Thousands of students across the country are now receiving postsecondary education in equestrian programs. Most colleges and universities rely on the support of generous horse donors to provide the equine partners that are used in these programs. If you have a horse that may be suited for a school program, please look over the information below.


General Information On Donating Equines To College Equestrian Programs


Research schools with equestrian programs to determine where you feel your horse’s talents would be a benefit to the school and where the school would be a good environment for your horse

  • Check schools with equine degree programs
  • Check schools with equestrian riding teams

Before contacting a school, ask yourself, “Is my horse a good fit for this school’s program?"

  • Is the horse trained in the discipline taught at the school? (Example: Don’t offer to donate a hunt seat horse to a school that only does western.)
  • Is your horse a breed used at the school? (Example: Don’t offer to donate a Quarter Horse to a school that is looking for Saddle Seat horses.)
  • Is the horse safe to handle from the ground and ride? (Example: Most schools will turn down horses with vices such as biting, kicking, striking, rearing, bucking.)
  • Does the horse have any medical or soundness issues?
  • Is the horse broke to ride and can be ridden every day?
  • If the horse is not broke to ride, does the school have a horse training program?

Contact the school to determine their donation process and if there are openings for new donations.

Complete the school’s prospective horse application form.

  • Most schools will either ask for a short bio of your horse or ask you to complete a form that asks for information such as your horse’s breed, age, sex, height, previous training, current training, show experience or records, medical or soundness issues, bad habits, and your reason for donating.

Submit a brief video of your horse.

Most schools will ask for a short video of your horse’s current abilities. This will help the school better assess if the horse is a good fit for their program.

After the school reviews your application and video, a member of the staff will contact you regarding the donation. Many schools will then ask that the horse be sent to them for a trial period

  • Trial times vary between schools but most are between two weeks and 60 days.
  • Donors will be responsible for the cost of shipping the horse to and from the school for the trial period.
  • Expect to provide the following information upon arrival of your horse at the school for trial: signed donation trial contract from school, current negative Coggins test for horse, medical documentation including vaccination history and date of last deworming, any supplements needed during trial period, instructions on current hay and feed.
  • Your horse will be used in the school’s riding program to ensure compatibility.
  • The school may also have a pre-purchase exam done on your horse during this time.

After your horse has been evaluated during the trial period, a staff member will contact you about whether or not your donation has been accepted

If your horse is not compatible for the program, you will be asked to make arrangements for your horse to leave the facility, generally within 7-10 days of notification.

If your donation is accepted into the equestrian program, expect to:

  • Complete a donation form for the school
  • Complete IRS Form 8283
  • For horses with a fair market value in excess of $5,000, an appraisal from a qualified appraiser (as defined by the IRS) is required.
  • Complete transfer of ownership for any applicable breed registry or discipline organization your horse is recorded.
  • Sign a bill of sale

Looking for schools to donate your horse or pony?

Check out schools that have intercollegiate or interscholastic equestrian teams.


Emily McSweeney 
[email protected]