In England and Wales the welfare of animals, including horses, is protected by the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Welfare agencies play a role in the investigation of equine welfare concerns and catching, containing, transporting and boarding (caring for) horses that have been rescued. Horses regularly have to be rescued in difficult circumstances from challenging and potentially dangerous environments. Equitation science uses a multi-disciplinary approach to objectively explain horse-human interactions and determine the efficacy of horse training practices and their impact on the horse. This paper reviews common horse rescue practices used by welfare agencies in the UK and evaluates them using a learning theory-based equitation science framework to determine whether they are effective, humane and safe.