13 Best Horse Rescues in California! (2024)


Horses are among the most popular pets in the United States, typically revered for their rideability and long life spans.

Unfortunately, over 200,000 horses get abandoned yearly for numerous reasons. Thankfully, there are plenty of horse rescues in California offering refuge to unwanted horses in need of a new, loving home.

Adopting a horse is a long-term commitment, so if you’re interested in adding one to your family, you’ll need to give them the love and care they deserve. If you’re ready to take in a horse, consider adopting from one of the rescues on this list.

Other articles you would like: Horse Rescues in Oregon and Horse Rescues in the United States.

Why Do Horses Get Sent to Rescues?


Abandoned horses can end up in ethical equine rescues across California for several reasons, such as:

  • Their previous owner can’t afford to care for them 
  • Behavior issues
  • Neglect or abuse
  • Getting abandoned
  • Their previous owner’s property got foreclosed
  • The horse is too old or injured to perform specific tasks, such as manual work or riding
  • Their owner loses interest in caring for their horse
  • Their previous owner died and there is no immediate family member to care for the horse

The Top 13 Horse Rescues in California


Finding amazing rescues for adopting horses can be time-consuming if you don’t know where to look.

However, many organizations accept horses of any size, breed, age, and health condition, regardless of their background. They prepare them for life with their new owners or provide permanent residence if they require extra attention.

We compiled this list of the best horse rescues in California to simplify your search for your ideal horse.

1. Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Rescue


First up on our list of the best horse rescues in California. This non-profit organization prioritizes rescuing abandoned, abused, and neglected horses. Only California residents can adopt horses from this rescue.

Adoption fees vary based on the horse you want to adopt. For example, light-riding horses cost less than ones used for sport. They also offer delivery services to eligible adopters for an additional transportation fee.

All adopters must send monthly reports and photos to the rescue regarding their horse’s well-being for one year after adopting their horse.

Redwings Horse Sanctuary and Rescue Details:

2. Oakdale Equine Rescue


The next option on our list of the best horse rescues in California is Oakdale Equine Rescue, located in Central California.

This non-profit rescue prioritizes rehabilitating abused and abandoned horses, educating the public about horse care, and raising awareness for combatting horse abuse. Since its inception in 2008, this rescue has rehomed over 580 horses.

Many of their horses undergo health and temperament evaluations before receiving proper training for life with their new owners.

The rescue also vaccinates them for several equine illnesses, such as Rhinopneumonitis, a highly-infectious virus, and West Nile Virus, a mosquito-borne virus.

Interested applicants must submit pictures of their property’s fencing, pasture, shelter, and other animals and references from an equine veterinarian and farrier to qualify for adoption.

Oakdale Equine Rescue Details:

3. Sonoma Equine Rescue, Rehab, and Adoption


Sonoma Equine Rescue, Rehab, and Adoption is a non-profit horse rescue organization in San Francisco’s North Bay area. They specialize in rescuing abandoned horses of any age and breed.

After SERRA evaluates each horse’s temperament, they retrain and rehabilitate them until they’re ready for adoption or foster care.

Since they accept horses from different backgrounds, this process’ length can vary from horse to horse. They also provide excellent medical and dental treatment for each rescue horse.

Their horse adoption process requires interested applicants to visit the rescue and interact with the horse to monitor their bond.

Applicants must also be 21 or older, have a valid ID with their current address, and have no felony or misdemeanor records for animal abuse.

Sonoma Equine Rescue, Rehab, and Adoption Details:

4. Sunrise Horse Rescue


If you live near Napa County, Sunrise Horse Rescue is the best place to adopt a neglected or abused horse.

This non-profit rescue provides each horse with the nutrition, shelter, and veterinary care they need before finding a new owner. Sunrise Horse Rescue also offers a wide selection of Equine-Assisted Learning and Therapy programs.

People can sponsor a horse through one-time donations for food and veterinary care or sign up for their volunteer program.

Sunrise Horse Rescue Details:

5. Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.


Another one of the best horse rescues in California is Saffyre Sanctuary, Inc.

Besides rescuing abused, abandoned, and neglected horses, this non-profit organization specializes in helping horses with behavior issues or need long-term rehabilitation for illnesses or injuries.

They also have extensive experience working with Arabian horses.

Adoption fees vary from horse to horse, depending on their age and care needs.

Their Virtual Foster Care program lets you sponsor a resident horse through weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly payments to support its maintenance, including holistic nutrition, veterinary care, dental care, and farrier costs.

Saffyre Sanctuary:

6. Hanaeleh


Located in Orange County, Hanaeleh is your best option for adopting a horse of any breed or age. They primarily rescue horses in need of urgent care, from slaughter-bound horses to those who are homeless and starving.

Hanaeleh only accepts adoption applications from California residents and usually reaches out to applicants about their eligibility within one or two business days. Their typical adoption fee is $1,000 per horse.

If you’re interested in adopting one of their rescue horses, consider filling out their online application with your veterinarian and farrier’s name and phone number, preferred horse temperament, riding skill level, and horse care experience.

Hanaeleh Details:

7. Bodega Meadows Horse Sanctuary


Another one of the best horse rescues in California is Bodega Meadows Horse Sanctuary, located west of Santa Rosa.

This non-profit organization prioritizes rescuing horses from slaughter and rehabilitating them until they’re ready to find a new forever home.

Many of their horses live under foster care while the organization pays for their food, hoof care, and veterinary care. If you don’t have the space for a horse, you can sponsor their permanent resident horses by donating.

People interested in one of their adoptable horses must stay in contact with the rescue and keep them updated about their equine’s progress. However, they don’t permit applicants to use their horses for breeding.

Bodega Meadows Horse Sanctuary Details:

8. Love This Horse Equine Rescue


Love This Horse Equine Rescue specializes in rescuing, rehabilitating, and rehoming neglected and abused Arabian horses.

However, they won’t turn down other horse breeds who need help. Since its inception in 2016, this non-profit rescue has adopted hundreds of horses into permanent homes.

They typically saddle-train their Arabians for potential new owners interested in riding companions that match their skill level. Each horse’s online adoption profile lists its age, breed, and rider level.

Love This Horse Equine Rescue also offers permanent sanctuary to horses who are too old or require special needs only the organization can cover.

Love This Horse Equine Rescue Details:

9. All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc.


All About Equine Animal Rescue, Inc. is a volunteer-run, non-profit organization specializing in rescuing and rehoming abandoned, neglected, and slaughter-bound horses in Northern California.

Adoption fees vary from horse to horse based on several factors, from their age and health to their training level.

For instance, horses trained to ride cost more than non-riding companion horses. They also occasionally offer mini horses, donkeys, ponies, and mules for adoption.

After you fill in an adoption inquiry, the rescue will contact you about potential matches based on your preferences.

Then, after visiting the horses at the ranch, you can submit an adoption questionnaire, agreement, and a $100 non-refundable deposit. The rescue evaluates submissions within three to five days.

All About Equine Animal Rescue Details:

10. Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue


If you’re having trouble finding a horse rescue in Southern California, consider contacting Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue and asking them if they have any available.

This non-profit organization prioritizes saving domestic and wild horses from abuse, neglect, and slaughter.

Like most non-profit rescues, this organization collects horse care funds through one-time and recurring donations. They accept donations via credit cards, PayPal, and mailed checks.

They also train several domestic and wild horses they deem adoptable. People interested in adopting a horse must submit a $100 non-refundable deposit with their application.

Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue Details:

11. California Coastal Horse Rescue


California Coastal Horse Rescue is a non-profit horse rescue founded in 2000.

This organization prioritizes giving abused, neglected, slaughter-bound, and abandoned horses a second chance at life by providing them with food, shelter, and veterinary care before finding them new forever homes.

CCHR evaluates applications thoroughly to ensure they match their horses with a compatible new owner. Some factors that help them decide include an adoptable horse’s temperament and the adopter’s riding experience. 

They also conduct inspections before approving your adoption to ensure your property is suitable for properly caring for your new rescue horse.

California Coastal Horse Rescue Details:

12. Coachella Valley Horse Rescue


The closest horse rescue you can find in Riverside County is Coachella Valley Horse Rescue.

This organization rescues and rehabilitates abused and neglected horses to prepare them for life in a new loving home. They also have equine-assisted programs for children and veterans.

All horses undergo training before getting placed in new homes. Their adoption fees vary based on a horse’s age, training ability, and temperament. You can also sponsor the CVHR’s resident horses through monthly donations to cover their care costs.

Coachella Valley Horse Rescue Details:

13. Forgotten Horses Rescue, Inc.


You can find Forgotten Horses Rescue, Inc. in Southern California. This non-profit organization strives to rescue, rehabilitate, and rehome abandoned and forgotten horses across California. They accept donations through PayPal and mailed checks.

Their adoption process requires applicants to visit the rescue for an in-person interview if they’re interested in adopting a horse.

However, they don’t allow applicants to adopt horses for breeding or racing. All applicants must submit their applications with references from their veterinarian and farrier.

Forgotten Horses Rescue Details:

Conclusion For “Best Horse Rescues in California”


Adopting a rescue horse is a long-term commitment for anyone interested in adding one to their family, so it’s your responsibility to ensure your property and budget fit their needs. 

We hope this list of horse rescues in California can help you narrow down your top choices to find a new horse to love if you think you’re ready to care for one.

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