Finding Your Lost Horse

What to do when your horse has gone missing.


Not every missing horse falls afoul of crime. Some horses decide to leave on their own. Even so, it’s important to recover your wandering horse as soon as possible. He could be a danger to himself or others.

Horse silhouette at sunrise
Photo: Sari O’Neal/shuttersock

To round up a wandering horse, Robin Lohnes, executive director of the American Horse Protection Association, advises launching a search party on foot or in a vehicle. “Make sure you take a halter, lead rope and a pail of grain to entice him,” she says. “Bring a flashlight if you go at night.

“Horses usually seek out other horses, so alert your neighbors and ask if he’s in their pasture. If you’re along an interstate or main road, alert the state police and animal control.

“Check wooded areas where he might not be in plain view,” she adds. “Make sure he hasn’t fallen through the ice in a pond. Horses are really curious and they think they can fit in areas where they really can’t, especially youngsters, so they might wander into a machine shed and get accidentally caught behind a tractor.” Usually horses that get out on their own don’t go far, so concentrate your first efforts in areas close to home.

Having identification tags for your horse at all times will help to speed up the recovery should it wander astray. Small, circular pet ID tags with your name, address and phone number can either be braided or banded into your horse’s mane.


  1. If my horse were stolen I would immediately contact Stolen Horse International and refer to the book written by Debi Metcalfe-Been There, Done That which is her experience having her own horse stolen and her relentless pursuit of her horse Idaho. Debi started SHI to help others and has appeared at expos, on TV and anywhere she can to tell people how to protect their horses. When it comes to finding your lost or stolen horse, success is everthing!

  2. Our 3 horses wandered away from their pasture yesterday. Luckily they were “captured” by our local sheriff’s office and taken to “jail.” We retrieved them today, well and happy to be home. Call your local sheriff and animal shelter; knock on doors in the area; put out flyers; and pray.

  3. I really do not think that banding or braiding something into your horses mane, would work, because it would be very easily pulled out.

  4. Prevention is the best way, make sure to latch gates behind you and routinely check the fence line for breaks. Good point on calling the police if the horse could be on a highway though.

  5. I thought I had horses escape this Summer, they didn’t but this article is great. I love the idea about braiding or banding my contact info into their mane. I’m definitely going to do that for my horses.

  6. Cool! When i get a horse i will definatly keep that into mind!(braiding/banding an identification tag into their mane)lots of good suggestions that you guys put on the website 🙂

  7. Oh my! My 23 yr old pony went wandering (after a gate had been accidentally left open) at 1:00 AM! She was found like a mile or two away near a ball park and a hwy! Thankfully someone caught her in the morning and brought her back, I did just happen to have her mane braided and the man that returnd her thought that the pony belonged to someone and thought that somebody would be missing her!

  8. River was not stolen or wandered away, I sold her to an elderly couple near Phoenix,AZ in April, 1996 and they never transferred her AQHA papers into their names. So I have no way to find her. We now live in West Virginia, and the couple said they might send her to their daughter in Utah. Her full name is Dancing River Mist and I have her pictures and info. on my profile, Olivia Bentley. If anybody has ever heard of her, I am trying to find her to buy her back. I Miss her sooo much:-(( RIVER WERE ARE YOU?

  9. My sister gave away my mare Zena (behind my back) a few years ago and she is still registered to me. I would like some help finding her. I am worried about her and ant to try to get her back to me. She was given to a family outside Waverly, NE who had no horse experience. She was a gorgeous, large zebra dun and I have photos I can send. Please help me…don’t know what to do. My sister never gave me their name and was too busy to go even check on her.

  10. I put my pony a 14.2h bay New Forest x on loan approx8 years ago, he will be 15yrs old now, I am desperate to find him, he’s bark bay, with dapples in his coat in summer he has a small star and snip with a little pink nose, 2 white coronets on hind legs, he was called Benson(Bennie), he was on loan to a girl called Louise Danby in Milton Keynes who I believe took him to Devon with her friend a girl called Danni, whose auntie owned a stables there, that was the last I saw of him, I’ve tried to make contact with Louise on FB but she blocked me and deleted her email address, please can someone help me trace Bennie, all I want to know is that he’s happy, well and being looked after, Louise Danby was last know in Newport Pagnell, Milton Keynes

  11. This is not exactly a lost horse,but a horse I took lessons on and almost bought back in about 2009. I loved so much. He is still my favorite horse. He is a fairly large gelding about 15.1-16 hands. He is a tri-colored paint, mostly white on his body with brown on his butt and head. I believe he had a white blaze. His white tail faded to black. White legs with no socks. He was 13 I think in 2009. I do have pictures. Last time I heard of him he was in Florida. His name is Music Man.

  12. Seeking information regarding the whereabouts and CURRENT CONDITION of the following straight Egyptian horses, registered in the name of Robert Lloyd of Meadowbrook Arabians.
    MS ASMARI #0499713 DOB 02/15/1993–MAI SHASMARI #060709 DOB 03/17/2003 and of course SHAHDAL#0432138 DOB 02/29/1988.

  13. Hi, i found a black mare with a white star, older showed up at my house this afternoon. She has large ticks on her and needs a brushing but she does great with humans, kids and dogs. If anyone is missing this horse the Rogers, mn police department know where it is located.

  14. Hi I sold my little skewlbald colt a few years ago he was my mares foal he will be turning four soon and we woul love to get him bacl we have no idea where he is if u find him we would be very greatful he is a skewbald 3 year old gelding northamptonshire he has 1 blue eye on left

  15. I am searching for this horse. She was my childhood horse who I loved very much but had to sell about 5/6 years ago due to financial issues and I am trying to get her back now. She is roughly 19 years old now, appaloosa/Quarter horse mare, flea bitten roan color all over with silver mane and dark silver tail, rode English & Western. So far I have tracked her down to being sold somewhere in the Asheboro NC area but could have gone to an auction or something from there. If you have any info on her at all Please call or text me any time, day or night! 919-559-6083 Her name was Tess when I had her but could have changed by now. Thank you so much for your time, God Bless!
    – Tiffany

  16. My mom had to give up her 14 year old quarter horse around 3 years ago. The horse, Sydney, is a bay mare with a white sock. We found her a new home at a horse adoption agency because her arthritis was limiting what my mom could do with her. We now have purchased our own farm where Sydney could live a happy retirement. The adoption facility she was originally placed in has since closed, every time we have tried to contact the owner to find Sydney’s whereabouts we are turned down. That horse made my mother happier than anything else in the world. It would mean the world to her and me if she could come back home with us.

  17. I’m searching for 3 horses.
    One was sold in 2010 his registered name is justa bit of midas he’s resisted apha and Palomino
    Second was sold in 95 her name is Gray Destiny AHR#375887 May14, 1986 she was smokey Joe’s mom
    Thit’d horse is smokey joe he’s not registered I’ve looking for 8 going on 9 years. My folks sold him thinking it was best for him but it wasn’t. They also lied to my folks they said I Could see him any time
    It wasn’t tI’ll 2010 I learned he was sold to 3 pal within a year
    His page is
    Midas page is
    Please like and share

  18. Recently I gave my horses away because I traveled so much for work that they were not getting enough attention. I thought I had given them to someone who would love them. As a part of the ‘deal’, I was to have the first right of refusal should the new owner not be able to care for them any longer. After only five months she gave them away and does not know to who and never notified me.
    The horse where in Keystone Heights FL. She beleives the horse went south; approximately a month ago
    Tuff is a 17 y/o TB, dark bay 17’2 HH
    Star is 4 y/o Quarter/App approx 14HH, slight build
    The women also gave her to paints away.
    If you know where my horses are please let me know. I want to ensure they are ok.
    Thank you

  19. I am trying to find a morgan gelding named “Peters Pride”. Nicknamed pepper. I was cheated out of him. He was sold I believe to a laine volkman in wenatchee. I would love very to see if he is ok. Please call
    Susan 4253019593

  20. I gave my 10 year old Quarter Horse mare, Dylan, to a couple back in October of 2014, who live in Pensacola, Florida, and told them that if they didn’t want her, to call me and I would gladly take her back. Well, I can no longer get a hold of them to see how she is doing, and this is worrying me. Will someone please help me? She’s a sorrel with a bird spot on her left hip and a star that almost resembles a downward arrow.

  21. My parents sold my childhood pony back in 2009 to a woman in Butler pa. The woman told them a few weeks later that she no longer wanted her and we weren’t able to take her back. Since then we don’t know what has happened to her and we’ve been searching for years. I am pursuing a career in therapeutic riding and now that I would be able to have a use for her I’m trying even harder to find her. Now she would be 14. She’s a sorrel quarter horse mare and is 13.3. She has no leg markings and a blaze with a brown spot in it. If anyone knows where she is or has any information about her it would mean the world to me. A girl never forgets her first pony and Libby (Libertys Keepsake) will always have a special place in my heart

  22. 17 years ago my mom sold a American Paint Horse named Steps lillys demon aka steps to a man named david mcdonald he lived a happy life with him and than in 2006 they sold him to a lady named Janelle Wise and she sold him to a lady with 2 children in ohio. steps is a solid chestnut with 2 white front a white back left and a white blaze the goes from his lip to the middle of his forehead where is becomes dimond if you have any information on him please contact me kaylee seashock at 570-426-031 we just want to know he is safe and in a happy home

  23. I am looking for a grey thoroughbred gelding named “sincy” or “sim” or “singsong of sixpence” he would have let been seen in Rome, PA at Heaven bound Farm. He would be elderly, please contact 6036.600.0184. He was an eventer. 15.3 hh. May have sustained a back injury.

  24. Trying to find out if my Quarter Horse Swift Skip, Gelding #424024 Could still be alive. He would be 51 has this ever happened? Broken hearted still as I came home one day and my Dad had sold him in 1983, last seen grazing in pasture off HWY 108 in Lynn, NC (Tryon, NC) What should I do? I must know what happen to him. My father will not tell me who he sold him to so I could buy him back.

  25. I grew up with this horse and I couldn’t offered him anymore. He is a gelding, palomino. He is about 16’3. His name is Bob and his show name is Eighteen Karat Sizzle. He is a western pleasure horse also does english.

  26. I think of my horse Ole Dan all the time and cannot seem to get him off my mind. Hubby wanted me to get rid of him so I did and told the couple that took him to keep me informed and never did. I had a gal call them and the couple said they traded him for a Shetland pony! They did not take the person’s name that they traded with and oh am I upset! I never forget when they loaded him in the trailer and should have stopped it! I had him over 20 years and he had a good home! Why is it so hard to forget him. I found out they took him to Missouri to a sale barn and that is as far I got.

  27. My childhood horse was donated to a man in Yorktown Heights NY. He was a sketchy man, barely spoke english, he told me he donated him to a woman that had girls that road off Underhill Ave. in Yorktown. I have been searching for 2 years and cant find him! His name is Jonathan, Just My Style was his show name. About 16 hands, chestnut Thoroughbred.


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