The RSPCA today urged horse lovers to rehome from them as they rescued almost 90 horses a month last year due to the ongoing horse crisis.

In Cambridgeshire the charity rescued 24  horses from neglect and suffering last year and has hundreds looking for loving homes.


As part of the animal welfare charity’s special rehoming drive Adoptober, new figures have been released showing that although 328 horses were found new homes last year, 886 remain in the charity’s specialist equine centres and private boarding stables.

Dr Mark Kennedy, equine welfare specialist at the RSPCA said: “We have been dealing with the effects of the horse crisis for almost seven years now, seeing sick, dying or dead horses up and down the country being neglected or dumped like rubbish (pictured right.)


“It’s heartbreaking that we had to rescue more than 1,000 horses nationally last year. We and other charities are struggling to cope with the large numbers continually coming into our care. We need help from fellow horse lovers. Please, please, please consider adopting your next horse from a charity instead of buying.

“Not only does it mean you won’t be inadvertently funding irresponsible breeders and dealers but you’ll be freeing up a space in our specialist centres for another needy horse, helping us as we work to rehome the hundreds currently living in private boarding stables.”

Over-breeding, the high costs of vet bills, the rising cost of hay and feed and falling demand for some types of horses have all contributed to the horse crisis which has left charities like the RSPCA struggling to cope.

The RSPCA has three specialist equine centres – Lockwood in Surrey, Gonsal Farm in Shropshire and Felledge in County Durham, and equine rehoming facilities at Millbrook in Surrey, Southridge in Hertfordshire and Leybourne in Kent.

The charity rehomed 328 horses and ponies last year.

The charity’s centres are full with hundreds of rescued horses and ponies, and many more are being cared for in private boarding stables or looked after by foster carers.

Adoptober aims to showcase the RSPCA’s horses and ponies’ versatility and capability, whether they are ridden horses, companion animals or youngsters with lots of potential like Barry, Ollie and Hope.


Name: Barry 

Age: Two

Breed: Piebald Middleweight Cob

Where: Private boarding stables in Essex

Height: He should mature at around 13hh

A bit about: Barry is a striking piebald born in 2017.

Why he’s special: This poor boy came into RSPCA care under weight and not very well handled. Barry has been fostered for a few months and has come on leaps and bounds. Barry is good to groom, lead and stands well for the farrier. He mixes well with other ponies both mares and geldings too.

Ideal home: Barry gets on well with children being gentle but playful with them, we think  he could make a great childs pony for the future. He has been gelded, passported, micro chipped and is vaccinated against Tetanus.

More information: To find out more about Barry please visit his page on the RSPCA website on Find A Pet.

Name: Ollie

Age: Two

Breed: Piebald Middleweight Cob

Where: Private boarding stables in Essex

Height:He should mature at around 13hh.

A bit about: Ollie was born in 2017 and is a lovely well handled pony, he is good to catch, groom, lead and have his feet picked out.

Why he’s special: Poor Ollie came in to the RSPCA in a very poor state and was riddled with lice and worms. He was unhandled and difficult to groom and catch. He is such a different pony now.

Ideal home: He has met children and loves to play but will also let them groom him. Ollie is currently in foster care and has excelled with the one to one attention. Could he be your perfect child’s pony for the future?

More information: To find out more about Ollie please visit his page on the RSPCA website on Find A Pet.


Name: Hope

Age: Five

Breed: Thoroughbred crossbreed

Where: RSPCA Southridge Animal Centre, Potters Bar, Hertfordshire

Height: 15 hh (approx)

A bit about: At five years old Hope, a bay, is proving to be a very loving girl, she does however have a huge amount still to learn and will need someone very caring and experienced to teach her. Hope has learned to wear a bridle and be lead in hand during her stay with us. Hope can be a little nervous when being groomed, but has gained confidence, and has made an improvement whilst being with us.

Why she’s special: Hope was found in a collapsed state as a young foal, within hours of death . She was infested with worms, covered in lice and had diarrhoea . She has made an amazing recovery and is now finally ready to start looking for a new home.

She can be a little nervous when being groomed, but has gained confidence, and has improved whilst being at the centre.

Ideal home: Hope will need a very experienced home which has dealt with youngsters before. She is very good around the mares she is turned out, and will be homed as a companion pony only due to her previous history.

More information:  Please check out Find a Pet

 Mark added: “Many people know how rewarding rescuing a dog or cat can be, and what a fantastic range of animals come into our care looking for new homes, and we really hope horse people will see that it’s the same for horses – we have some excellent horses and ponies just waiting for a chance in a new home.

 “I have rescue horses myself, and know how satisfying it is working with them and bringing out their full potential. In particular, mine have been very responsive to clicker training and it has helped bring out their playful and intelligent nature. Seeing horses who have had a bad start in life developing into fantastic companions or successful riding and competition horses is incredibly rewarding, made even better by knowing you are helping other needy horses by freeing up spaces for them in welfare charity care.”

Anyone in a position to offer a home to one of the RSPCA’s wonderful rescue horses can visit the charity’s rehoming pages.

If you’re not in a position to give a pet a home this October, you can still help thousands of animals in our care by donating at, sponsoring a dog kennel or cat pod for just £1.50 a week, or showing your support for rescue pets with one of our RSPCA T-shirts. Find out how to support the work of your local RSPCA here.