A big helping hand for little horses

Miniature horses from Houston SPCA

Rescued from heartbreaking circumstances, 16 neglected miniature horses, including two babies, were welcomed in early September at our Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center in Franktown, Colo. The tiny equines—most under 32 inches tall—were among more than 80 miniature horses removed from a neglectful owner by the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (HSPCA) in mid-August.

The miniature horses—originally found suffering from malnutrition, breathing issues and hoof problems—were transferred to Harmony for rehabilitation in order to make room at the Houston shelter for animals displaced by Hurricane Harvey. “We have strong partnerships with animal welfare organizations across the country,” said Bob Rohde, Dumb Friends League president and CEO. “When we have the capacity and resources to assist our partners, we do whatever we can to help animals in need.”

Underweight and with burrs entangled in their unkempt manes and tails, the horses had previously been unhandled by humans. Upon arrival at the 168-acre equine center, they cautiously checked out their new territory—moving together in a small (pun intended) herd—while eating hay nonstop.

The horses were immediately evaluated to assess their physical condition and medical and behavioral needs. In addition to warm shelter, veterinary care, grooming and nourishing feed, they all were in need of socialization and professional training in order to become candidates for adoption. Our trainers worked with the wee equines for weeks on halter breaking, picking up their feet and building trust with people.

A waiting list was established for eventual adoption of the horses, and we expect all 16 to find homes with people who placed their names on the list and have been approved through our standard equine adoption process, which includes an application, interview and site inspection of the horse’s prospective home. Since miniature horses are too small for riding, they are typically adopted as companions to other animals.

If you would like to make a donation to help the Dumb Friends League care for these horses and others currently at the Harmony Equine Center, please visit click here.