About Us

Once Upon a Rescue is a small, privately-run horse rescue in Clackamas County, Oregon. Our mission is to rescue horses from high-risk situations such as auctions, kill pens, and county seizures. Horses are evaluated for physical and mental soundness and a thorough assessment of each horse's prior training is done over a period of several weeks. During this evaluation, most horses exhibit a clear aptitude in a certain area, be it trail, arena work, the show ring, etc. and the horse's training is focused to allow it to excel in that area. Once the horse's rehabilitation and training are complete, it is made available for adoption. Careful screening ensures a good fit between horse and owner, launching the once rescued horse onto the path of a successful career and partnership with its rider.

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What is a rescue horse?

How does a horse end up a rescue? Though we do see a number of horses that are neglected or abandoned because their owner can no longer take care of them, most of the horses in our barn did not get here just because they were hungry.  Horses become rescues because they can't be caught, refuse to load in a trailer, exhibit aggressive tendencies on the ground, misbehave under saddle, or do any number of other things to make them difficult for people to manage. These horses may present as starvation cases initially, because a horse that can't be handled is far more at risk for being neglected. But if we rescue this horse simply by adding calories and condition, we have not truly changed the horse's situation.  While it may find a home in some kind soul's pasture, it has lost out on the chance at a meaningful career as a working horse comfortable in the company of humans. While it does happen, it is unrealistic to expect that a horse will stay with a single owner for the duration of its life. To ensure that once a rescue is not always a rescue, each horse that comes through our gate stays at our farm until it is more than proficient in a discipline well-suited to its temperament, making it a safe, useful, and saleable equine not likely to find itself in need of future rescue.

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