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Retiring and Rehoming Camp Horses

Camp Ondessonk’s equestrian department is often asked about the retiring and rehoming of Camp horses. Saying goodbye to our beloved horses is a decision we don’t take lightly. At the end of the summer, we determine which horses are ready for retirement. The general guideline is at the age of 25, we retire our horses because this is when we usually see signs that Camp life is taking a toll on them, though we also consider if they are still happy and healthy at Camp. Equestrian director, Catherine Limkeman, adds, “Also, at the age of 25, horses still have plenty of life left. Being ridden and loved by a family is really good for them physically and mentally. We want the new owners to be able to have many years of riding their new pet.”

Once the decision is made to retire a horse, we begin the process of finding them a forever home. If the horse was donated, our first step is asking the original donor if they would like them back, otherwise, we screen other interested individuals to see if they would be a good fit. Our goal is to find homes where our Camp horses will be cared for by people experienced in horse care, especially since older horses’ bodies do not process nutrients as easily and often require a “senior feed” that is full of specific nutrients to help them maintain a healthy body.

This year, Camp Ondessonk retired Montana, Star, and Gainz, and though we aren’t looking to retire any more horses this summer, we do retire some every year. If you’re interested in being considered for as a possible forever home for future retired Camp horses, please contact Catherine Limkeman at catherine.limkeman@ondessonk.com.

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