Basic Behaviors Profile

Developed by the ASPCA Right Horse program

The key to a successful adoption is matching the right horse with the right person. Horses may fill a wide range of roles like companionship, recreational riding, or competition, but all owners need to know their horses have certain ground manners and basic handling skills before safely bringing them home.

The Basic Behaviors Profile is a tool for adoption organizations, trainers, and individual horse owners that describes 14 common interactions between horses and humans on the ground. These are typical skills that owners expect a horse to have such as catching, haltering, leading, and tying.

What does it do?

  • The Basic Behaviors Profile helps standardize and streamline the search and match process for adopters and adoption organizations.
  • It inspires trust and transparency for adopters, enabling them to feel informed and confident about adoption prospects.
  • It provides trainers a starting point from which to develop a training program for horses in transition.

What does it NOT do?

  • It is not a pass/fail assessment. Horses who don’t complete many items may still be the Right Horse for an experienced, confident adopter.
  • The Basic Behaviors Profile does not prescribe training techniques. There are many humane and compassionate training styles that can successfully teach the assessed skills and behaviors.
  • It does not predict a horse’s future ability or trainability; or what activities it is suited for.
  • It is not a complete description of a horse. It is simply one of many parts of the evaluation and matching process.

Who should use the Basic Behaviors Profile?

Adoption Organizations and Trainers

Organizations and trainers can use the Basic Behaviors Profile to benefit horses in their care. Evaluating a horse upon intake will help identify areas where a horse needs more training. When a horse is ready to be adopted, agencies should use it to provide a thorough, easy-to-understand profile for potential adopters.


Adopters should carefully read and consider the completed Basic Behaviors Profile along with other information available such as photos, videos, written descriptions, conversations, and in-person visits to determine whether a horse they’re considering is a good fit based on their needs and experience level.


Owners can assess their own horses with the Basic Behaviors Profile to identify any training gaps. Not only will it improve your own bond and increase safety, proficiency in these skills will give your horse a better chance of being safely rehomed should he/she end up in transition.

Download the Basic Behaviors Profile using the form below.