University of Maryland Extension

Riding Horse Donations

We are very fortunate to have supportive individuals that donate their horses to enhance the quality of our Equine Studies Program. All horses are housed at our on-campus farm with exceptional care provided by our trained students and staff. We are currently looking for horses that have excellent ground manners so that they can be handled by students in class, and are sound so that they can be ridden 5-6 times per week in a light lesson program. We do require a 30-day trial to ensure that we are the right fit for the horse and they are the right fit for our program. If you are thinking about donating one of your horses, please view our criteria and donation process.

Donation Horse Criteria:

  • Excellent ground manners. Horses will be handled by beginners and therefore must be patient and willing when handled.
  • 5-17 yrs old
  • 14.2 to 16.2 hands
  • No vices
  • Sound. We do not accept horses that have existing soundness conditions that require rehab, joint injections, or special medications to keep them sound.
  • We do not have a breed preference, but warmbloods, Quarter Horse and other stock types (App, Paint, etc) and draft crosses tend to work out the best in a teaching environment.
  • We take horses of all riding levels, but prefer those that can be ridden by beginners.
  • Horse should be suitable for a riding lesson program.



  1. Complete the prospective horse donation form at the bottom of this page. Submit the completed form along with photos showing the horse's conformation and videos of the horse being ridden at the walk, trot, and canter to Dr. Amy Burk at Videos that are large in size should be uploaded online (i.e. and then the link should be shared with Dr. Burk either via e-mail or within the donation paperwork.
  2. Our staff will review the horse´s information, photos, and video.
  3. If we believe the horse could be a good fit for our program, we will contact the donor to schedule a visit.
  4. A member of our staff along with 1-2 students will visit the horse to ride it at the walk, trot, canter, and over small jumps.
  5. After the visit, we will determine whether the horse will be accepted into the program on a trial basis.
  6. For horses accepted to our program on a trial basis, we ask that the donor complete the trial agreement and horse health information form just prior to the horse´s arrival at our campus farm. All horses should be up-to-date on vaccinations and have a current negative Coggins.
  7. During the 30-day trial, we will regularly inform the donor of the horse´s progress. When the trial period is over, the donor will be notified if the horse has been accepted into our program.
  8. All horse donations are tax-deductible and UMD will sign the appropriate IRS forms for the donor.
  9. For horses valued at greater than $5,000, an appraisal is required. Owners getting their horses appraised must do so prior to the horse being donated.

Thank you for your interest in donating to the Equine Studies Program at the University of Maryland!

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