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HORSE Rescue Supporter 101

tips for finding a reputable horse rescue, and the best ways to support

If you're reading this, chances are you love horses as much as we do and want to support organizations that truly dedicate their time and resources to the wellbeing of rescued equine. It's important to know what to look for when choosing an organization to support, and to understand the many ways in which you can contribute to the cause.

Two horses sunbathing in this hillside paddock at a horse rescue
Raven and Scout, two of our larger residents, enjoy their days sunbathing together in their hilltop paddock. The two have bonded, Scout being a PREMARIN baby who seeks the maternal presence of Raven, who in turn looks to Scout for guidance as she has lost sight in her right eye due to injury and subsequent neglect.


When vetting an organization, we recommend considering the following:

  • Check social media. Organizations worthy of your support will share openly and honestly on social media, engaging and interacting with their followers and posting about the good, the bad, the ugly and the beautiful. Look for success stories, injury and illness updates, and check-ins from staff and volunteers.

  • Look into their programs and policies. Rescues that clearly communicate what they offer and how to participate are usually a good sign!

  • Familiarize yourself with their mission and make sure it aligns with what you're comfortable supporting. Know why the organization was established, and what makes them special. What are their goals, and what are they doing successfully?

  • Visit the organization in person. Legitimate organizations welcome visitors - You should be able to check out the horses' living conditions, learn about daily routines, and - the best part - meet the horses that your contribution helps! Please keep in mind that rescues are busy places, and some days may be better for visits than others. Always call ahead before stopping by, or schedule a visit ahead of time or attend an open house event.

... and check for red flags, too!

Unfortunately, fraudulent organizations do exist in the equestrian world. Be on the lookout for the following:

  • Unclear adoption policies. Do policies and fees change from horse to horse? Is reasoning explained? To what standard of care does the organization hold applicants? Are expectations and adoptions procedures clear?

  • Incredibly high - or inexplicably low - adoption fees. This business should always be, first and foremost, about helping horses - not about profit, and adoption fees shouldn't exceed what a horse might sell for privately as this can be an indicator of 'horse flipping' or rescuing a horse with the sole intention of reselling quickly for a profit. On the other side of the same coin, 'too good to be true' low adoption fees may be cause for concern as well, as fee income is critical in supporting the organization.

  • Irresponsible equine ownership. Is the rescue keeping stallions, refusing to geld, and exposing mares to fertile stallions? What do new arrival procedures look like? Are horses quarantined properly when they arrive or fall ill? Are horses well-fed, exercised and groomed regularly, and kept in a safe and healthy environment? Is there evidence of overcrowding, abuse, or neglect? Are horses regularly seen by a farrier and veterinary professional? Are horses that should be humanely euthanized instead kept alive and in pain in order to solicit donations? Is the facility unkept or in disrepair?

  • Churn and burn. Organizations that are constantly purchasing new horses and quickly adopting them out tend to raise eyebrows. At the absolute minimum, rescues should be keeping their charges through quarantine and rehabilitation/treatment protocols. Be wary of those that build a large fundraising platform on images of horses that you never hear about again (for example, calling for donations to help an injured horse and then not posting follow-ups about that same horse).

When it doubt, trust your gut. If you have questions, ask them. If something seems off, open up a dialogue. Only support when and how you are comfortable - legitimate organizations will not bully or harass an audience into donating, or exhibit behavior that makes you think, 'wait, are they hiding something?''

Two horses enjoy the shelter in their paddock, which gives them access to 24/7 turnout.
Bentley and Justice, like all of our horses, require 24/7 turnout during their time on the farm and after adoption due to the numerous mental and physical health benefits of providing both covered shelter and constant access to their paddock.

you've found a great program. now how can you help?

  • Give what you can, when you can. Every penny counts in equine rescue, and if you're uncomfortable donating cash, many organizations have wish-lists online of wants and needs that will ship directly to their address. (Ours is here!)

  • Visit and volunteer your time. Helping with grooming, mucking stalls, raking paddocks, walking the horses, helping at feeding times - there's so much to do!

  • Represent the organization in your community. People who know, understand, and love an organization are encouraged to offer their support in both representing and engaging with the rescue at events and online through social media. Sharing photos and videos from visits and tagging on Instagram and Facebook helps immensely, too!

  • Help spread the word! Attend events, bring your friends, share posts on social media, and be vocal about your support. Tell people about the organizations that you believe in, and why you love what they're doing.

Ready to get started? We'd love to hear from you!

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