Donating to a Non-Profit Organization as an Unconventional Solution to Rehome Your Horse

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Photo © Evelyn Szczepanek / ES Equine Photography

By Tanja Schnuderl

Horses donated to non-profit organizations are considered “no-cash charitable contributions” by the IRS and form 8283 has to be filed by the taxpayer to qualify for a tax reduction. If the donation exceeds $5000, an appraisal has to be attached and form 8283 needs to be signed by a certified appraiser. 

As a certified equine appraiser, a good number of my appraisals are for high-level sport horse donations. This often makes other horse people shake their head in disbelief. “Who in their right mind would just give away a horse like that?” Based on hundreds of appraisal hours, I learned that there are valid reasons for people who are looking to rehome their horse to choose to donate them to a non-profit organization. 

The majority of horses in my cases go to equestrian college programs. Some horse owners are reaching an age where they want to retire from actively riding, other horse owners experienced lifestyle changes that lead them to look into options to rehome their horses. Most of them like the security of giving their horse into a college-organized and supervised barn, ensuring that the horse will receive proper care as opposed to selling them to a private person, hoping that they will take good care of their horses.

Sometimes the horse owners are alumni of the college they are donating to and want to give back after learning and training with the school horses back when they were students. Other horse owners donate their horses to a local non-profit organization for therapeutic riding because they want to support their community and give people access. In the light of those motives, donating your horse to a non-profit organization might be a worthwhile option. 


Tanja Schnuderl is the Director of International Services with The Equine Expert LLC, a multi-discipline equine expert witness and consulting firm with expert equestrians offering legal expert witness and consulting services in court cases and legal matters. Tanja is an expert on Barn Management and Horse Behavior. She provides her barn management services at a modern 20-stall boutique barn close to Washington DC and a private 8-stall training facility of a local FEI Dressage rider. She has established her own equine appraisal company, Sigma Equine LLC. Tanja grew up in Germany and was a paralegal for many years. For more information on Tanja Schnuderl email tanja@theequineexpert.comwww.theequineexpert.com

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