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What is a rescue horse?

The Right Horse Initiative believes... "in order to massively increase horse adoption in the United States, we first need to reframe the way people think and talk about it." They have provided this glossary of definitions and explanations for common words and phrases you’ll find utilized in The Right Horse vernacular. As partners we want to encourage you to incorporate these terms into your own language and join our collaborative movement to positively reframe the conversation around equine welfare.


Rescue horse is a term used to describe a horse that has experienced and/or been removed from a situation of extreme abuse or neglect. Typically, these horses will require extensive rehabilitation in order to become ready candidates for adoption. ~ The Right Horse

We believe the term "rescue" has been overused to describe a general group of unwanted horses. This probably happens for a few reasons, either people don't know, don't take the time to know or just simply don't care, and the catch-all word "rescue" is an easy go to.

However, we all know easy and not caring, don't get something you love... a relationship, a job promotion, or the outcome of a life of an animal anywhere good. There is good news for anyone in either of these groups. There are people who do care, who care about aftercare, what good PR does to uplift and promote a breed, people who believe in education, inclusion and inspiration. They will live out their mission and stay the course, whether you know or whether you care, because they are doing it for the love of the horse. The same horses you also say you love.

When you know and when you care, you take the time to find out the highest and lows of what you love are. You take the time to really sort through and give a horse in transition a different category and plan than one who truly needs to be rescued.

Change the language. Change the landscape.

Pearl and Abounding Faith

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