Friday Standing Ovation: Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue

Each Friday HN teams up with Ovation Riding to spotlight an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. This week we salute Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue.

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This week’s honoree:


Each week we recognize an individual or organization that is doing good work in the horse world. Today we salute Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue.

Alison Smith, director and founder of Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue of Mandan, North Dakota, kindly answered our questions about the rescue’s story and efforts. Triple H’s mission statement is as follows:

“Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue is a not-for-profit 501c(3) animal welfare organization that is dedicated to rescue efforts, care, nurturing and rehabilitation of miniature equine. Through the charitable efforts of our volunteers and our community, we strive to provide help, hope and loving life-long homes to miniature equine that have been seized, surrendered or suffered gross abuse and neglect.”

What’s the founding story behind Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue? 

I injured my back many years ago and had to give up riding my full-sized horses but still wanted to be around horses and own one. I decided to get a mini and learn to drive. From there my love for the mini escalated and it snowballed from there. We then were offered a chance to buy my husband’s family farm. I thought it would be a great way to use the farm to rescue horses.

Volunteers giving a little TLC.

Volunteers giving a little TLC.

What kind of situations are bringing horses to your rescue?

Many cases are seizures but we also get cases of severe neglect where people have just bought the horse to get it out of a bad situation instead of waiting for law enforcement. In 2013 we took in 129 full-sized horses and mules that had been seized; we vetted new homes while nursing the worst of them. The state vet said they were in the worst shape she had ever seen.

What’s your rehabilitation process?

Our rehabilitation process is not complicated. First we get a health assessment, get weight on or injuries healed and then it is a matter if socializing and calming and training if needed.

A pair of Triple H rescues enjoying the snow.

A pair of Triple H rescues enjoying the snow.

How does your rehoming process work?

We have an application for adoption which is pretty strict. If the applicant is approved,the horse will then be adopted for a small fee to help cover vet costs, feed and or training.

A Triple H Rescue renamed "Dancer" finds loves with his new family.

A Triple H Rescue renamed “Dancer” finds loves with his new family.

Alison and her husband Steve do most of the day-to-day work with the horses themselves, with volunteer help for the rescue’s many fundraisers–grant money is hard to come by. In addition, the Smiths keep a few other irons in the fire to help both animals and humans: their Horses Helping Humans program is still gaining traction but uses miniature horses in a variety of capacities to help people suffering from memory issues and autism as well as simply providing companionship. Alison also detailed the pet food bank she and Steve just started called Atti’s Eats:

What inspired Atti’s Eats?

We were called this fall to help with three dogs found living underneath some abandoned cement steps. No other rescues could help at that time. It was approximately 250 miles away and we knew if we were able to catch the dogs they would need immediate vet care as they were reported FULL of porcupine quills. There was one that was far worse than the others and he did not have much time left as he could no longer eat. We got him on leash (the other dogs ran off) and slowly loaded him in a kennel in our horse trailer. We drove to a vet 100 miles away and arrived after 10 PM. Quills were removed and flea, lice and ticks were treated. We continued on home 120 miles away and started his long recovery. He needed weight,socializing and 10 more trips to the vet including neutering. The vet stated he had never seen a dog have so many issues with quills–he developed abscesses and nerve damage. We named this dog Atticus and from that sprouted Atti’s Pet Food and Supplies Pantry, a pet food bank for people suffering hardships. It’s a division under Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue–we don’t plan on rescuing dogs, but we do help when we’re needed!

atticus before

Atticus before and after his rescue.

Atticus before and after his rescue.

Any fundraisers you’d like to share with us? 

We are hosting a fun run/walk this fall, October 3, 2015. The race is a 5K and you dress in your best cowboy/cowgirl attire. Everyone gets a bandana and a trophy. The 5K is held at the rescue on county roads. Cost is $25 to enter and you can enter through (the site for the pet food pantry.) Triple H is supported almost entirely by fundraisers and donations–grants are hard to come by.

The Triple H herd.

The Triple H herd.

We applaud the Triple H Miniature Horse Rescue for the great work they do and encourage Horse Nation readers to visit their website and Facebook page to learn more.

Go riding!

Many thanks thanks to Ovation Riding for their support of both Horse Nation and individuals and organizations that are doing good work in the horse world. If you know someone who deserves a Standing Ovation, we would love to recognize them in a future post. Email the name of the person or organization along with a message about the good work they do to [email protected]. Photos/videos are always welcome, and include a link to their website if applicable.


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