The RSPCA is urging horse lovers to re-home the animals from them.
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 re-homing 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.
“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 re-home 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 re-homing facilities at Millbrook in Surrey, Southridge in Hertfordshire and Leybourne in Kent.