Each time you add a horse to your herd, it should only be done after great consideration. Horses can be expensive and time consuming. After you have decided to make the leap into horse ownership, you might be wondering whether adopting a rescue horse is the right choice for you. There are many pros and cons that you must reflect on.


  • You can save a life. Many perfectly fine horses are discarded. By adopting, you allow the rescue to have an opening for another needy horse.
  • Adoption fees are generally less compared to purchasing from a regular seller.
  • Rescue horses are usually evaluated before being put up for adoption. Many people are tempted to buy directly from an auction, but these horses haven’t been inspected for their age, health, and trainability.
  • Most organizations will provide annual shots, deworming, dental, and regular farrier visits until the horse is adopted.
  • Rescues work with potential adopters to match the right horse with them. They also usually have more than one horse to choose from.
  • If the adopted horse ever has to be rehomed, rescues are usually helpful in finding good homes, or might even take back the horse.


  • The horse’s history is usually unknown. Some may have been abused or neglected and have issues to work through.
  • Adoption processes can be lengthy and require references from vets, farriers, and trainers.
  • Home visits before and after adoption may be necessary.
  • You might not be able to sell or rehome the horse without the consent of the rescue organization.
  • Most rescues prefer the adopter to have some horse experience.

While you may want to make a horse purchase based on your desire to help abused or unwanted horses, make sure to weigh the benefits and risks associated with adoption before you move forward. Furthermore, not all rescue organizations are equal. Find one that is reputable in the industry and willing to answer any questions you might have. Whether buying or adopting, acquiring a horse is a big decision!