Most Frequent Questions


How Much Does It Cost To Adopt?
The average adoption fee at New Vocations is $450. If the horse has physical limitations, is older, or has a vice, the fee is often waived. The horse is adopted under a one year, conditional bill of sale contract.

Why Do Some Horses Have An Additional Non-Refundable Donation Fee Included With The Adoption Fee?

Horses with higher adoption fees (typically horses that are highly desirable) will have an added non-refundable donation along with the adoption fee to help those horses who may need extensive medical care or just more time to find a loving home.

How Much Does It Cost For Transportation?
All adopters are responsible for arranging transportation for their adopted horse. Click Here for a list of commercial shippers.

Can Horses Be Adopted Out of State? 
New Vocations adopts to all 48 contiguous states!

Do I Have To Keep The Horse At Home?
The horse may be boarded at commercial facilities or the home of family or friends. This must be disclosed on the application, and the facility manager must fill out a boarding agreement that gives New Vocations the right to repossess the horse should the board bill become delinquent.

Do Injured Horses Require Extra Veterinary Care?
In most cases a track veterinarian has already evaluated the horse, and it has received the necessary rehabilitation. Seldom do these horses require vet care other than routine dental, immunizations, and worming.

Can I Find A Child Safe Horse Through This Organization?
At this stage in their lives, these horses are not recommended for children or novices. They are fresh off the track with little or no pleasure riding experience. Even after a period of transitional training most will not be safe for children or inexperienced riders. Since Standardbreds are quieter and more tolerant than Thoroughbreds, some may become suitable for a novice after several months of quiet riding.

Can First Time Horse Owners Adopt?
It is the policy at New Vocations not to allow first time horse owners adopt. The exception would be an individual with extensive experience who would be riding under the supervision of a professional or has leased horses in the past. It is very important for these horses to be handled by experienced, confident people in order to make a successful transition from track to pleasure.

Can I Try The Horse Out?
Potential adopters are not allowed to ride the horses at New Vocations due to insurance restrictions. Horses may be groomed, led, and turned out to evaluate their movement and soundness. Potential adopters may also request to see the horse ridden by a New Vocations staff member. Videos and photographs are posted on the website.

What If I Can’t Handle My New Horse?
This scenario seldom occurs since emphasis is placed on adopters having the experience and confidence necessary to train the horse for a new vocation. Retiring racehorses are only considered “green broke” and this fact cannot be overstressed. There is a 60 day suitability clause as part of the adoption contract. However, should the horse fail to have the disposition or soundness for the purpose it was adopted, it can be returned to New Vocations in exchange for a credit equal to the adoption fee provided that the horse returns in the same or better condition as to when it left our program.

Can The Mares Be Bred?
Yes. Mares adopted through New Vocations are allowed to be bred. These are all very high quality individuals that should enhance most breeds. Mares can not be sold through any auctions. Only a private sale of a broodmare is allowed.

Do Registration Papers Come With The Horse?
Registration papers usually come with the mares and often we get a copy of the papers with the geldings. The horse’s registered name and age allows the pedigree (not papers) to be obtained through the Jockey Club or the USTA.

Can I Talk To The Previous Owner or Trainer?
New Vocations acts as the agent between an adopter and the former owner and trainer. Once a horse is settled into its new home and successfully making the transition, the name and address of the former owner may be given upon request. Former owners are always given the name and address of adopters should the owner wish to personally communicate.

Can I Have A Horse Vet Checked?
Retiring racehorses come to New Vocations with a variety of injuries; occupational hazards of racing. Most will heal sufficiently for general use with time away from the track. These are adoption horses, not an item to be bought or sold with a “guarantee.” They should be viewed as a gift, not a purchase. The horses were under a veterinarian’s care at the track and have been professionally evaluated by the former trainer and the New Vocations’ staff. Many also have x-rays or ultrasounds on file and can be viewed.  A pre-purchase exam may be done on the Thoroughbreds as long as it is done in a timely manner.  Horses will not be held for more than a couple days if another approved adopter shows interest in the same horse and opts to not do a pre-purchase exam or chooses to do it once the horse is moved to their facility.  Please note our 60 day return policy.

What Is The Potential Of Bringing Sickness Into My Herd?
Racehorses coming from tracks and breeding farms have been extremely well vaccinated and wormed all of their lives. The horses may be recovering from injuries and thin from the rigors of racing, but not sick.

What Happens To The Chronically Lame Horses?
New Vocations focuses its efforts on transitioning retired racehorses to new careers. If the horse is not expected to get sound enough for at least casual riding it may be humanely euthanized.

What Type of Bit is Recommended For Transitional Training?
Both Thoroughbreds and Standardbreds have been raced in a snaffle bit. This bit should be used during the transitional training phase. When moving to a different type of bit, do your horse a favor and give it one or two “bitting” sessions, as explained under our transitional training section,  so it learns how to “give” to the change in pressure. This will help you get the bit adjusted and avoid accidents.

Can A Western Saddle Be Used?
A western saddle is fine, but make sure it fits properly and the tree is not putting pressure on the horse’s withers. Neither Thoroughbreds nor Standardbreds are accustomed to carrying much weight. Be sure there is sufficient padding under any saddle used.

How Much Grain Does A Retired Racehorse Need?
Thoroughbreds generally need more calories to maintain their weight than Standardbreds or other breeds of equivalent size. New Vocations begins with 10-12 lbs of 12% high fat concentrate/day for the average Thoroughbred and then adjusts upward for bigger horses and those that need to gain weight. The grain is accompanied by ample high quality hay or lush pasture. Standardbreds receive 8-10 pounds of grain a day.

What Can I Do To Help This Cause? 
Monetary donations are the biggest help. New Vocations has to raise every dollar it takes to run this mission. Consider the organizations you belong to and determine if they would be willing to send financial support or designate New Vocations as the beneficiary of a charitable event. New Vocations adopts more retired racehorses than any other comparable organization in the country. We do everything in our power not to turn horses away, but we need broad financial support and many fund-raising efforts. We welcome people that would be willing to identify, inquire, and apply for grants from foundations and organizations that care about the horses. We will eagerly supply the needed stationary, brochures, newsletters, and documentation.