Horse shopping with rescue organizations

Rescue is a great option when you begin your search for your next horse, but there are many things you should take into consideration when you begin your search.  As with any horse shopping process, you will want to be sure that you are able to try the horse and that it matches your goals and abilities. Some horses may only be suitable as companion animals, while some may have a full athletic career ahead of them.  Not all horse rescue organizations are created equally, so choosing which organization to work with is an important choice.

Adoption Policies

Many organizations have policies about returning the horse to the organization if you ever find yourself in a position where you are unable to care for the horse.  Be aware that it may mean you are unable to sell the horse in the future.  Signing the adoption contract means you are willing to give that horse a home for the rest of its life.


Finding the right horse means that you may have to see the horse several times before you decide if you want to take it home.  Begin your search by finding rescues that are convenient to travel to from your home. Not only do you want to be sure it is convenient for you, but many organizations also have geographic restrictions for adopters as the rescues continue to be responsible for the horse.

Check each organization’s website to learn more about their adoption policies.


Because you are going to be responsible for the horse for the rest of his days, know that a young horse will live for 30-40 years.  Throughout that time you will need to provide for the horse.

Understanding your goals of the horse is an important step in finding a suitable match for you.  Horses come with a variety of personalities, so find an organization that will work to understand your goals and needs.  No responsible rescue should match an unstarted young horse with an unexperienced rider/owner unless that person is working closely with a professional.

Bringing home a rescue horse can be a great experience, and a rewarding life choice. You are choosing to save a horse, and the rescue organization will be able to fill that stall and save another life. That said, it’s important to make sure that you are matched with the right horse.



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