Friday, August 3, 2012

It Has Begun: Tons of Free & Cheap Horses *updated*


Free Palomino:
15 yr. old Palomino gelding approx. 16hh.  Free to a good home.  Has some lameness issues, pretty arthritic in front and may have had laminitis in the past.  Some corrective shoeing and proper pain management could improve him quite a bit.  Laid back horse that is eager to please.  He is currently a trail horse at a camp in Montello, WI (an hour north of Madison).  Call me @ 262-878-5106 or email at
Becky VanDamme

three filly $125 ea take all three for $300 608-438-1099  ad here  Madison area


AQHA mare needs a home-- breeding sound only. Free. Pretty girl, lots of points on her, not bred. Eau Claire area. Add here


Horsepeople here in Wisconsin have been predicting doom ever since the rains abandoned us late this spring. With hay either non-existent or sky-high in price, there are going to be a lot of miserable horses this winter, either left to starve in fields or dumped on the local auctions. (Speaking of which, I still haven't made it to an auction yet this year, can anyone recommend a local auction in the Madison area?)

Anyway, I just didn't expect such dump-offs to start so soon... Granted, right now it's the weaker animals, the seniors or the ones with small problems, but I think this will only get worse. I've included a list of links down below to all the Craigslist "free horses," but I want to start with ones I've been contacted about personally:

First, my excellent farrier Stacy Anacker is trying to help a guy find a home for a nice quarter-pony. This mare is incredibly sweet and gentle, perfect for kids, but has lameness issues. A big session of physical therapy, followed by a short session every six months loosens her up enough to be able to be a great walk-trot pony, but she would need that care throughout her life. Otherwise very healthy. Free to a good home. Contact Stacy at 608-712-2924.

Next up:

Two appaloosa mares, about ten years old, need homes. They may have some riding training, but haven't been ridden in a while. The one above may have been bred back to the same stallion that she had this foal from (the foal is now sold and safe). They're both about 14 hands. The one not pictured is built slightly bigger, is dark/black in color and isn't as thin. Unknown Coggins, no obvious lameness, hooves aren't good but not slipper feet. The owner is Bobby, and he sounds like a bit of a jerk/animal dealer, but I think he's honestly trying to find these horses homes moreso than trying to make a buck. He's asking $200 for the horse pictured above, unknown price for the other one, and is negotiable on prices. Call him at 920-284-5528. Located in Black Creek (west of Green Bay).

More free or cheap horses:

Anderson's Homes for Horses-- a rescue I've never heard of, and which doesn't appear to have any website or formal setup. Seems to have a multitude of free horses near Janesville. Ad here.

Healthy-but-thin gelding rescued from an auction. Handsome and sweet. Riding training unknown. $200/free to the right home. Call 608 253 7177  Madison WI

21 year old well-broke gelding. Has heaves, can only walk-trot, but very calm/sweet. Up to date on worming, may need teeth done. Hard keeper. Free. Call or text 608 617 3211. Portage WI

Four free horses, currently owned by a rescue I haven't heard of before. References required. 3yo mustang mare with 30 days training here. 22 yo ex-barrel mare, some arthritis, here. @0+ yo Morgan gelding, intermediate rider needed, some arthritis, here. Nice-looking QH mare, sweet but unhandled, here. Madison WI area

29 yo TB mare, hard keeper, 16hh, rescued from an auction 2 years ago. Ex-jumper. Free. Call or text 815 291 8026. Shannon/Rockford Ill

Free older jenny mule to good home. 14.3. Hasn't been ridden in 2 years. Call 608-487-0054. Ontario, WI

Free pasture ornament-- 8yo QH mare not sound for riding or breeding. Pretty bay mare, can pony kids around. Call Dani at 608-385- Eight Four Nine One. LaCrosse area, WI.

4yo 16hh Saddlebred gelding, broke to lead only. $300. Craigslist ad here. Appleton, WI area.

6 yo Reg Saddlebred gelding, broke to lead only, also $300. Ad here. Appleton, WI area (same people?)

Old pony needs retirement home. Call Pat at 920-470-6978. Appleton/Sherwood.

13 yo Arabian mare with behavior issues free to good home. Ad here. Appleton area. Call or text 920-290-2199.

3 yo AQHA mare with coffin bone injury, free to good home. Can handle light riding with a light rider. Ad here. Saxon (northern) WI.  call 715-893-2398

8yo paint gelding, super well broke to trails but hasn't been ridden in about a year. Has a bit of an attitude problem from not being worked. May have allergies/heaves. $200/free to good home. Ad here. Harshaw (northern WI). call 715-six-zero-five-0002

...and that's all I have time for right now. I'm sure there are a TON more out there.


  1. Yeah, this is not going to be a pretty winter for a lot of horses. When the vet was out to float my old man horse's teeth, he indicated he wished he could just go around and euthanize at will in years like this because a lot of people will just let a horse starve half to death and then shoot it. We've hoarding hay since spring - cutting places we've never cut before and getting permission to cut from friends with land but no stock. Luckily, we have a lot of land and no cattle, so there are acres and acres that, with a bit of electric fence, can keep the crew on grass. I've got three worthless nags already, but I've been mightily tempted to take in a refugee or two.

    1. Oohh, vigilante vets! That would be awesome-- they could call themselves "The Angels of Mercy." I'd totally support a group like that.

      Awesome that you have so much pasture! We have a fair amount too, and the means to cut it, but our storage space is limited. Might do an old fashioned hay stack or three just in case though... who knows what next year will bring?!

  2. My barn owner is giving away some horses, mostly rescues she took in, unbroke young geldings and mares, and a few well broke horses too. She is 79, still cleans house for people, and has had to cash in her 401k to get hay. she has only gotten 2nd crop off one field.

    I need some advice though... I have a chance to take in a young mustang colt, 2yrs old. I haven't seen him yet. I have gone round and round with his owner who keeps changing her mind as to price and WHY she needs to get rid of him. She is young,and has played some games with me. and my situation is I would have to keep him at a friends place for a while. I would piss of some people I am friends with, AND my husband, but would make others very happy if I took him in.
    i dunno what to do... And yes he is local to the madison area.
    Also there are no auctions close to madison, Pecatonica and Waverly are the closest.

    1. Hi Carol, I guess whether or not you get the mustang depends on several things:

      1) Price. A young, unbroke mustang that can't be ridden for two more years? Better be fairly cheap, unless this horse is basically a saint.

      2)If the horse is okay where he is, don't run to the rescue, especially when this chick keeps playing with you. There are plenty more mustangs out there in worse situations.

      3) Ask yourself if it's REALLY a good idea to adopt a horse right now. I know it's hard to pass up a cheap horse that you like, especially when the current owner is a jerk. However, you can't save 'em all. Sounds like with your husband/finances/space concerns, now might not be the right time. Remember that giving fewer horses more quality lives is better than giving more horses less quality lives.

      Thanks for the auction tip!

  3. Well I got her down to $20, she started at 175, then down to 85, then 75, then 35 and pls send her the rest as she was moving (see the "many reasons"/changing reasons). Then back up to 75, then down to 50, then 35 again, and now 20.
    I am making her wait 2 days, I told her I wouldn't be able to get him till weds, which is tomorrow. Mostly because I have worked the last two days and not had a lot of free time, and have had to do things like fix fences for my horses and do laundry and well. work.. I don't want to load a young horse in the dark...