Mini-horses busy building human–animal bond

April 6, 2018

Bonding with an animal is incredible. The unconditional love and trust we humans receive is unlike anything else and brings such joy to those who are fortunate enough to experience it with their animal companion.

For adopter Laura M., that bond was just what she was looking for. To say Laura is compassionate is an understatement. She and her husband have welcomed four adopted children into their home—two from Guatemala and two from Haiti—and in addition to transforming the lives of these children, they volunteer to provide temporary housing for children through a nonprofit called Safe Families for Children.

Adoption is something Laura clearly believes in, and it seemed the natural step for her to take when she was looking for a horse to add to her family. So Laura, her husband and children made their way to the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center™. There, they worked closely with staff to be matched with not one, but two miniature horses: Meilo and Atta (now named Tifi, which means “friend” in French Creole, the language spoken in Haiti).

With an appaloosa already at home, Laura was looking for another horse (or horses) that could participate in 4-H and also act as therapeutic animals for her children. Laura believes, “You get the furthest with a horse when you can stay calm,” and for one of her sons, that’s exactly what happened. Meilo became the perfect confidence-builder for her son. The small horse made a big connection with him, letting no one but the boy catch him in the pasture. Says Laura, “My son told me that his brain goes into Meilo’s head and Meilo’s brain goes into his head, and they are both calm.”

While Meilo is making great strides and gaining confidence alongside Laura’s son, the family is learning more about patience and trust in working with Tifi. She came to Harmony from the Houston SPCA, where she was part of a neglect case, and due to her traumatic background, she is still working on some fear issues.

Laura and her family are working with both horses on building trust and strengthening the human-animal bond, and everyone is looking forward to starting 4-H. We are so happy that Meilo and Tifi have found their new home with this compassionate family.