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What is Horse Rescue?

Updated: Apr 30, 2023

"Horse rescue is creating a compassionate path for horses that creates an opportunity for more horses to find that path." Elaine Ackerly

Thanks to Scott Wilson of Wilson Axpe Photography for his amazing work that puts freedom and the beauty of wild freedom into perspective..

What does rescue mean exactly? When you see us rescuing horses, what does that mean exactly? Are we saving them from certain death? At times, yes. That is how extreme this can get. More often than not, though, we are saving them from standing in a holding pen for the rest of their of life. The importance of that cannot be overstated.

But there are definitely circumstances where horses are looking at going down the familiar pipeline, and, let's be honest, that pipeline ends in slaughter for most horses. And that doesn't even include tribal horses, who do not fall under the Wild Horse and Burro Act. Their fates can be very sketchy and are not regulated in the same way as horses that come through the BLM.

Another series by Scott Wilson of Wilson Axpe Photography detailing the journey of Aria's StellaLuna.

But what's true is that our mission is to bring horses in, rehabilitate them in whatever way they need, and then send them out into the world with hope for a safe and compassionate new future. Sometimes that means providing medical care, and sometimes that rehabilitation means behavioral work, but more often than not, it means LOTS of training because the vast majority of the horses we encounter are wild. But what it most certainly means is work. We do lots of work, but our hearts are in it, and so it's fulfilling.

Sharing the love with ALL species. No bias here. We love them ALL!

If you think of horse rescue like a vacuum, we create an outlet for a horse that, once that horse moves on into his or her new life, leaves room for the next horse to be carefully understood, assessed, and thoughtfully placed. As we know, nature abhors a vacuum, and so we are that soft space that holds horses safely until they are ready to move on, and then we help them move on in a way that we feel honors their voice and being, which, in turn, makes room for the next soul to enter into this process.

This blog is really dedicated to anyone who goes out there and says, "Not that horse, not this time. That horse will not go to the pens or down the pipeline. We choose to save that horse." After all, we are just a collective of people who say, "That soul, that particular life is more important than the obstacles that are stopping us from doing something positive for that being." And the truth is that one horse is not more deserving than another, and so we have to choose, which is an impossible conundrum.


But we do what we can, and most days, our hearts ache for the ones we couldn't make a difference for, but it's the fact of the circumstances, and we know what we must face in order to do the work that we do.

Gina and daughter Emily on a trip to the Sand Wash Basin to view herds that are still wild.

We are so grateful to have found this calling, but at the same time, our ultimate goal is for there to be no need for us. Our ultimate goal is that rescuing horses who have been taken from their natural habitats becomes a thing of the past as we watch legislation stand up for the rights of these wild beings who have homes, families, and their entire lives out in the wild. But until then, until that day when we sleep past 4 am knowing that the horses that are still wild are going to stay that way, WE RESCUE HORSES. YOU CAN HELP.

How can you help?

Until we are out of a job, your donations mean everything to our efforts. Also, we have benefitted from volunteers who are truly second to none. You can also educate yourself on what it takes to rescue a horse and then rescue your OWN mustang, which means there is more room at rescues to take the horses who were not chosen by people. But until you are ready to do that, your donations and your support mean the world to us.

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