Donating a Horse to Mount Holyoke

Riding Prospective Horse Application

The Equestrian Center’s schoolhorses consist of many wonderful horses donated by individuals. The horses donated to our program range from top-rated show horses to veteran beginner horses. Please remember that we are also always in need of quality saddles, strap goods, blankets and equipment! These can add value to any donation.

Donation Process

  1. By filling out the Prospective Horse Application at the top of the page, our management team will automatically receive your information. We ask that, if at all possible, you send a video of your horse at this time. This will help us better assess your horse for the program and keep the shipping costs to a minimum for the donor. Please send video via email.
  2. The Equestrian Center will review your application and videos, and a member of the staff will contact you regarding your donation.
  3. Each donation is asked to come in for at least a 30-day trial period. Should the horse not work out, shipping to and from the college will be at the owner’s expense. The trial period is to assess if your horse will work in our program. We ask for the 30 days, so the horse has time to settle in and so that we can base our decision on your horse over time. Prior to your horse coming in on trial, we will send you a Trial Period Agreement. This will need to be signed and sent in before the horse’s arrival, along with what your horse eats, what tack he/she regularly goes in, last worming date and medication and vaccination records. We are currently also asking that you take and record your horse’s temperature daily for seven days prior to arriving at the facility.
  4. After the horse finishes the 30-day trial period, we will notify you as to whether we feel your horse will work in our program. We may decide to have a pre-purchase exam performed at our expense prior to accepting your horse. If your horse is not suitable for our program, we do ask that arrangements be made for them to leave the facility within 10 days of notification.

Paperwork Needed

On arrival:

  1. A complete vaccination and worming record of the horse.
  2. Hay, feed, and supplement instructions.
  3. Coggins test within one year.
  4. Trial period agreement.

After acceptance:

  1. Registration papers (if applicable) signed over to Mount Holyoke College.
  2. USEF, USDF or FEI show record from the past show season and the USEF Horse ID number or other registration number (if applicable). Transfer of ownership through USEF.
  3. A signed Bill of Sale. The simple Bill of Sale will be provided to you by Mount Holyoke College.

Once Your Horse Has Been Accepted

In most cases, owners then have their horse appraised. This is entirely for the owners benefit (and at their expense), but most accountants recommend it. An appraisal represents an official document that is used as supporting evidence of the donation for the IRS. We are happy to handle showing the horse to the appraiser.

We then fill out a form for our development office, the appraiser sends the development office his/her appraisal if this has been done, and our development office sends the owner IRS Form 8283 to use for their taxes.

If you have any concerns about completing any of the paperwork, or have any questions, please contact Paula Pierce ( at 413-538-2272.


In addition to horse donations, the Equestrian Center is also in need of other equine items for the program.  Quality items such as saddles, bridles, blankets, and other stable supplies will be considered. Similar to the horse donation process, these items can be appraised and our development office will send the owner an IRS Form 8283 to use for their taxes. Please email us and a member of the staff will contact you regarding your donation.