10 Best Horse Rescues in North Carolina! (2024)


Finding the safest option for rehoming a horse can be stressful. Perhaps you love your horse, but life circumstances such as an illness, home foreclosure, or even job loss have you juggling your options.

Or you might have stumbled upon a horse at an auction in dire need of rehab.  No matter what, you don’t want to leave any horse neglected or mistreated. If you’re wondering what you can do, don’t worry!

Check out this list of the best horse rescues in North Carolina that can help you surrender or save your horse regardless of the circumstances. 

Other articles you would like: Horse Rescues in South Carolina and Mini Horse Rescues in the USA.

1. Hope For Horses in Western NC


First on the list of horse rescues in North Carolina is Hope For Horses. Founded in 1999, Hope for Horses is a safe sanctuary for displaced and abused horses in Waynesville, NC. They practice humane care, restoring horse and human relationships through horsemanship and horse husbandry education. 

The organization’s husbandry helps neglected horses transition seamlessly from facility to new home.

Hope For Horses houses adoptable horses that are both rideable and not rideable, suitable for experienced horse owners, older or injured horses that require regular medical maintenance, or a combination.

Rescues unsuitable for someone considering adopting horses get to live out their lives at the Hope Horses Sanctuary Farm.

If you’re looking for a getaway, book your stay at the 25-acre The Hope Cabin. Here, you’ll get to watch the horses graze from the comfort of your bungalow.  

Hope For Horses in Western NC Details:

2. Red Feather Equine Sanctuary


Since 2021, the Red Feather Equine Sanctuary (RFES) has saved over 44 horses, donkeys, and mules that have experienced abuse and neglect.

The volunteer-run non-profit organization has had a significant impact on their community, collaborating with nearby rescue groups that rescue, rehabilitate, and retire equines at risk. 

They’ve helped other farm animals, cats, kittens, and unclaimed strays find the perfect foster care and forever home.

Despite being a small facility, the RFES uses donations and animal sponsorships to provide shelter, feed, and medical care to animal rescues. They are located in Winston Salem, North Carolina.

Red Feather Equine Sanctuary Details:

3. Leilani Mae Horse Rescue


The Leilani Mae Horse Rescue dedicates all financial, feed, and supply donations to rescuing horses from abuse, neglect, and slaughter. After they are behaviorally and physically healthy, they are ready for someone looking to adopt horses. 

Leilani Mae looks for forever homes with a simple adoption application and contract. Moreover, they have rescue companions and rideable horses available for adoption.

Elsewhere, Leilani Mae provides horse husbandry and handy carpentry volunteer opportunities alongside barn and pasture orientation.   

Leilani Mae Horse Rescue Details:

4. Horse Protection Society of NC


Nestled in the green pastures of North Carolina sits the Horse Protection Society (HPS). It’s a permanent retirement home for equines suffering from abuse and starvation.

Unlike other similar sanctuaries, HPS integrates trained investigators that educate the community on abuse, neglect, and proper horse husbandry. 

The HPS education barn offers resources to help equine owners manage conditions like appaloosa and night blindness, arthritis, and curing warts. And if you’re not a horse owner yet, you can help the HPS with sponsorship or adoption.

The HPS Angel Sponsorship program lets you sponsor a horse for a monthly fee for grooming, feeding, baths, and walks. If you fall in love with your sponsor, you can offer a loving home.

In addition, the HPS long-term placement program matches saddle and pasture horses with caring caretakers and a healthy home. 

Horse Protection Society of NC Details:

5. Believe Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Center


Lisa Martinez has helped save numerous horses at Believe Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Center from abuse and neglect.

Her center offers a secure shelter that nurses equines with trauma and injuries to healthy, adoptable companions. Seniors horses that don’t return to good health find their forever home at the Believe Equine Rescue. 

Besides being one of the finest horse rescues in North Carolina, Believe Equine is also a non-profit rehabilitation center that utilizes community donations for feed, medications, and vet assistance.

Once they understand the personality, story, and required husbandry, they match each horse with the best home.  

Believe Equine Rescue and Rehabilitation Center Details:

Other articles you might like: Best Horse Rescues In Michigan and Best Horse Rescues In Wisconsin.

6. Second Chance Stables 


Second Chance Stables has given over 100 rescue horses a second chance at life with equine training, veterinarian assistance, and a big heart.

They have been particularly supportive of horses that experience common respiratory diseases that fester inside kill pens and auctions. 

The organization integrates quarantine or stall boarding with slow feed, temperature checks, and safe handling practices that disinfect feed and resting areas at the facility.

Although Second Chance Stables does not affiliate with the Asheboro Kill Pen, horses at risk for slaughter have a second chance at life under quarantine boarding. 

In addition, the group has many horses, from saddle safe to companion pals, available for adoption at a fee.

If you’re not interested in adoption, Second Chance Stables hosts equine community expositions with vendors, education promos, door prizes, and a raffle. All proceeds and donations are returned to the facility for horse rescue resources and vet care. 

Second Chance Stables Details:

7. Midnight’s Promise Equine Rescue


Midnight’s Promise cabin is settled on rolling lush green pastures and home to nine horses rescued from neglect, abuse, and kill pens.

The members and volunteers are the backbone of Midnight’s Promise of offering rehabilitative services to sanctuary horses in need.

But Midnight’s Promise is more than a non-profit organization; it’s a community enriched with a passion for delivering positive change. If volunteering is out of your range, you can become a founding member, donate, or sponsor a needy horse. 

As a sponsor, small monthly donations make all the difference in a rescue’s life—you offer horse feed, hay, hoof care, veterinary care, and training. Each donation brings a rescue one step closer to a healthier life suitable for horse adoption. 

Midnight’s Promise Equine Rescue Details:

8. Ponderosa Rescue and Sanctuary


In 1970, owner and operator Kay Reece fell in love with a black Shetland pony named Ginger. She bonded and cared for that pony until she outgrew Ginger and gave her to a loving farm family.

Little did Reece know that Ginger would serve as the inspiration for the Ponderosa Rescue and Sanctuary, co-founded by second owner and operator, husband Micheal Reece. 

The Ponderosa Rescue is a 63-acre haven providing nurturing rehabilitative resources for horses of all breeds forged by abuse and neglect with dedicated care and veterinary assistance. 

Once rescued, horses are welcome to live a long and happy life at the facility until a permanent loving home finds them. Aside from finding the perfect forever home, all donations go towards feed and vet care. 

Ponderosa Rescue and Sanctuary Details:

9. Foothills Equine Rescue Assistance


The Foothills Equine Rescue Assistance (FERA) supports Polk County with humane care options for equines facing neglect, abandonment, and abuse.

Their support involves direct transportation with Animal Control services, shelter, medical intervention, and financial assistance. 

And with countless horses sent to slaughter across Mexican and Canadian borders, FERA serves as a mediator offering financial assistance in the form of vouchers towards humane castration, euthanasia, and gelding options.

That approach has helped rescue equines from unsafe living, cruelty, and distressing transportation conditions. 

FERA also works alongside cruelty investigators to help get rescue justice, veterinarian care, and foster support until the horse is healthy for adoption.

In addition, they seek volunteers with the right skill set to help fundraise and organize clinics that support community donations. FERA routinely recycles all donations into the facility. 

Foothills Equine Rescue Assistance Details:

10. STAR Ranch Rescue


Last on the list of horse rescues in North Carolina is STAR Ranch Rescue. In 2005, Jim and Karen Owens opened up the non-profit Save The Animals Rescue (STAR) to deliver relief to nearby animal shelters that were reaching their maximum capacity.

Since then, the STAR ranch has nursed multiple victims of abuse and neglect back to health. For some equines, that means finding their forever home with a loving family after intensive training and care.

Many horses living at STAR ranch are available for sponsorship until they are ready for adoption. Other equines live the rest of their lives at the ranch, surrounded by horses, volunteers, and community groups caring for them. 

All financial and supply donations, such as round pens, feed, flea treatments, and grooming tools, return to the facility to ensure the animals on the ranch receive exceptional care. 

STAR Ranch Rescue Details:

Conclusion For “Best Horse Rescues in North Carolina”


Horses are remarkable animals. They can express emotions, experience empathy, and thrive in health and wellness inside well-adjusted social relationships.

If you sense that a horse is experiencing abuse, neglect, or abandonment, don’t wait until it’s too late. Reach out to one of these horse rescues in North Carolina for the best advice on how to care for equines in need. 

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