If you are pretty sure you want to make a Bella Run horse a part of your family, there are a few nitty gritty details that you need to become familiar with. Be sure to read our Adoption Requirements thoroughly and ask us any questions before you sign your adoption form."
A very common question is something along the lines of "What if I get my new horse home and it turns out it's not a good fit?" We have a policy in place for just these situations, and we ask that you familiarize yourself with it below. This policy has been formed after years of trial and error, and we have come to the conclusion that it is best for our adopters, our organization, and our horses.
"You mean I can bring the horse I adopted back and get my money back?!"
Yep... BUT there are rules. Get acquainted with the policy first. As with anything good, there are limits.
Please note that returning a horse is something that we take very seriously. It only happens 1-2 times a year, is not routine, and is always a shame. That being said, we don't want you to read this and figure you can just take one of our horses home and if it doesn't work out, bring it back willy nilly. While that's somewhat true, we expect our adopters to be serious as they select a Bella Run horse.
We consider having a horse returned to be a bit of a failure on our part, and because of this, strive to make the perfec match with 100% disclosure the first time. However, things happen, which is why we have added this guarantee. Get familiar with it BEFORE adopting.
Because a forever home is the goal, a suitable fit between horse and rider is absolutely necessary. To ensure a good match, we offer a guarantee all of our horses for an agreed upon amount of time. We used to have the wonderful "unconditional guarantee, money back for the life of the horse!!"... but people started taking advantage of us. Then, we changed it to "30 day money back for any reason or no reason at all!!" Sounds great? It is... until people bring horses back with a ligament strain after show season, and we are scrambling to refund their money. That being said, the following isn't because we are trying to be difficult, it's because we have to be realistic.
Here is the "Guarantee Breakdown".
The guarantee is not a trial period. This isn't an opportunity to take a horse home and try it for a week or two to finalize your decision about adopting. This is here in case an issue arises and you aren't a good fit with the horse. When you take a horse from Bella Run, the adoption will be completed... unless something unforeseen happens.
We do not do a 30 day guarantee. There is simply too much time in a 30 day guarantee for a horse to get injured, lose weight, and develop bad habits in its new home... all so the new owner can bring them back for a refund. A 1-2 week guarantee gives you time to get a thorough vet check by the vet of your choice, introduce the horse to your herd, and figure out that the horse was indeed exactly what we told you he/she was. We always recommend having a vet check BEFORE you take your new horse home.
You are welcome to bring the horse back for the money back guarantee WITHIN THE TIME PERIOD for any reason. You must transport the horse yourself. The adoption fee will be held so we can refund your money the day you return the horse. Funding is always tight, so once the guarantee period is up, the adoption fee goes right back into the program (vet, farrier, hay, etc). This is one of the reasons we cannot offer a longer money back period.
We have had people call two weeks after their trial is over and say they have discovered a chronic physical problem with the horse, a problem that the horse must have had for years. They claimed to notice this chronic problem the second day they brought it home, but never contacted us. Now, a month after their guarantee is up, they want to return the horse for a complete refund, oddly enough after show season was over. (In this case, the horse had an injury that it sustained with them, not a chronic problem, but because we stand by our horses we refunded their money). After further vet examination, no lameness issues were found, and that horse is competing happily today. Stories like these are why this rule is in effect: IF YOU WANT TO RETURN A HORSE BECAUSE OF A PRE-EXISTING CONDITION/LAMENESS THAT YOU BELIEVE THEY WERE ADOPTED OUT WITH, YOU NEED TO HAVE A VET CHECK COMPLETED WITHIN YOUR GUARANTEE PERIOD. Do you want the money back health guarantee? Do your part and get a vet check within the time frame, and we won't have any issues.
To receive a refund, horses MUST be returned in the same condition (or better) that they left us in. Any injuries or physical/mental decline will impact the amount of money refunded (since we will then have to rehabilitate the horse). Think of it as a safety net, not a trial period. It is there in case something comes up, but we want you to be smitten with your new friend before they leave us. We would love to send our horses away on 30 day unlimited trials with a rainbow and a pot of gold... and at one time, we did! Now we have to remain realistic and fair to all parties involved, especially the horses. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to ask BEFORE you adopt!
Thank you for your understanding.
We do realize that things happen, and sometimes it is not possible for you to keep your Bella Run horse forever. We will ALWAYS take the horse back (for the rest of their lives, Bella Run horses are always welcome back into our barn).
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us. We aren't scary and we don't bite... and at the end of the day, we just want our adopters and their horses to be happy. We are willing to make exceptions and adjustments to the adoption contract, but that must be discussed before an adoption contract is signed (otherwise it's about as useful as a piece of toilet paper). Thank you!