I’m currently fostering an older gelding for Bluebonnet here in Texas, and he’s the second foster I’ve had for them. Bluebonnet is run very well, and is definitely NOT the hoarder-type that seems to be so common. It has an excellent reputation and works really hard to get horses into good homes. They have all kinds of fundraising events, the biggest being the Expo in the fall, where adoptable horses are placed with trainers (professionals and non-pro) for 90 days and then brought to the Expo to compete for prizes, etc. It’s a great opportunity to get the horses worked, seen, and into the hands of forever homes.
The rescue does offer a quarterly stipend that covers feed, routine care and some other expenses. They are not intrusive, but stay up to date on placed horses’ welfare, by having volunteers perform inspections (just a few pics and a general statement about their overall well-being) at various times. The inspections are communicated clearly, “Hey, it’s time for Dobbin’s annual inspection, is there a date and time that works best for you so I can come take a few pictures?” sort of thing, nothing nefarious, just basically making sure the horse is okay and verifying it’s location. I’ve done several of those and the adopters are always very welcoming and willing to let me meet their horses.
The first mare I fostered only had one person contact me about meeting her - she came out, fell in love, and the rest, as they say, is history. She was offered as companion only, and the wonderful woman that adopted her as a pasture ornament has become a good friend and just adores that mare no end. The gelding I have now has had two people express interest to the rescue, who in turn contacted me, but then both backed out for whatever reason. This gelding can be ridden, so I’m interested to see how an actual visit will go.
That’s my (very) limited experience with fostering, but I know I’m with a really good group and if at any time this gelding needs to go somewhere else, they will make that happen. He’s definitely not here for life and if not adopted by next spring will probably go back with a trainer for the Expo again. They truly do want what’s best for the horses AND their volunteers, and work hard to make good fits.