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EMES Adoption Process

When a mini horse, mule, donkey or pony comes to the Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary and they are healthy and well behaved, or when they can be quickly rehabilitated with a little love and training, we are very glad to help them find a new owner who will give them a great home through adoption. Our adoption process is a little involved, but we have found it to work so very well to find just the right match between equine and owner.

To begin, those interested in finding a mini to adopt through the Elegius Mini Equine Sanctuary need to call (540-396-4720) to schedule a visit. We want potential adopters to spend time getting to know the available horses, ponies, donkeys or mules. More than one visit is encouraged. By spending time with the minis, adopters are able to get to know each one so they can make a good bond with one (or more). Sometimes we have found it is the mini who selects the adopter, rather than the other way around! During a visit, the adopter will be asked to interact with the mini in which they are interested. That will include haltering them, leading them, and cleaning their feet.


Adopters complete an application that includes a list of references. The EMES staff will call these references to make sure the adopter has access to good vet care and farrier services and that they know something about caring for equine.

As part of our adoption process, we do complete a site visit. A potential home for one of the minis must
have appropriate turn out/grazing areas, shelter, and fencing. Since minis are prone to founder, a space
where they can be off grass, such as in a dry lot, for several hours a day is also needed.


Our current adoption fee is $400. This fee is set to help cover the costs of veterinary and farrier care provided to the mini being adopted. All of our minis are given current a Coggins test, updated vaccinations and recent hoof trims before they head to their new homes. EMES can provide transportation for the mini to their new owners for an added fee which is based on the distance to be traveled. 


We tell those who contact us about adopting a mini that our main goal in the adoption process is to find
a wonderful home for the equine in our care. A home where they will be well cared for, loved, and cherished. Most of our minis come from very sad situations. We just cannot allow them to return to similar ones. Good horse people always understand that!

If you are interested in adoption or fostering, please use the link below to download the application. Complete the application and email it to

Adoptions: Text
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