Find a Horse Rescue in your own state.
While I originally put this blog together as an attempt to help equestrians form a better bond with their horses, I realized that I shouldn’t only strive to help people out, but also the horses themselves. Historically, we’re probably treating our horses much better than we ever did, but the truth is that we don’t rely on them as much as we used to, not for our daily tasks and workloads anyway.
The sad reality is that many horses are being mistreated, neglected, and abused, and it’s up to us, equestrians, to stand up to such injustice and mistreatment. There are more than 500 horse rescues and shelters across the United States, each striving to save horses, find new homes for them, and give them a better life. This article is about helping you find a horse rescue in your own state, just in case you’re looking to adopt a horse, donate to a worthy cause, or maybe even save a horse.
The list is organized alphabetically by US state and includes various details and contact information for each individual organization. To make it even easier for you, I’ve also attached a table of contents that you can use to jump directly to the section concerning your state. This resource has taken much time and effort to put together, but I’m confident it will help many horses in need. That’s why I urge you to share it with your fellow equestrians even if you don’t plan to use it yourself anytime soon.
Table of Contents
Alabama – Dream Acres.
If you’re looking for a horse rescue in Alabama, then you should probably check out a small organization named Dream Acres Equine Sanctuary, currently located at 312-T Shillinger Road S Ste 185, Mobile, AL 36608. They rely completely on volunteers, which means that if you do decide to donate to them, each penny will go towards helping their horses. They take care of abused and neglected horses, and they even take in retired racehorses and put them to work.
There aren’t many Alabama-based horse rescues, so Dream Acres is certainly doing an amazing job trying to make the lives of horses better in this particular state. According to them, they managed to save a total of 60 horses over the course of three years, which is nothing to sneeze at. If you reside in Alabama and need to get in touch with a horse rescue near Mobile, you can give them a call at 888-452-1505 or 228-304-5679.
Alaska – Alaska Equine Rescue.
In Alaska, you should get in touch with the good people over at Alaska Equine Rescue, who are doing an amazing job nurturing neglected horses back to health and adopting them to responsible new homes. They also provide temporary assistance to horse owners that are struggling to get by with hay or shelter. Sometimes, they’ll also take in a horse if the owner is unable to care for it anymore, but that depends on several factors such as the adaptability of the horse and the rescue’s available resources at the time.
The best part is that Alaska Equine Rescue accepts calls from people who wish to report neglect and abuse, and does not reveal the names of anonymous callers to authorities. They are not officially listed as a sanctuary, which means they do not take aged or unusable horses that can be cared for by their owners. For any further information, make sure to visit their own website or give them a call at +1 888-588-4677.
They also have a Facebook page, but it hasn’t been updated in some time.
Arizona – Horse’n Around.
Arizona has quite a few horse rescues and sanctuaries, but the most active of them all seems to be Horse’n Around Rescue, which is located in Southeastern Arizona. The organization is being kept operational through various donations from generous individuals and corporations, and it is dedicated to rescuing equines, restoring their health and wellness, and providing a nurturing and natural environment where “horses can be horses” so they can be adopted into forever homes.
According to their official website, they’ve managed to rescue more than 175 equines, which are now living peacefully on their pastures. Horse’n Around Rescue also tends to donkeys, mules, ponies, and many types of horses such as saddle horses and draft horses. You can get in touch with this Arizona-based horse rescue by giving them a call at 520-266-0236 or just messaging them on their Facebook page.
Arkansas – Sallis Ranch Horse Rescue.
In Arkansas, I thought I’d give a shout-out to Sallis Ranch Horse Rescue – an organization that takes in neglected, starved, and/or abandoned horses and other large animals. This animal rescue was founded in 2011, and it has worked with numerous national and local animal rescue organizations since that time. Even after the tragic loss of their director Greg Sallis in 2020, the ranch has continued to carry on its good work albeit facing numerous challenges.
The organization is currently striving to find a permanent location where it can rehabilitate horses. For now, they’re operating out of a 50-acre plot of land on 22 Buffalo Mountain Rd, Quitman, AR 72131. You can get in touch with them by filling out a contact form on their website. You can also make donations via PayPal if you want to help them get back on their feet. They also have a new Facebook page where they share updates on their situation and the well-being of their horses. If you have the ability and the inclination to do so, I encourage you to help this non-profit out.
California – Hanaeleh & Red Bucket.
Orange County’s most popular non-profit horse rescue & advocacy is none other than Hanaeleh, which has been operating out of Southern California since 2004. They’re a non-profit, which means that each donation goes towards the well-being of their horses. They also advocate for ending horse slaughter, and they support the passage of the SAFE Act (Safeguard American Food Exports Act) HR 961.
They rescue horses of all breeds and ages, and they strive to find them new homes after they’ve been rehabilitated. They even take in non-adoptable horses who’ve been severely abused or neglected, and they allow them to live out the remainder of their days in beautiful sanctuaries. With their help, you can adopt a horse or sponsor one. You can also support the cause directly via donations, or you can just volunteer to help.
Red Bucket is another important horse rescue organization in California. The project took off in 2009 thanks to the vision of one Susan Peirce, who recognized the need for such an effort. It wasn’t until 2012 that they were able to put a downpayment on the Red Bucket Ranch – the ranch the horses own. Up until the COVID-19 pandemic, the ranch was free to visit – it even had its own Visitor’s Centre.
Nowadays, their mission to save and rehabilitate horses, and to restore their trust in humankind carries on, but they still need plenty of support, both monetary and promotional. If there’s any way you can help them out, or if you just need to get in touch with them, make sure to fill out the contact form on their official website and they’ll get back to you asap. They also have a Facebook page.
Colorado – End of the Trail Rescue.
There are quite a few horse rescue organizations in Colorado. This makes me happy, and I think more and more states should follow this example. I decided to include the End of the Trail Rescue on this list because I think they’re doing a fantastic job with their horses. They have several programs such as a hay bank, riding programs, and education courses. They are the sister organization of the Dream Catcher Therapy Center, and their main goal is to provide horses with a second chance.
They provide shelter, quality food, and humane treatment to horses that have been abused, neglected or unwanted. We also educate the community about animal abuse and how or where to report these situations. If you would like to contribute to the horses’ wellbeing, you can always volunteer, visit the ranch yourself, or support them financially. Their main website has all the information you need, including their contact information. Alternatively, they also have a strong social media presence. It’s easy to get in touch with them. This non-profit is located in Olathe, Colorado.
Connecticut – Rising Starr.
As with most horse rescues on this list, the Connecticut-based Rising Starr organization aims to educate current and future horse owners in order to help them better understand what they’re saddling up to when they take on a horse. Caring for a horse is no easy task, I’ve always said it. However, when things go wrong, they’re up to the task of saving, rehabilitating, and retraining horses in need. They also rehome horses depending on the case.
Rising Starr relies on a group of talented and specialized veterinarians, staff, and volunteers who work together to approach each horse’s rehabilitation. This team of dedicated individuals ensures that every horse becomes healthy, happy, and confident before moving on to its new home. This non-profit is located in Wilton, CT. It was founded by a kind-hearted woman named Kelly, who’s been teaching riding and training horses professionally for over 30 years. You can get in touch with Rising Starr by following the information on their website, or by sending them a message on social media.
Delaware – Seabridge Equine Rescue.
We all know that saving horses is a daunting task, one that requires focus, commitment, and even a bit of bravery at times. Seabridge Equine Rescue is one of the best horse rescues in Delaware. They provide much-needed medical and dental care, rehabilitation, and adoption services for rescued horses. Thanks to the foresight of Professor Valentin, they operate on a 60-acre property in Bridgeville. They have 26 stalls and 25 acres of pasture, and they try to rescue and help as many horses and donkeys as they can.
They’re always in need of an extra hand, though, so if you’re able to help them out in any way, please consider it. Also, if you know of any horses or donkeys in need of immediate help, make sure to get in touch with them as soon as possible, either via their contact forms or their Facebook page. You can also sign up for their newsletter in order to keep up with upcoming events, fundraisers, and more.
Florida – Front Range.
In 2015, Front Range Equine Rescue moved some of its retired horses to Florida when it added a second location to assist at-risk horses on the East Coast. Since 1997, FRER has operated in Colorado where they’re still very active with both rescue and educational programs. Administrative work is managed from the Florida farm along with rescue-rehab-retirement for special needs horses, which is why I included them in this state’s section. Front Range is a 501c3 non-profit organization working to prevent the abuse and neglect of horses through rescue and education.
In Colorado, they offer annual educational events in the summer months, and they are actively engaged in efforts to responsibly end horse slaughter. They also work to protect wild horses through their Save the Wild Horses campaign. Front Range Equine Rescue is one of the most prolific horse rescues in the United States. If you want to get in touch with them, feel free to give them a call at 352-209-7510 or visit their website for further information. They also have a Facebook page.
Georgia – Sunkissed Acres.
In Georgia, you’ve probably already heard about Sunkissed Acres, as they’re doing a fantastic job. They’re located at 536 Woods Road Summerville, GA, and apart from rescuing and sheltering horses, they’re also involved in other community projects such as helping foster children with special needs. They’re sheltering and caring for around 30 horses at any given time, which is a lot of work for an organization that relies on support from the general public, and fundraisers.
They have an official website that shares their story, as well as a Facebook page that’s updated regularly. They’ve been operational since 2004, and they’ve saved hundreds of gentle souls ever since. Hopefully, they’ll be able to carry on with their mission for many more decades to come.
Hawaii – Equine 808 Horse Rescue(dissolved).
In Hawaii, there used to be a very important horse rehabilitation facility named Equine 808 Horse Rescue. They provided a sanctuary for injured, abused, neglected, and unwanted horses in Hawaii by offering emergency relief, refuge, medical care, rehabilitation, and adoption services. They also provided education in the arenas of proper horse ownership, responsibility, health, and care.
Since they didn’t receive any aid from the government, this organization, like many other non-profits, relied exclusively on donations. You can find out more about them and the horses they’ve saved by visiting their website or their social media pages. Equine 808 was founded in 2008. Some of their most important programs apart from horse rescue included riding lessons, horse camps, field trips, and birthday parties with horses.
Unfortunately, they had to dissolve their organization and create a new project based in Colorado a couple of years back. The new project is named Next Step Horse Rescue, and you can find out more about it right here.
Idaho – Idaho Horse Rescue.
According to one of their most recent Facebook posts, the Idaho Horse Rescue organization is currently caring for 29 horses, many of which are either old or have medical conditions. They’re currently looking for a full-time trainer willing to work with their horses in Meridian. This rescue takes in abused or neglected horses and facilitates their adoption with the help of other, responsible horse owners.
They have an official website and plenty of contact options should you wish to get in touch with them. They’re always looking for volunteers and sponsors, as with most horse rescues – every little bit of help matters. The organization was founded by Robert Bruno, who saved his first horse in 1998. The horse recovered so beautifully that it inspired him to create an equine rescue organization, as there was no other available in the area at the time.
Illinois – Crosswinds Equine Rescue.
At Crosswinds Equine Rescue in Illinois, they’re trying to help horses as best they can before there’s a need to involve animal control. They take in surrendered horses and retrain them, even rehome them if there’s a good chance the horse will adapt. One of the board’s original members, Mike Cross, describes how he found his passion for helping horses just by observing them and admiring how they interact with each other. He’s a good rider, but he prefers groundwork and communicating with these wonderful animals in their own tongue.
Although they take in pretty much any horse breed, their facilities are best suited to work with Draft horses and Mustangs. Make sure to visit their website if you’re interested in learning more about their mission, or if you want to tell them about a horse in need of care or rescue. Alternatively, you can always have a look at their main social media page, where they share updates and success stories.
Indiana – Peacefield Equine Sanctuary.
Since 2008, Peacefield Equine Sanctuary has made it its mission to care for horses that are in need of medical attention and/or behavioral training. The Sanctuary also exists to educate the public about equine care and rehabilitation, and about the politics of the abolishment of horse slaughter. Apart from caring for horses around the clock, they’re also heavily invested in community education, which is the only true way to ensure that future generations of horses will be treated humanely.
The sanctuary also organizes events and fundraisers. Their horses are split into two categories: the ones that will live out the rest of their life at the sanctuary, and the ones that just needed some training and rehabilitation. The latter are sometimes given up for adoption if suitable homes are found for them. If you would like to get in touch with them, make sure to follow their social media channels, as they’re updated regularly with the latest news and events.
Iowa – Lucky Star Rescue.
Lucky Star Rescue is an Iowa-based equine sanctuary that aims to help as many horses as possible. Their main goals are to rescue, rehabilitate, and re-home horses. They also educate, promote volunteering, and promote equine therapy for veterans and others with PTSD. The program kicked off thanks to Carrie Aldrich, who founded Lucky Star Rescue in 2015. If you are interested in adopting a horse, make sure to get in touch with them as they always have several lined up.
Their horses are very well taken care of, and they’re truly doing a fantastic job every single day. You can also call on them for horse riding lessons or equine therapy sessions, as we all know that horses can be incredibly gifted healers. Apart from their main website, you can also keep up with their latest projects on Facebook.
Kansas – Hope In The Valley.
Hope in the Valley is a Kansas-based sanctuary and equine rescue facility. Founded in 2005 this sanctuary is a place for equines of all types to land when they have been relinquished, abused, abandoned, or neglected. In their over 15 years in business, this 501(c)3 rescue has helped over 400 horses, donkeys, mules, and even a few barnyard animals. As with many other sanctuaries, this one relies almost entirely on help provided by volunteers. They also need donations and help with their fundraising campaigns.
If you live in Kansas and would like to contribute or just spread the word about a horse or donkey in need, you can get in touch with them and they’ll surely hear your plea. They also have a strong social media presence, so make sure to give them a follow and spread the word about their projects and accomplishments. They really do deserve every single praise.
Kentucky – Second Stride.
Unlike other horse rescues on this list, Second Stride is unique in its own way because it has a very clear goal in mind: it provides professional rehabilitation, retraining, and placement of retired thoroughbred racehorses. The program specializes in giving retired thoroughbreds the proper care and quality training they need to succeed in something new. If you have a particular love for thoroughbreds and you would like to adopt one, then you should definitely take the time and visit their Oldham County, Kentucky farm.
They definitely know what they’re doing, as their come-back rate is incredibly low. Actually, the average number of horses adopted through Second Stride is more than 100 per year, which is an amazing track record. Overall, their program has helped more than 1000 retired thoroughbred racehorses find new homes and a new meaning in life. Second Stride was founded in 2005, and it quickly became one of the most successful rescue and rehabilitation programs in the country. If you want to keep up with their progress, make sure to give them a follow on social media as well!
Louisiana – Safe From Slaughter Equine Rescue.
Safe from Slaughter Equine Rescue also has a very clear goal in mind: they aim to remove at-risk equine from negative environments before they end up in kill pens and other potentially harmful situations. They are located in Lake Charles, Louisiana, and they’ve saved numerous horses in the last few years alone. On their Facebook page, they share success stories and stories of horses that ended up in kill pens even though they led fulfilling, successful lives.
Apparently, it doesn’t really matter what the horse has accomplished in its life before ending up in a kill pen. Whether we’re talking about racehorses, seniors, young, or even mini horses, not one is safe unless someone influential intervenes. If you would like to support this organization in its efforts to save horses from slaughter, make sure to get in touch with them and help them in any way you can.
Maine – 4R Animal Shelter.
4R is an animal shelter and non-profit located in Maine, within a rural little town named Lee. This is where the team retrains, rehomes, and rehabilitates horses and other abused or neglected animals. Their motto is “A Voice for Those Without One,” and it’s a very inspiring one if you ask me. 4R also holds educational experiences for the public to learn what 4R does and how they do it.
If you live in Maine and would like to get in touch with them, seeking them out on Facebook is probably your best bet. They reply fairly quickly but keep in mind that if you want to visit them, you’ll have to make an appointment.
Maryland – Gentle Giants.
In Maryland, if you know of a draft horse that’s in trouble, you can always get in touch with the Gentle Giants Draft Horse Rescue. This organization is committed to saving draft horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect. In the case of potential slaughter, they actually go to various auctions and outbid those that would condemn horses to such a cruel fate. This act alone easily makes them one of the most successful and important horse rescues in the United States.
According to their official website, Gentle Giants was formed to facilitate the rescue of draft and draft cross horses from slaughter, abuse, and neglect. If you would like to get in touch with them, sponsor them, or simply learn more about their mission and what they stand for, you can pay them a visit at Mount Airy, or simply get in touch with them via their social media channels.
Massachusetts – NEER North.
NEER North is a 501c3 non-profit organization dedicated to saving horses, donkeys, and ponies whose lives are at risk. They work with other rescues and help each other out, and they try to educate current and future horse owners on the responsibilities involved in caring for equines. When it comes to rescuing situations, they often take in abused or neglected horses, and horse surrenders. They work with the horses they save in order to rehabilitate them and find new homes for them.
NEER North has its own board of directors and a generous number of accreditations. You can help them out in numerous ways, whether by volunteering, sponsoring a horse/donkey, or just by donating directly. Even spreading the word about them and the wonderful work that they’re doing is something. Which is what I’m trying to do, at least. Their official website can be found right here, as well as their social media page.
Michigan – Horse North Rescue.
Horse North Rescue is a 501(C)3 Non-Profit Horse Rescue and Placement Program located in Northern Michigan. Their strong belief is that every horse should have access to basic veterinary care, clean water, and proper nutrition. Their mission is to rehabilitate and rehome as many horses as possible, and even though they’re met with challenges on a daily basis, they still manage to come together and form amazing success stories.
Working with horses is difficult, particularly with abused or abandoned ones. It takes a lot of courage, skill, and dedication to rehabilitating a horse. Horse North Rescue is one of the best horse rehabilitation programs in Michigan. If you would like to get in touch with them and talk about adopting a horse or giving a helping hand, you should definitely visit their website or their Facebook page.
Minnesota – Refuge Ranch.
Refuge Ranch Ministries is a very special place indeed, and one that definitely deserves a spot on this list. While they make it their mission to take in horses that have been mistreated by their owners, or those who are destined for slaughter, they also work with local youth. To clarify, they aim to minimize the risk of youth using drugs and alcohol, high school dropout rates, teenage pregnancies, suicidal attempts, and/or incarceration – all with the help of horses.
Horses can have incredible therapeutic benefits, and simply forming a bond with a horse is sometimes enough to give purpose to a youngster’s life. In turn, horses also get to interact with kind humans, and they receive the care that they really need. Refuge Ranch is a place that tackles multiple social issues. On the one hand, it saves horses, and on the other, it saves people too. If you would like to support them or help them in any way, make sure to visit their Facebook page and get in touch with them.
Mississippi – Coyote Hills Equine Rescue.
Coyote Hills Equine Rescue & Therapeutic Riding is a non-profit organization that aims to rescue and rehabilitate as many horses as possible. They take a strong stance against horse slaughter, and since their foundation in 2009, they’ve managed to rescue more than 90 horses. That’s 90 souls that got a chance at a better life thanks to these wonderful people, and the volunteers that donate their free time to their cause.
Aside from rescuing and caring for horses, this organization also offers therapeutic riding sessions, which are incredibly beneficial for the local community. If you would like to help Coyote Hills Equine Rescue in any way, or you would like to report a horse in need, make sure to get in touch with them by visiting their website or their social media pages. They’re very easy to talk to, and they respond in a timely manner.
Missouri – Angel Wings Equine Rescue.
I’m happy to report that there are several foundations dedicated to helping out horses in Missouri. I decided to focus on Angel Wings Equine Rescue because I believe that they need a helping hand getting the word out about their wonderful accomplishments. This non-profit is focusing on rescuing horses of the community from neglect, starvation, and abuse. This includes saving them from Sheriff seizures, owner relinquishments, local horse sales, and slaughter.
Angel Wings relies almost entirely on local help, donations, and volunteers. If you want to help them save and care for more horses, make sure to get in touch with them and help them out in any way that you can. You can find their main social media page right here, as well as their official website.
Montana – Equis Save Foundation.
The Equis Save Foundation in Montana is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and adoption of abandoned or neglected horses. They have two locations, one in Livingstone and one in Bozeman. If you would like to support them, you can do so by visiting their store and shopping for a cause, or by donating directly. Their official website has all the information you need, including some wonderful success stories that will undoubtedly inspire you.
One of their more unique and interesting projects involves virtual horse adoption. How it works is you sponsor a horse of your choice from a distance, and in return, you receive an Equis Save Foundation bracelet, a picture of your sponsored horse as well as monthly updates on your horse’s project. Apart from the website I mentioned before, they also have an official Facebook page that you should definitely check out!
Nebraska – Epona Horse Rescue.
Founded in 2004, Epona Horse Rescue is a 501 (c)3 non-profit dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of unwanted, neglected, or slaughter-bound equine. They are located just outside Crete, Nebraska and they operate on a property that spans about 30 acres. They’re decently equipped, as they have their own indoor arena, two outdoor arenas, a quarantine barn, an outdoor running area, and an 18-stall barn.
They have the required facilities to care for unwanted or abused horses, but they always need a helping hand. As with many other non-profits, this one relies almost entirely on donations and volunteers. Horses need food, shelter, water, and regular veterinary care in order to lead happy, healthy lives. Epona Horse Rescue has its own Facebook page as well as an official website. You can get in touch with them easily through either of the two mediums.
Nevada – L.E.A.N. Horses.
L.E.A.N. Horses Nevada is a unique horse rescue because it doesn’t operate in a traditional way. While they don’t have a physical ranch or sanctuary, they network closely with numerous fosters, volunteers, and sponsors in order to rescue horses seized by the Animal Control agencies of Clark County, Nevada. Their primary goal is to find permanent homes for these unwanted horses, so that they may lead happy and fulfilling lives. If you’re interested in adopting a horse in Nevada, make sure to get in touch with LEAN, either by visiting their website or by accessing their Facebook page.
At the time of writing, their current herd includes four adoptable companions named Hayleigh, Apache, Gigi, and Belle. They also have two horses in the sanctuary, namely Lucky and Clover.
New Hampshire – Hidden Pond Horse Rescue.
Operating out of a 30 acre-farm in Brentwood, New Hampshire, Hidden Pond Horse Rescue was founded in 2014 and incorporated in 2015. Originally, the property was known as a staple in the New England horse show community – training and attending breed shows up and down the coast. However, owner Phylis soon found herself looking into the fates of less-fortunate horses, and after she did some research on the horse slaughter industry, she quickly decided to transform her farm.
Currently, there are 30 horses at the farm, about half of them rescued from slaughter and supported by the Rescue. The rest of the horses on the farm are privately owned by Phyllis and a few long-time boarders. The grounds, buildings, and fences are mostly maintained by volunteers, and local schools and 4H groups come by from time to time to help tidy things up. The farm is simple in its design but very effective at caring for horses. If you would like to support Phylis and her mission to save horses in New Hampshire, make sure to visit the Hidden Pond Horse Rescue website, as well as their Facebook page, and take it from there.
New Jersey – Bergen County Horse Rescue.
Founded in 2016, the Bergen County Horse Rescue has a very important goal in mind: to help horses that need it. Considering they’ve only been around for six years, they’ve already managed to save 18 horses, 3 mini horses, and one mule. They’ve also found a permanent home for two mini horses. Their mission is to rehabilitate and protect neglected horses with the assistance of local animal control officers and veterinarians. And since each horse is unique, they create customized healthcare and exercise programs for each individual horse thus maximizing its chances of recovery and rehabilitation.
At Bergen County Horse Rescue, horses are encouraged to live together as a herd while still interacting with humans on a regular basis. Therefore, their horses are turned out in their pastures 23 hours a day in good weather to graze with their respective herds. If you would like to get in touch or even help out at Bergen County, you can always read more about their accomplishments and goals on their own website. Moreover, you can always follow them on Facebook, where they post frequent updates on their progress and fundraisers.
New Mexico – Equine Spirit Sanctuary.
As a licensed horse rescue in the state of New Mexico, Equine Spirit Sanctuary aims to improve the lives of horses through programs of horse rescue, rehab, and education. What makes this sanctuary special when compared to others is that it was designed from the ground up to encourage the healing of both horses and humans. We all know how tightly a horse can bond with a human, and it’s that bond precisely that has incredible healing power.
Once a horse enters the care of the Equine Spirit Sanctuary, it is looked over by a veterinarian and receives proper healthcare. Then, it takes part in a rehabilitation program that aims to meet all of its nutritional and physical needs. Eventually, the horse may be offered for adoption or will be placed in a new home as a companion horse, used as a program horse for ESS, or simply given retirement. ESS offers programs on basic horse care and handling, from how to approach a horse and halter and lead, to riding lessons.
Therapeutic riding and equine-assisted therapy and learning programs development are offered as well. You can get in touch with the sanctuary by visiting their website or by following their Facebook page.
New York – Iron Horse Sanctuary.
In the state of New York, we have Iron Horse Sanctuary to thank for saving the lives of countless equines. They’re a non-profit based in Goshen, and they rely entirely on volunteers. They’re also a member of the United Horse Coalition, and they operate on 164 acres of pastoral farmland only 55 miles from New York City. Their horses are saved from auction, owner surrendered, or taken from abusive or neglectful situations. They give rescue, rehabilitation, adoption and if necessary, a permanent sanctuary to all equines.
They’re also involved in local educational programs, which could be the foundation for a more compassionate community. Apart from saving horses, they also take in feral and semi-feral cats. They work with animals in a gradual, methodical way in order to restore their trust and their well-being. The sanctuary was founded by Kay O’Hanlon Myruski, who was inspired by her father. His reputation for helping horses preceded him and she wanted to carry on his legacy. If you would like to get in touch with them, heading over to their Facebook page is always a safe bet.
North Carolina – Dead Broke Farm.
Dead Broke Farm in North Carolina has been offering horseback riding to the public since July 2004. While they’re not solely operating as a horse rescue, they do have a horse rescue and rehabilitation program that has saved more than 100 horses since the farm came into existence. On their website, they have numerous success stories that are both heartwarming and heartbreaking to read.
Apart from saving horses, they also provide trail riding courses, pony rides, private rides, and corporate outings. They even have a volunteer program if you’re inclined to help. Make sure to fill out their contact form on their website, or just give them a holler on their Facebook page!
North Dakota – Copperhead Horse Rescue.
Located in south-central North Dakota, Copperhead Horse Rescue focuses on training rescue horses. While most of us might see horses as gentle and kind-hearted creatures, those of them that have been neglected or abused can be quite difficult to work with, sometimes even outright violent. Non-profits such as Copperhead Horse Rescue work with professionals in order to rehabilitate and train horses. They aim to bring out the best version of themselves so that they can lead happy, peaceful lives, perhaps under the care of a new owner.
Their adoption fees may be more than expected, but that is reflective of the amount and level of training each horse receives. Many people are not willing to put the time and effort into rehabbing, then retraining/training a horse that has been abused and neglected. If you don’t want to adopt right now, you can always choose to foster a horse or help out in many other ways. If you’d like to get in touch with them, they have a Facebook page that you can follow right here.
Ohio – Focus Rescue & Rehab.
Focus Rescue & Rehab is committed to the health, safety, and well-being of each horse that enters their program. Their focus is on horses who are slaughter-bound, abused, neglected, and surrendered from owners who are not financially or physically able to provide and care for their horses any longer. How does it all work? Well, after a horse has been taken over by Focus, it is then checked over by a vet and farrier, and all of its medical needs are taken care of.
Afterward, the team comes up with a customized training regimen for that particular horse, and the real work begins. Once real progress is achieved, a horse can be considered for adoption – it’s just a matter of finding the right person for the horse. As with all of the other horse rescues on this list, you can find Focus and get in touch with them via Facebook.
Oklahoma – Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation.
Located at 2350 S. Midwest Blvd. Guthrie, Oklahoma, the Horse and Hound Rescue Foundation believes that every horse and every hound deserves to be loved unconditionally just like they love us. And I really resonate with this sentiment, particularly since I know very well how much love these animals have to give. We just need to treat them with care and consideration in order to receive it.
Unfortunately, not all humans treat animals humanely, which is where foundations such as this one come in. Horse and Hound takes care of both horses and dogs, and they strive to rehabilitate them and find new homes for them whenever possible. They take in homeless or abandoned animals, owner surrenders, and tornado victims. Without organizations such as these, many animals would be left stranded to fend for themselves, and many more would meet cruel fates. It’s good to know someone’s looking out for them in Oklahoma.
Oregon – Central Oregon Equine Rescue.
In Oregon, we have Central Oregon Equine Rescue to thank for taking care of unwanted and neglected horses. Upon visiting their website, I found their official mission statement, and I thought I should share a part of it with you.
Our mission is to provide a safe environment for unwanted, neglected and “at risk” horses in order to prevent as many as possible from suffering or going to slaughter. We rehabilitate them when possible and strive to find ‘forever’ homes for them. We also promote non-cruelty to animals by focusing efforts on raising awareness and providing information to the public concerning the nature and proper care of horses, and the plight these animals face. Central Oregon Equine Rescue is a temporary place of rest and recuperation for horses found to be neglected, abused or headed to slaughter.
As you can see, they’re actively trying to end cruelty towards horses, but their battle is far from over. With every horse that they take in, they need more and more resources. Volunteers and donations go a long way towards helping them achieve their lifelong goal: to make sure all horses are taken care of in Oregon, and maybe throughout the country as well. If you’re also in tune with their beliefs, make sure to give them a follow on Facebook and get in touch.
Pennsylvania – Holy Spirit Farm.
Holy Spirit Farm is a very interesting project because while it originally started off as an effort to rescue equines, it has evolved remarkably over the years. Those in charge now strive to save farm animals, small animals, and wild animals as well. They work closely with the local community, and they even offer private farm tours for families and individuals. The program was established in 2017, and it has changed the lives of many animals since.
With the local community’s support, they’ve managed to grow and are now able to take in more animals than ever. They still rely on the goodwill of equestrians, though, which is why their website has a specific section dedicated to donations. It’s difficult to own and maintain such a large property without a consistent flow of income. Many farms such as Holy Spirit remain in operation solely because some kind-hearted people continue to fund them.
Rhode Island – Horse Play Equine Rescue & Sanctuary.
Horse Play Equine Rescue & Sanctuary was founded by Deidre Sharp, and it currently represents the only 501(c)3 non-profit equine-specific, full-service, horse rescue in Rhode Island. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this organization, like many others, had to cancel most of its fundraisers, so things aren’t going as well as they used to. They currently take care of 22 horses between their onsite and their fosters. If you think that’s a low number, keep in mind that caring for a horse can cost somewhere around $3,500 per year. They need proper food, water, veterinary services, and farrier services.
That being said, they’ve already done a fantastic job caring for their beautiful horses. Many horses come to Horse Play because their owners can no longer afford to keep them, some owners may not have the skills or knowledge to provide the proper care, children may outgrow or lose interest in them, and others are just considered disposable if the horse isn’t winning it goes to auction.
If you would like to support this Rhode Island-based horse rescue, you can always visit their Facebook page and get in touch with them.
South Carolina – Aiken Equine Rescue.
There’s a real problem with Off-the-Track Thoroughbreds, did you know that? Many of them end up without shelter or worse simply because they’re not good enough to race anymore. Aiken Equine Rescue and other similar organizations tackle this problem head-on. Their mission is to rescue unwanted horses who have suffered from abuse and neglect as well as work with various racetracks to “re-purpose” these Thoroughbred horses, as they still have plenty of life in them, and plenty to give.
Their efforts also include providing disaster relief of food and supplies for horses and animals impacted by natural disasters, which is very commendable. Since their ongoing success relies on help from the local community, you should know that Aiken Equine Rescue offers tours of the farm. You’re welcome to walk around, feed treats to the horses, and enjoy the atmosphere at one of the most beautiful locations in South Carolina.
South Dakota – Gentle Spirit.
There aren’t too many rescues in South Dakota, but fortunately, there is a large one that takes its job incredibly seriously. The Gentle Spirit Horses Rescue actually makes a difference, and countless horses now live better lives as a result of their efforts. This rescue and sanctuary for horses based out of Scotland, South Dakota actually serves the entire state. It provides assistance to neglected, abused, and unwanted horses, and through outreach and education, promotes responsible horse ownership.
You can get in touch with them via their official website using their contact form, or you can check out their Facebook page for more information. Do keep in mind that this horse rescue is currently accessible by appointment only, and only for potential adopters, volunteers, and youth groups.
Tennessee – Horse Plus Humane Society.
Tennessee is home to the largest horse welfare organization in the United States – the Horse Plus Humane Society. Their aim is to save and shelter as many horses as possible and to prevent cruelty towards them. Moreover, they’re actively engaged in prosecuting the cruelty inflictors to the full extent of the law. They are some of the country’s best equipped and able advocates, and they definitely deserve all the praise they can get.
They have a Facebook page with an incredible number of followers as well as an official website and various other social media accounts. If you’re from Tennessee and you own a horse, then you must have heard about them by now. Their mailing address is P.O. Box 485 in Hohenwald, TN 38462, but you can also give them a call at 1-888-474-7077. If you know of a horse that’s being mistreated by its owner, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Horse Plus Humane Society no matter what state you’re from.
Texas – Hope for Horses.
There are numerous horse rescues in Texas. After all, these animals are incredibly popular in this US state. However, this also means that many of them end up being mistreated or neglected. Hope for Horses is a non-profit organization that aims to improve the life of equines throughout the United States. They also offer help to equine owners in times of natural or personal disaster, and they rehabilitate neglected and abused equines.
They encourage the adoption of horses, but they also handle cat and dog adoptions. Hope for Horses’ website has a special education section in which they share several articles concerning equine law, equine care and nutrition fats, and facts about slaughter. Make sure to give those a read if you’re interested in the subject, and don’t hesitate to get in touch with them if you have anything you’d like to share, or if you’d like to help. They also have a Facebook page, but it hasn’t been updated in a while.
Utah – Perseverence Ranch.
Deep in a scenic canyon in rural Kanab, Utah, Perseverance Ranch is home to donkeys, horses, and other animals rescued from abuse, abandonment, and slaughter. Perhaps the most important and impressive part about the Perseverence Ranch is that all of the equines that pass its threshold become residents for life. This non-profit organization is based near Kanab, Utah, and their heartwarming story started off with a gentle yet unlucky soul named Roy.
Even though they couldn’t save his life in the end, Roy the horse inspired Preseverence Ranch to fight even harder for animals that are mistreated and have no place else to go. They operate on a beautiful 82-acre property, and if you’d like to help them out, they’re always looking for volunteers, and they accept donations. You can find their website right here, as well as their Facebook page. They also have a small store that sells customized bags.
Vermont – Gerda’s Equine Rescue.
Gerda’s Equine Rescue is one of the most successful horse rescues in the country. Since it was founded in 2005, the organization has rescued more than 1000 horses, many of them slaughter-bound. Founded by Gerda Silver, this organization is incredibly devoted to helping horses in need. Gerda herself suffered some serious medical issues shortly after founding the rescue, but she recovered and came back stronger and more determined than ever.
While they also rehabilitate and provide medical treatment for sick equines, they mainly rescue horses from auction as they are the ones already in the slaughter pipeline and whose lives are in imminent danger. You can get in touch with Gerda’s Equine Rescue by visiting their website or on social media, and if there’s anything you can do to help them out, or if you know of a horse that’s in dire need of attention, make sure to speak up. Gerda’s rescue is one of the most important ones in Vermont, and the work she and her team are doing on a daily basis is nothing short of heroic.
Virginia – Equine Rescue League.
The Equine Rescue League is one of the oldest and most reputable horse rescues in the country, and definitely the most respected one in Virginia. It was founded all the way back in 1990, and it supports the responsible use of working, sport, and pleasure horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. Their goals are to prevent the neglect or abuse of any equine, to offer educational programs to the community, and to provide rehabilitation and adoption for those animals in need of their services.
They are located at Promise Kept Farm on 20 acres in Lovettsville, Virginia. The staff is led by a farm manager, and they have several part-time employees as well as volunteers. Apart from sheltering, rehabilitating, and caring for equines, the Equine Rescue League has also started quite a few educational programs (on the subjects of basic health care and horse abuse) for horse owners, youngsters, and humane officers. You can check out their Facebook page for updates and more information.
Washington – Full Circle Rescue.
If you’re looking for a reputable horse rescue in the state of Washington, you should definitely have a look at Full Circle Rescue and the work they’re doing over in Colbert.
The vision of Full Circle Equine Rehabilitation Center is to create and provide an opportunity to instill an awareness and caring of something beyond ones self so that people today, and future generations, will care about horses and other living beings that we share this world with.
As with many other equine rescues on this list, Full Circle’s staff members want to educate their community, as this is the best way to ensure that future generations of horses will lead better lives than their predecessors. Truly, it is the only way to truly move forward. Full Circle’s projects involve seasonal events and tasks as well as various youth programs and even a horse hugging event.
Make sure to visit their own web page in order to find out more about what they stand for, how you can help them, and how they can help you. They also have a Facebook page, just in case you want to follow them through that medium.
West Virginia – Heart of Phoenix.
Heart of Phoenix started off as a privately funded group back in 2009, and they became a 501(c)3 in 2012. Most of the horses that are currently in their care were turned over to or seized by Animal Control Officers due to neglect or inability to offer sufficient care. They don’t receive any government funding, and the team is based almost entirely on volunteers. They have adoptable horses, but just in case you’re not up for that and you want to help them in a different way, you can foster a horse or sponsor it.
Heart of Phoenix operates as West Virginia’s largest, most effective equine advocacy organization. They care about showing what rescued horses are capable of while they work on the roots of “equine neglect” where a future finds fewer horses in need. Their website includes all of the information you could possibly need, including their contact info if you would like to talk to them about a horse in need. They’re also very popular on Facebook, so make sure to give them a follow over there as well.
Wisconsin – Pony Tales Refuge & Rehab.
Pony Tales Refuge in Wisconsin is one of the most inclusive rescues in the country. This non-profit is a full circle of life shelter dedicated to helping all equines in danger of abuse, neglect, and slaughter. What does a full circle of life mean? Well, they absolutely never turn away a horse in need regardless of age, breed, health, or training. That’s a pretty big deal if you think about it, and a huge commitment on their part.
The shelter works closely with the Horse Plus Humane Society, and they’ve been doing a fantastic job so far. They can guide you towards adopting a horse, or they can take a horse off your hands if you decide to surrender it for whatever reason. To get in touch with Pony Tales Refuge, make sure to visit their website and look for the contact form, or just follow them on social media. They’ve recently surpassed 13,000 followers, and we’re taking this chance to congratulate them on their success!
Wyoming – Casa Ventosa Equine Rescue.
If you’re looking for a horse rescue in Wyoming, there’s always Casa Ventosa (Windy House in Portuguese). This organization is located at 3020 Iron Mountain Rd. Cheyenne, Wy 82009. You can get in touch with them if you’d like to volunteer or see their horses, but you can always donate items as well if you’re so inclined. Casa Ventosa is non-profit, and they’re involved in the rescue, rehab, and adoption-or sanctuary- of slaughter pipeline, auction, or at-risk horses through community education and involvement.
They are the only equine rescue in Laramie County WY, / Southeastern WY. They’re currently working on developing lessons and programs for vets in those who have served our country and community, as animals are absolutely amazing healers. They have some unique ideas that definitely deserve a chance to get off the ground. If you would like to support them or maybe talk about a horse that needs care and support, you should visit their official website right here, as well as their Facebook page.
All of the rescues that were mentioned in this article deserve your attention and support. These people work hard every single day to care for these wonderful animals, and they’re responsible for bettering the lives of countless equines. If you can’t go and meet them in person, you can always help from afar. You can virtually adopt horses, donate, or just spread the word about them.
The more people know about these organizations, the more influence they have. They can help change policies, laws, and they can educate horse owners in order to make sure they can take better care of their hoofed companions.
If you represent a similar organization/horse rescue and you would like to be included on this list, don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and tell me about it!
Thank you for taking the time to read this piece, and for supporting horses – the kind and gentle giants that deserve all of our love and effort.