An Annual Trainer’s Challenge Allows Trainers To Work With Green Horses in Need
Each year, the Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation holds the Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse. In this event, local horse trainers are paired with rescue horses who have never been started under saddle. They are given several months to work with the horses before they participate in a show with several halter and under saddle classes. The winning trainers receive cash prizes, but the winning horses receive something much greater... a new home.
Director Drew Fitzpatrick explained, “That is one reason we started our annual Trainers' Challenge of the Unwanted Horse. We have an adoption rate of 95% for horses that have been through the Challenge.”
The Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation was formed in 1994 in Zimmerman, Minnesota. It is the oldest equine rescue in the state and stems from a need to have a safe place for horses and other hooved animals to go after they have been seized by local law enforcement during humane cases.
Drew shared a bit more about their program. “All types of horses come into our barn. Because we work with law enforcement in humane cases, we see everything from registered show horses to backyard donkeys.”
All new horses are assessed by a veterinarian before receiving treatment for any conditions they may have. They also receive farrier care. “Malnourished horses are given a slow and steady feeding regimen suited to their personal needs.”
Once the animals are healthy, they are placed in the training program to make them more suitable for adoption. New homes are found through the foundation’s Facebook page and newly redesigned website.
Drew explained that their biggest challenges are usually funding and space. “There are always more horses out there in need of rescue than there is space to take them all. If we could increase the number of horses we place on a monthly basis, we could increase the number of horses we take in.”
To learn more about the MHARF or the Trainer’s Challenge of the Unwanted Horse, see the information below:
Minnesota Hooved Animal Rescue Foundation
Location: Zimmerman, Minnesota
Donate: PO Box 47 Zimmerman, MN 55398