to take on your horse. I mean, that's a huge financial and time commitment that you're asking them to make should something happen to you now? Of course we hope nothing ever happens to you, but when they're saying yes to you, as long as they're not just, you know, just saying yes to appease. They should be really consciously working through the reality of what that would be, should it happen tomorrow because that's what they're potentially signing up for and they need to be serious and they need to be realistic about that.
[00:11:13] I would rather somebody tell me no, and because they're being realistic because they know they can't afford this horse than to tell me yes, and then, you know, obviously I won't be here anymore when this happens, but this would just be terrible is if the day came and that home wasn't available and now this horse is free floating, we have nowhere to send this horse and now I'm leaving it up to the, to other people that are trying to execute my will to find the best home for this horse. But they don't know the horse as well as I do. And they did, they're trying to meet my needs or my requests, but they're having a hard time kind of thing.
[00:11:44] This kind of brings me my next point is having a, a fallback or contingencies for that horse. So you have your first preference. And then I would come up with second and third preferences and. You know, to be honest sometimes, and this is a hard, hard thing to say. Sometimes that third preference is going to be humane euthanasia and or fourth preference or fifth preference, whatever. But if I have a horse with a lot of medical needs and is older and is really expensive to take care of. And they're doing okay right now. They're doing okay, but they take a lot of management and a lot of time and a lot of money to stay doing okay. If I can't find them a home or, you know, in the will, whatever I pass in the first home, the first, you know, stop the first ideal home isn't available and that starts putting them at risk for possibly having a harder and harder time finding a good home. So, you know, maybe plan B was the second home option they would go to maybe was a little bit less experienced in handling horses, but had a lot of financial means to be able to take care of this horse and was really prepared to have the vet do a lot of the work and, you know, you know, hiring the vet and hiring other professionals to come in and help take care of the horse. Great. That's a fantastic option. However, if that option is not available anymore, then the third alternative, potentially is that this horse ends up going somewhere with somebody who's not suited to take care of them properly and they're gonna end up suffering long term. And so, you know, it's there's an option out there to say, okay, this horses lived a long happy life. We wanna make sure that they continue to experience life, or we wanna make sure that they go to their final resting place having lived a good life and not experiencing suffering at the hands of people or just their neglect or whatever. So there, there are gonna be situations that come up that are like that. They're hopefully pretty rare, but I just do wanna throw it out there that that is an option. It can also come down to behavioral stuff too. Some horses are not gonna be suitable to just any home, and I'm not gonna say that I'm the only home or you're the only home that could work with this horse and provide them a suitable home, but should, you know, option A option B option C kind of fail. And we're at risk of having to send this horse to auction because nobody can afford this horse. Nobody can handle this horse, whatever it is. We gotta start asking those questions. We gotta start asking what's the most ethical option for this horse. This horse could start going through the auction pipeline and the slaughter pipeline and end up obviously, nowhere good and go through a lot of suffering or they lived a long happy life with humans that cared for them. And this was the last thing they knew. So again, there's gonna be a lot of opinions and feelings about that. And you know, maybe my solution is not everybody's solution and maybe, and I don't claiming to have the right answer or the only answer. I'm just throwing ideas out for you guys. I just wanna get you guys thinking and processing this information before the thing were to happen. And now you're no longer in a place to be able to ensure your horses have a happy life after your passing or after something happens. This is important to be thinking about and discussing, and the decisions you make for you and your horse are up to you and your horse. It's not my place. I'm just offering ideas and I'm offering suggestions based off of what I know and what I've experienced and talking to other people. And, you know, I'm actually, I've been approached by a couple of people to be their horses fall back home, should something happen to them? One person I was not able to promise that too, but what I did tell them is that I could participate. I would be happy to be signed in as part of the will as like a kind of part of the committee, part of it, of like deciding where these horses ended up and ensuring that they had a happy home. So I could assist in that process, I, however, could not commit to taking the horses personally in good conscious at this time in my life. Then there was another person though that was before the other person then asked me about their horse and it was just one horse. And I thought I did promise that person a forever home for her horse and actually this horse is with me now. And so again, these, you know, It does happen if you are going to be the person on the receiving end of the horse, the person that agrees to this that makes the commitment, you need to be sure because it does happen. I am a walking example of it. I have received a horse that was, that I promised a forever home to. And I, I held up to it. I said, yes. And I did it. And, you know, It's great. I mean, I, as far as from my experience, I'm really happy with that decision. I meant it when I said it and I followed through. However, it is a big thing. I mean, it's taking on another horse. It's taking on another one of my horses, the financial bill, the vet bills, the hay bills, the medical bills, the farrier bills, the training time, the dedication, all of that. I mean, it's, it's signing up for another horse. It's like you went out and bought another horse. So I mean, it is. I just didn't pay the the purchase price, but everything else I got. If you agree to take somebody else's horse, please be very sure that that's what you mean when you say it and think through all of the different aspects of that and what that means. And when you are making your will or you're talking to somebody, I mean, realize what you're asking them.
[00:17:03] It's a big decision. It's a big thing. You're asking them and they essentially need to hold a place. For that horse that, so they're not surprised and, and unable to fulfill their side of the agreement. Should something happen to you? They're, you're basically asking 'em to keep a spot for your horse. And so it's a big thing to ask somebody.
[00:17:22] So, okay. I feel like we got off track just a little bit, but I mean, that's not off track, but I, I was going on a different train. Okay. We were talking about the different horses and their different types and the different types of homes that they would need, and the potential for making that ultimate decision should the ideal homes not be available and how that could be the more ethical option of the alternative of all the options, meaning that maybe the horse is gonna end up somewhere bad. I have seen that happen before. And I personally am in agreement with the decision that was made. There wasn't a home that was suitable for this horse given, you know, the things that the horses needed. I would prefer the horse to have lived its last moments in peace and happiness and having all of its needs met then to go down that unknown path into, you know, who knows what type of home and everything. That's again, my personal decision though, and I'm not gonna tell you you're wrong for saying otherwise it's just my personal decision.
[00:18:20] With that being said, some other things that we can talk about and do in preparation for, you know, something happening that an unforeseeable event, an unfortunate event should happen. And now our horses are without us and their primary caregiver, something we can do to prepare for this is saving having savings accounts, having backup, you know, accounts, whatever, to be able to support the horses. It makes it a whole lot easier to ask somebody to take your horse. If you have the means to support this horse long term. Now how you go about doing this and what, how you set it up is there's a lot of different ways to go about doing this. I know that that's a lot to ask. I mean, cuz a lot of us are just trying to feed our horses every month. So then to ask on top of that, that you have a savings account for the future is a lot to ask, but it is something to consider. It is something to work towards. It is something to have prepared for and you can write this all into your will. So if something happened to you, this is the money that goes with that horse, and it's supposed to be allocated in this and this way. And I'm not a hundred percent on this, but I'm pretty sure you can set it up so that. Somebody else is controlling the funds for the horse. So it, can't just, it's not like somebody just gets a bulk bank account and can spend that money. However they want it's that it's specifically allocated to that horse after you're passing in these ways that you have, you know, set up. That's not how I have mine set up right now, but I do, I do know that or I feel like that's a possibility. So definitely check into that. If that's something you're concerned about but just having savings for your horse and having at least a couple of years, hopefully of some basic finances for the horse. So you know this much for their hay every month, this much for their farrier every month. This much for their medical care, you know, couple times or however many times a year, maybe not emergency stuff. It depends if you, I mean, if you could do it, that would be great. Especially if you have insurance on your horse, you could have medical insurance all of that, that could pass with the horse to the new owner, and then that would sustain them, should emergency stuff happen and they could just fall back on that insurance for emergency stuff. And then your savings are more about providing their basic medical care like vaccines you know, just all that kind of stuff. Right? The regular checkups, stuff like that. And then maybe you allocate a little bit for boarding if that's needed for you and your location, and you know, what type of setup your horse would have.
[00:20:45] For my horses, for me, it would be a monthly like stipend, a monthly amount per horse that would fulfill it, would support their forage intake, a quality forage, 24 7 in a slow feed net. It would support their farrier trims. Five weeks. That's what, right now they're on a four week trim cycle, but they can do five. So every five weeks, and then it would be enough for regular medical checkups. And then it would be enough for like their deworming and their supplements that they need, like their mineral balancers to go with their hay. So it's like, it's like a, I have a calculated amount I've gone through and averaged out. Okay. My horse is on average, cost me this much per month. I've been working on this. It's not like where I want it to be, but I've been working on having a sufficient amount for, or like that amount, that average monthly amount per horse for X amount of time. And that would at least buy the new home. You know, this much time of, of financial support for this horse. And I'm just gonna kind of keep going. Now, obviously the younger, the horse, the longer of time that, that, you know, amount would need to carry. But hopefully also the person that you're asking to take care of the horse would have some means of being able to financially support the horse themselves. It's just really helpful if it, the horse can come with that financial support, again, as somebody who has taken on horses for people that I've promised horses for. The financial burden is one of the biggest factors here. Just, you know, horses cost a lot and it's just, it's a lot to ask somebody and I was thankfully able to do it, but that is really the big reason. I was not able to say yes to the other people because I just can't, I can't in good, conscious afford to be able to do that for more horses at this time. But if they were to say, you know, Hey, could you promise this horse a forever home? They're coming with this many amount of years of financial support that will be this much per month. And it will supply all of this and this and this to get much more likely. Like I'm not gonna promise, but like way more likely, cuz then it's just about room and I have the room. I just don't have the financial means to be able to do take care of more horses. Having that financial part in the will and going with the horse is going to be really beneficial in helping find an ideal home.
[00:23:02] The other factors we need to consider into this is preparing our horses ahead of time for being handled by other people and in different ways that people handled them. And then also supplying adequate amounts of instructions and, you know, information for the potential home. So, you know, I work on a daily basis with all of my horses, as far as preparing them, not only for what I want them to do, like the, the specific types of behaviors that I want for. You know, it's just our, you know, mutual time together. So like a lot of the clicker training stuff, I mean, all of my trainings, clicker training, but a lot of the, like reverse round penning and learning to ride under saddle and agility and in hand dressage stuff that stuff is amazing. I love doing that, but I also dedicate an equal amount of time to teaching my horses to be very, very good for the farrier, very, very good for the vets very good for just, you know, if somebody were to just walk into my barn and try and halter my horse and take 'em onto the trailer. They should be able to do that. Regardless of whether I'm there or not, regardless of whether the person has a training pouch on or not, or whatever, I work towards that now, not all of the horses are in that spot right now, but I'm working towards that actively with all of the horses that should something happen to me, it would be easy for somebody to handle cuz that is going to make the life of people, you know, after with that are handling my horses way easier. And then also, and this is my primary focus, to be honest, it makes the life for the horse a whole lot easier when all of a sudden I'm gone. And if I've done everything like super unique and all of a sudden somebody comes in and tries to do it a different way. That could be confusing or frustrating for the horse. I know a lot of people will say, okay, well, this means you need to train with negative reinforcement then to prepare the horse. So horses understand negative reinforcement without you training them to understand negative reinforcement. What they need preparation for though, is the cues that somebody who has been taught with negative reinforcement is most likely to be, to use. You can train those cues with positive reinforcement and what will happen is the person will walk up and cue the horse. And in their mind, they're using, you know, like negative reinforcement, like I'm gonna, you know, apply pressure on the lead rope and then the horse is gonna come forward. And then that's when the release happens. However, if the horse was taught that, you know, feeling a tactile cue on the lead rope, so that pressure right means opportunity for clicking food. Click and reinforcement, they're gonna respond to the cue and then they are ready for the reinforcement. Now, when somebody comes in trained with negative reinforcement, they're thinking the release was the reinforcer. The horse is thinking that food is coming eventually, but if you have the horse far enough along in their training, then you can chain together a bunch of different behaviors. And so you could have the horse put the halter on, lead, do a bunch of different things before they ever get reinforced. So the horse can operate with, you know, traditional type cues without actively being clicked and fed throughout that experience as long as it's not continuously done that way without ever being reinforced. So that's how I prepare my horses and in combination with, and this is the important part too, is instructions. So in a sense, instruction manuals for your horses, should something happen to you, this is how this horse does this. This is how this horse does that. This is how this horse does that. Even a video series. I mean, that would be fine too, to demonstrate, or the person that has agreed to take your horse, if they could come practice and play and, you know, train with the horse a few times before they fully commit to it, or maybe they work with them on a regular basis already, either way, it should be really important that you provide some sort of of arrangement where there is a clear understanding between the horse and the human. We don't wanna surprise the human and we don't wanna surprise the horse. So whether that's the written instructions or video instructions or having the person actually come and work with the horse a few times, so that they're familiar with the horse before they commit to anything that is going to be extremely important. And I would highly recommend. Regardless of how much time they do hands on with the horse though I still think the instructions are really important, especially cuz that'll relate to also their diet, how often they need their feet trimmed. Like you, you need information. They need to know like what's what do I do with this horse?
[00:27:19] Like what is this horse familiar with? What do I do with them? How do I interact with them? What do they need next? What do they usually get? What do they usually fed? Try and make it as simple as possible for everybody including the horse. So there's not this huge stress bomb that lands, which, I mean, obviously there's gonna be a big stress bomb because, you know, an unfortunate event just happened, but we're gonna try and reduce the level of stress that the horse is exposed to by keeping everything as familiar and as consistent and as possible for the horse. Even if they do have to move. It's ideal if they stay on the same food, if they stay on the same training type, you know, handling experience that they have the same companions, like as much as you can do to reduce the stress of the horses exposed to in that transition process will be beneficial in something that should be considered ahead of time.
[00:28:28] So earlier on in the episode, I mentioned that potentially the unfortunate event, wasn't so much that you passed away, but that something tragic happened. And maybe maybe you're just not able to have horses anymore. Maybe something happens that physically is very damaging or anything else. And you have to re-home your horse rather suddenly. I feel like this approach to everything that I just laid. Also applies to that type of situation and would be ideal for horses. It's more like a, Um, I can't think of the correct term right now, but it's like, you're enacting the will for the horse, but you're still alive. You're still around, but you are not able to care for the horse. And so the horse can go to a new home with the person that has promised the horse, a home with their, every, all their instructions with their savings, like everything would go with the horse. So it's less about like selling the horse to someone it's more about paying somebody to take your horse. Not quite obviously, but this would be also part of the agreement. And this is something you needed to discuss with the person that you're talking to about taking your horse ahead of time. And, you know, you need to outline. In this kind of event, like, what is that event? Are you just talking about if you pass away and that person is only agreeing if you pass away then that's one type of agreement and you can't assume that they will also take the horse, should all of a sudden you can't ride anymore. Or, you know, you have to suddenly move across the country. I don't know. There could be a lot of different reasons that that might happen. And a lot of people are rather quick to sell horses. Finances might get tight and you need to sell the horse and, you know, horses, changing homes and being sold is not a abnormal thing, obviously at this point. So I'm not talking necessarily about if you, you know, you just you're done, you just wanna sell your horse. That's a little bit different, although it would be nice if we looked at horses more like dogs, more like family members, where if it really came down to that where you couldn't keep the dog anymore maybe you have to move to another part of the world all of a sudden, and you can't take your dog with you. People don't usually talk about selling their dog for like a profit or even just to make up some money or whatever. It's about finding them a new home. And it's about providing this dog with the best potential future. Things have changed. It's very upsetting. It's not an ideal situation. Nobody's happy about it, but it is what it is. And you have to find the dog, a new home usually, or I've seen at least what I've seen in a lot of these cases, the dog goes with all of their stuff. They meet the new family ahead of time. Familiar with them. They make sure that it's gonna work out, that they're gonna work with the other dogs in the family, and then they, they change homes and it would be awesome too if they also came with some financial support as well. I would love to see this happen more with horses. I think this would be a much better setup would be much more focused on the horses, long term wellbeing then the whole buy, sell culture that is really common in the horse world.
[00:31:19] But I'm not going to sit here and say like don't ever sell your horse type thing. It's just that in this particular situation, what I'm more talking about is something really bad has happened. You cannot keep your horse. Yes. You're still technically alive in here, but something bad has happened and you need to find your horse, a new home. And I still think that all of the previous things that I mentioned would apply here, maybe the horse does or doesn't go with the savings account . But everything else could go. I mean, you could have somebody already set up and ready. You could have the instructions that go with the horse. You could spend the time making sure they fit into this new home. Like there's a lot of different steps we can take to ensure that our horses are living a good, long future happy future, should something unfortunate happen to us. But and also to setting up a potential home for this ahead of time, I feel like would be something to consider I mean, I, I don't see why we couldn't also talk about this with the people that we're talking to. And instead of it, or I should say in combination with, should I pass. So we could have a second type of conversation. Okay. First one is if I pass away would you be able to take this horse? These are the things that the horse needs, like, definitely think about it. Take your time. I only want you to say yes if you're really, really sure, et cetera, et cetera. But then you could also come back with another conversation of like, okay, what about, would you be willing to take this horse if something tragic happened to me and I'm still technically here, but I'm unable to take care of the horse, would it, would you still be okay with that? And could you still agree to that, et cetera, but also definitely be very sure. And you could explain to them too, that it's not just a, oh, I just need to sell this horse. You know, I can't do this anymore or whatever. It's like something bad happened. Like something is unfortunate happened that was unplanned for, this is not what you wanna do. Yes, you're still alive, but it's that next level. Right. So I think that that's worth considering as well. I don't know if I explained that kind of, that kind of is a little bit more blurry lines because of the buy, sell culture in horses and because there is there's a lot of opinions around the whole idea of selling horses and trading horses.
[00:33:28] Anyway, my whole point here is I really just want you guys to be thinking about, should something happen to me, how can I help my horse and how can I prepare for that event that should, that something happens to me. There's a lot of different ways you could go about doing it, obviously. And I would put all of this down in paper. And that's really the kind of gonna be my final point here is that it needs to be written down and it needs to be clearly outlined. It needs to have contingency plan. So if this happens and this, if this happens and this, and then also, if this doesn't work out, then it's this step. And if this doesn't work out, then it's just this step and it might even be worth going to multiple different people. So yes, the first person agreed, but if that's falls through for whatever reason who knows, maybe they pass away before you do, maybe just something tragically happened in their life and they can't take the horse anymore. Like you need to have a fallback plan. So having different people that have agreed to the situation, you know, Hey, you're my I'm coming to you second. And I would clearly articulate to them that they. That your, let's say your sister has already agreed to take this horse, but should something happened to my sister? Could you possibly take this horse? The likelihood of that happening is very improbable at this point, but I still want you to take it seriously, et cetera, et cetera, and then just have this all in super clear writing, very straightforward with all of your plans. You can do an official will, that would be even better. You can have people that help you execute this will, especially if there's money involved, that would be really important. And then, you know, I would just do the best you can and just try and cover as many bases as you can. And obviously, you know, life's gonna happen, and I do feel that it's all under control and things will work out how they're supposed to. But we can do things we can put things in place. We can take steps to help our horses, you know, continue on without us in a, in a way that will be, that will be safer and hopefully will be an enjoyable rest of their life.
[00:35:29] And last thought I wanna add in here is that there's nothing to say that you couldn't set up a situation where somebody takes the horse after you pass, and then you ensure them to find the horse of forever home. So that's an option as well. You know, maybe this person that takes the horse can't promise them a forever home, but could be responsible for finding them their forever home, or, you know, as close as we're gonna get to that that it would be a really good option for somebody who maybe one of your horses is really young, has a very promising performance career. Doesn't have a lot of medical or behavioral stuff going on. And they would be highly likely to find a good home just because of all of these factors that there's just, they don't need a lot of special anything. So maybe your good horse friend who understands horses, understands your horses would promise the horse a good home until they could find them the ideal home kind of thing. And, and if you wanted to and I'm, I'm not a huge fan of like the buying selling and just making profit off of horses. However, what we could do is potentially this horse finds a really, really good home. That's gonna promise them, you know, everything that you would give them, but also it's a sale situation, not a adoption or whatever. It's like you're selling the horse. And then some of that money could go back to supporting any other horse that are going to struggle to find that forever home or that are staying in a caregiver situation, that they've been promised to in your will or whatever, there's a lot of different ways you could set this up. I don't think there's just one way. And again, like I started the beginning of the episode with, I'm just sharing ideas. I'm just getting you guys thinking I'm just kind of spitballing different stuff. Like what about this? What about that? I don't think there's one way to do it and maybe there's even companies out there that are designed to help people with this. I'm sure there are for dogs and pets of other species but maybe not so much with horses. And I'd also talk to any insurance companies that you might have your horses like usually people who will have like a mortality insurance that's if the horse were to pass and then there's health and major medical and all that. I would also talk to them and make sure that the insurance could pass to the new owner. Maybe even ask them if they have suggestions when it comes to that kind of stuff. They've probably dealt with it more than I have. And then just talk to other professionals, talk to people who maybe have done this before, or even been on the receiving end of this kind of situation and what, what they would've preferred and what would've helped them. I'm sharing with you guys, things that I think would help me and, you know, the horse that I did promise of forever home to, and then ended up taking on. I knew the horse very, very well. I'd been working with this horse for a couple of years now, and she'd actually been living with me for a while. So I, I mean, it was a very easy transfer like she didn't know anything different had it happened. As far as I knew, the, the big change was the financial part of it. So I knew that going into it and agreeing to it and all that. But you know, if, if suddenly a horse just showed up at my property, you know, and I didn't know this horse at all or whatever. And didn't come with any financial support, whatever it would be a lot more stressful. So the whole goal here is, and the thing I'm encouraging you guys to do is think ahead, plan ahead and talk with people ahead of time so that you can reduce the amount of stress that happens for your horse, and also reduce the burden and the stress for the potential new forever home for your horse.
[00:38:54] Thanks so much for listening. If you enjoyed this podcast episode, I would love if you left us a review on wherever you listen to your podcast, if you'd like to learn more head to our website, the willing equine.com, where you'll find a bunch of links to our different social media platforms. We have Instagram TikTok, YouTube, Facebook, pretty much everything.
[00:39:19] We also have our blog, our training services and the T w academy where you can. In the foundation course that opens a few times a year. Thanks so much for listening. And I look forward to chatting with you in the next episode.