Rescuing Unwanted Horses Since 1994

Rio’s Story

Rio first came to the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation (MHARF) in spring of 2015 when we were called in to assist with a humane case by local law enforcement. We learned that this older quarter horse gelding had put in many years as a successful show horse, but through no fault of his own, had fallen into the hands of a neglectful owner. He was extremely thin, caked with mud and manure, and in desperate need of veterinary and farrier care. 

For many months Rio received the care and nutrition he needed in the rehabilitation program at the MHARF farm. By autumn he was ready to find a new adoptive home. Rio went into foster care at a training and lesson barn where he was noticed by a family looking for a nice, quiet show horse for their young daughter. By spring of 2016, Rio was adopted by this family, was back in the show ring, and had found what every old horse deserves--a child to love him!

Stories like Rio's are not uncommon. Since its founding in 1994, MHARF has taken in over 2,000 horses, ponies, mules, donkeys, and other hooved animals in need. The majority of our animals come through humane cases in which they have been seized by law enforcement.  When space permits, we also accept surrendered and donated horses from individuals who can no longer keep them for various reasons.

Every horse we take in receives all necessary vet and farrier care. We have a number of trainers we hire to do training assessments and also to continue with training for horses that require a “refresher” course. Horses that have not been started under saddle are generally placed in our yearly Trainers' Challenge of the Unwanted Horse before they are made available for adoption.  We also provide resources and advice to people struggling with issues related to owning and caring for equines, assist law enforcement in making recommendations to help people improve care for their animals, and work to educate the public on equine welfare, including responsible ownership and care, responsible breeding practices, and making humane end-of-life decisions for their animals.

Rescuing, rehabilitating, retraining and re-homing horses is expensive. MHARF receives no government assistance and relies on donations and fundraisers to make this work possible - we are a non-profit, 501(c)3. Our greatest expenses are veterinary and farrier care, hay, bedding, and grain. Transport and training are also large expenses.   Donors like you are our primary source of funding! Please donate today and give horses like Rio a chance at a beautiful life in a forever home.

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