Adoptions FAQ

So you want to adopt a horse? That’s great! The right fit is fantastic and ultimately subjective. Here are some useful things to know about our adoption process and what we’re looking for in a good match.

Our adoption process works as follows:
Step #1: Email adoptions@hicaliber.org and let them know you're interested!
  • Not Facebook message, not text, not carrier pigeon, no ham radios... email! 
Step #2: Fill out the adoption application
  • You will receive the link to the application in email. 
  • Due to insurance reasons, we must have an adoption application on file prior to showing any horses. 
  • Not everyone will be a fit to adopt through HiCaliber. We try to be as honest as possible so that we don't waste anyone's time or get hopes up unnecessarily.
Step #3: Come out for a showing
  • You will be advised of the adoption fee prior to the showing.
  • All adoption fees provided are good for 14 days
  • All potential adopters and guests are required to complete a liability waiver prior to coming to the ranch. It's a standard waiver for most equestrian facilities. 
  • If you're interested in a pasture puff and/or green horse, we will do a non-riding meet and greet showing.
  • For riding showings: bring your helmet if you have one, if not we'll rustle one up for you! Helmets are mandatory. 
Step #4: After the showing...
  • The match has to be right for both adopter AND horse. If we don't think this horse or our program is the best match for you, we will let you know within 48 hours.
  • If it looks like a love connection has been made then...
    • A HiCaliber volunteer will check your references.
    • A home check will be conducted. We are looking for safe, not fancy! 
  • If the home check and references go well....
    • You will be connected to our contracts team to finalize the adoption contract and collect the adoption fee. 
    • Bring your new family member home! 
    • **If you're more than three hours away, this process will be slightly altered in order to allow you to complete the showing and take the horse home the same day if it's a good match. 
General notes: 
  • If you were expecting to hear back from us and it's been more than a couple days, please email us again. We are an all-volunteer adoption team and try really hard to get back to everyone in a timely manner. Make sure to check your spam folder as sometimes our invaluable responses get mistaken for junk. *gasp!* 
  • We really want to try and match you with the right horse, so we might ask a bunch of questions like...
    • Do you have training support or a kickass mentor? 
    • What do you want to do with your new horse? Are you seeking trail, flat arena work, gymkhama, dressage, hunter/jumper, pony club or the sexiest lawn ornament ever? 
    • If you're looking for a project horse to train, please be ready to tell us about your experience. You can check your humility at the door!
  • If you're a beginner, we suggest first taking some lessons with a local trainer.
  • If you're getting back into riding after a long break (years or decades), we suggest hopping back in the saddle with a friend or trainer prior to doing any showings.
  • THESE ARE RESCUE HORSES! 
    • Many of them are fantastic horses, with a quirk or two. 
    • A number of our calmer trail horses have restrictions such as: lighter riders, shorter rides, shoes or pads, etc. We'll tell you what we've done to keep them comfortable. 
    • We rarely see bombproof husband horses that can carry beginner adults around 200 pounds on trail. Those types of horses are often available for sale by private parties. 
  • Are you outside of Southern California? 
    • At this time we consider adoptions to all of California, Nevada and Arizona. We try to keep the horses as close to Southern California as possible so that we can be a safety net in event you ever need to rehome the horse, but we will always consider a farther placement if it's in the best interest of the horse. 
    • Do you live outside of one of our designated adoption states? If you are interested in one of our harder-to-place horses, or can offer sanctuary and have magnificent references, we will always consider whatever might be in the best long-term interest of our horses on a case by case basis.
  • Is a new horse in your budget? 
    • On the low end in Southern California, a horse will run you at least $3,000/year in hard costs, not including board, grain or emergency vet bills. Please remember that this is a commitment for life and make sure you're financially prepared to make this commitment. 

If you've read all of this and still think you want to add a horse (or maybe donkey, cow or goat) to your family by adopting through HiCaliber, we can't wait to hear from you!