Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue

Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue

Tiger Tap, aka Spike, raced 16 times before being turned into a jumper. When he could no longer jump, he joined the herd of geldings at Lucky Orphans, where he is a visitor favorite. Credit: Jes Grey Photography


Services: Sanctuary, Rehabilitation, Equine-Assisted

Location: Dover Plains, NY

Founded: 2008


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Average Number of Thoroughbreds: 10



Lucky Orphans Horse Rescue was founded in New York in 2008 as a non-breed-specific, no-kill rescue, rehab, and sanctuary.

Its goal is to “provide a haven for unwanted, abused, neglected horses, to improve the relationship between horses and people … and to properly unite humans and horses in a safe environment.”

Today, the organization is home to more than50 horses, including 16 off-the-track Thoroughbreds and an assortment of Quarter Horses, Appaloosas, Arabians, Morgans, Welsh and Shetland ponies, minis, Paints, mustangs, and mixed breeds.

The backstories on many of these rescues are heartbreaking. They came to Lucky Orphans in very poor condition and in need of a new start. Lucky Orphans has worked successfully to bring these horses (and even a few goats and sheep) back from their physical and psychological injuries—thus offering them hope for meaningful, more compassion-filled futures.

The nonprofit organization is accredited with the Thoroughbred Aftercare Alliance and the Global Federation of Animal Sanctuaries, as well as being certified with Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Associations. With the latter, Lucky Orphans utilizes its rescue horses in helping those who suffer from mental, emotional, physical, and/or developmental health issues, working with at-risk youth, and dealing with depression, anxiety, addiction, and self-injurious behavior. During the mutually advantageous process, horses and humans help one another.

In addition to its noted horses-as-therapy program, Lucky Orphans hosts a number of summer riding academy sessions and provides year-round riding lessons with individualized attention. Education of adults and children is a key component of the work done at Lucky Orphans.

Lucky Orphans Success Stories

Lucky Orphan

Lucky Orphan – The namesake of the organization, a Pennsylvania-bred son of Obligato, made 74 starts and earned $142,148. He became an eventer after his racing career was finished but now lives at the sanctuary. Read more >>