If you are considering adding another horse to your home and herd, your local rescue organization is a great place to start that search. Many excellent quality horses of varied training levels are looking for new homes. In fact, just about any breed, gender and size of equine is likely waiting to find their forever home in a nearby equine rescue facility.

Still not sure about adopting a rescue horse? Here are some FAQs to help you make your decision.

» Why adopt?
» Don’t rescue horses have problems and issues?
» If these horses are so great and well-trained, why don’t they cost more?
» If I choose to adopt, what is my first step?
» I’ve made a thorough assessment of my needs and what I’m looking for in a horse, now what?
» What about all the adoption paperwork and that process?


Why adopt?

No one knows for sure how many unwanted horses exist in the United States, but we do know that the number exceeds the resources currently available to accommodate them.

In a 2009 survey conducted by the Unwanted Horse Coalition, 63% of equine rescue/retirement facilities report that they are at near or full capacity and, on average, they have to turn away 38% of the horses brought to them. Many of these horses that are turned away unfortunately fall victim to neglect. For this reason alone, we highly encourage adoption so that rescue facilities are able to take in more horses in order to save them from neglect.

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Don’t rescue horses have problems and issues?

Most rescue horses end up ‘homeless’ through no fault of their own. Many of these horses can be old or young, sick or healthy, purebred or grade, highly trained or barely halter broke. They are unwanted for just as many varying reasons – they may have become sick, injured, old, outgrown, dangerous, a burden or simply too expensive to care for.

Many of these horses have gone through rehabilitation and retraining programs and are often times better behaved and trained than horses that might be purchased privately. While some of them do come with their individual ‘quirks’, reputable horse rescue organization (like NWESC) make sure this information is fully disclosed and the horse is only placed in the appropriate home. With a rescue horse your chances of an unpleasant surprise or unexpected vice is minimal because of the extra time and training that has been invested in each horse.

Most reputable rescue groups conduct a thorough behavioral analysis of each horse to ensure that they will be the right fit for your needs and purposes. This dramatically improves the chances that you and your new horse will be the perfect fit and create a lasting bond.

In addition, many rescue groups can provide you with advice or recommend professional help when it comes to making your relationship with your horse the best it can be for the rest of his or her life, so you’ll never have to go it alone!

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If these horses are so great and well-trained, why don’t they cost more?

Horses adopted from equine rescues typically do cost less than horses purchased privately. The reason for this is because these rescue organizations are non-profit agencies and are more concerned with finding the proper and forever home for the animal than they are about making a profit.

As an added bonus, consider adding in the cost of vaccinations, castration (for stallions), de-worming, hoof care, dental floats, training and all the other “extras” included in your adoption fee, you’d be surprised at what a bargain an adopted equine really is!

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If I choose to adopt, what is my first step?

This is an excellent question that equine rescues wish more people would ask before they consider purchasing a new horse whether privately or through a rescue. The answer, however is a simple one – do your homework!

One of the first questions to answer is what kind of horse will be the best fit for your skills and desires? Are you a beginner rider that would benefit from a well trained horse or are you experienced and looking for a challenge? Do you want to go on easy trail rides or are you looking for your next eventing or dressage mount? Even if you don’t ride there are horses that cannot be ridden that are desperately looking for loving homes!

Next, ask yourself if you truly have enough time and the financial stability to devote to the needs of a horse. On average it costs $1,800 to $2,500 per year just to support the basic care of an equine. If you have to board your horse or should your horse suffer an injury or illness, this cost could increase exponentially. Likewise, consider if you have enough time to spend with your new horse. He likely won’t be happy if he is kept alone in a stall with no exercise for extended lengths of time.

Doing your homework in advance will make your search easier and increase the chances that your new horse will be a happy addition to your life.

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I’ve made a thorough assessment of my needs and what I’m looking for in a horse, now what?

Once you have done your homework and have decided on the type of horse that would be best suited for you, there are a number of websites out there that bring the world of equines waiting for their forever homes right to your laptop.

A quick search of local equine rescues will provide you with a wide array of horses available for adoption. Don’t be surprised if you are inundated with options! Likewise, if for some reason you don’t find what you’re looking for right away, don’t be discouraged. The sad fact is that many equine rescue groups receive new horses on a regular basis, so keep checking back with them. Some groups also keep a waiting list, so they can call you a horse matching your preference becomes available.

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What about all the adoption paperwork and that process?

Most rescue groups try to make the adoption process as easy and as inexpensive as possible, yet they must take the necessary precautions to make sure that the horse in question will be turned over to a suitable, caring home.

To start the process for a NWESC horse we ask that you fill out our Adoption Application and either mail it or drop it off at our facility during normal business hours.

Upon review of your Adoption Application, we will contact you for a brief phone interview to set up a time for you to meet the horse(s) you are interested in. If after meeting the horse(s), you wish to proceed with the adoption, and NWESC also feels that you are a good match for the horse in question, we will proceed with a site visit and reference checks.

A NWESC employee or volunteer may visit your farm or the place where you plan to board the horse to make sure the facilities are adequate. You must have secured stabling arrangements before an adoption can be finalized.

Upon final approval of your application, you will be required to sign and return the Adoption Contract, along with applicable, tax-deductible adoption fee(s), and arrange transport of your horse to his new home.

After the adoption has been completed, NWESC will require that your veterinarian report to us yearly concerning the horse's condition and vaccination history. We will also require that you notify us if you and/or the horse has moved. You cannot sell or transfer your horse without prior approval of NWESC.

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Adoptable Horses

For More
Adoptable Horses

For more adoptable horses, please contact our partner rescue organizations. Click on the logos below to be taken directly to their sites.

Cowgirl Spirit Logo

Equine Aid Logo

Pasado's Logo

PO Box 1324 | Monroe, WA 98272 | (206) 940-8589 |