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Horse riding and equine charities in the UK

Updated on September 28, 2011

Charity database

If your charity isn't listed here get in touch and it can be added!

The British Horse Society

The British Horse Society (BHS) is the most well known and popular of all the horse charities in the UK if not the world. They are an organisation focused riders as well as horses.
The BHS represents the interests of the 4.3 million people in the UK who ride or who drive horse-drawn vehicles.

With its membership and that of its Affiliated Riding Clubs and Affiliated Bridleway Associations the BHS is the largest and most influential equestrian charity in the UK.
The BHS offers guidance on riding, caring for the horse and working in the equestrian industry. The BHS is also the home of British Riding Clubs, the largest movement for amateur riders in the UK.

The BHS claims that no one works harder or with more success to improve standards of horse welfare and safety, increase and protect bridleway access, educate riders and horse owners, provide great membership benefits and inspirational riding experiences.


Riding for the Disabled Association

Riding for the Disable Association (RDA) is a charity that helps disabled people to take part in equestrian activities. The charity has recently celebrated 40 years of delivering opportunities for therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities.

Founded as a National organisation in 1969, RDA now has almost 500 Member Groups across the UK. Together, these Groups help 23,000 people to take part in riding, carriage driving and vaulting activities.

Although RDA was set up to work mainly with people with physical disabilities, RDA Groups now work across the spectrum of disabilities, age range, social status and urban and rural environments. The focus of the charity's work is to ensure that each individual has the chance to derive a direct therapeutic benefit and the opportunity to achieve their personal goal.

There are RDA centres around the UK and many groups have riding lessons at stables that are also open to the public. The RDA's volunteers are kind thoughful. An excellent charity for disabled people.


The Horse Trust

The Horse Trust is an animal charity, originally established back in 1886 to help the working horses in London which often faced life in terrible conditions. Back then it was known as the Home of Rest for Horses. 

The Horse Trust is the oldest horse charity in the world and is set amongst the rolling Chiltern Hills in England. The Horse Trust's Home of Rest for Horses caters for the retirement needs of over 100 horses, donkeys and ponies.

The Horse Trust has an ongoing commitment to promoting education and welfare through knowledge and ethical scientific research to reduce disease and suffering within the equine world. 

They have become the largest provider of equine welfare grants and horse research grants in the UK. Many of the horses that they take in our also rehomed. This makes them an excellent charity to approach if you are looking to loan or share a horse.


World Horse Welfare

World Horse Welfare is a charity dedicated to giving abused and neglected horses a second chance in life. They have four recovery and rehabilitation centres in Great Britain that are open to the public all year so people can meet of thier horses.

The organisation has more than 150 staff and many more volunteers that work at its centres.Their work is very diverse. It includes the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of horses in Britain to training horseowners in developing countries and campaigning for change in legislation.

In Mexico, World Horse Welfare helps horses by providing veterinary care using specialist treatment teams. Working with the WSPA Disaster Alliance, they have the ability to provide emergency relief when natural disasters threaten horses in the countries where we work.

One of the most popular schemes that the charity runs is loaning horses. Once a neglected or abused horse or pony has been rehabilitaed they can they be loaned to a suitable owner who has to go through several checks first.


The Brooke

The Brooke is an internationa; charity helping working horses, donkeys and mules in some of the world's poorest countries. The charity worsk with individuals, groups and organisations to ensure working equine animals get the living and working conditions they deserve.

With over 800 staff they currently work in eleven countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America. The Brooke’s work also benefits poor people who rely on these animals for their livelihoods. Horses, donkeys and mules often power the developing world. Around 100 million of them work on country roads, tracks, fields, farms, factories and city centres. They transport a huge range of loads from people, produce, food and water to building.

Individuals own the majority of working horses and donkeys. They use them to support themselves and their families. These animals are becoming ever more important in developing countries to alleviate poverty, assure food security and promote self-reliance.



Redwings is the UK's largest horse sanctuary, caring for over 1,100 horses, ponies, donkeys and mules every day. Thier work is funded only by donations to give these animals the best possible care so they can eventually be re-homed or enjoy a home for life at the sanctuary.

Redwings has around 500 horses and ponies living out in Guardian homes and re-home over 70 more every year. Horses can be re-homed by anyone as long as they are suitable owners. They have eight centres around the UK, including three visitor centres in Essex, Norfolk and Warwickshire which are open to the public. These are a great day out for adults and children alike.

Redwings' largest rescue operation took place in Buckinghamshire in 2008 where we worked with other organisations to remove 97 equines from a site in one day. They have taken 55 of those rescued into their sanctuary and have since had six foals born. Thier biggest ever intake was from Lincolnshire in 2004 where we took in an incredible 72 ponies in one day.

Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies

The Society for the Welfare of Horses and Ponies (SWHP) started 37 years ago when Sheila Richards, the founder , bought some of the foals that were being sold for slaughter. Many of the animals sold for a couple of pounds and exported to Spain or Greece for slaughter. Many died on the way.

The charity was started to to care for abused or injured horses and ponies, rehabilitating them and re-homing them in a safe, caring environment. No horse or pony taken in by SWHP is ever sold. They rehome each horse or pony on a loan basis and track their progress through yearly visits.

SWHP takes back any re-homed horse or pony that can no longer be kept by an adoptive home, whatever the reason and find it another home. The charity is not as large as other organisations but they care for the animals to the same high standard and they are just as effective. They accept donations and can volunteer with the charity.


The Blue Cross

The Blue Cross is a broader animal charity that also cares for horses. Their work is dedicated to improving the lives of sick and unwanted pets.
They take in animals of all shapes and sizes, from hamsters to horses, and then find them loving new homes. The Blue Cross ensures thousands more get the veterinary treatment they need when their owners cannot afford to pay.

Th charity offers lots of ways to help them such as adopting an animal, volunteering your time or making a donation. The organisation advises on good pet care and also runs a service to help with animal behaviour. One of their unique services is that they help with bereavment counselling when somebody has lost a much-loved pet.




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