South Dakota Woman Takes in Mini Horses Displaced by Louisiana Floods

Posted by Paige Cerulli
Images by Valerie Hicks via Argus Leader

Four mini horses displaced by the Louisiana floods likely owe their lives to the generosity of a South Dakota woman who came to their rescue.

When Valerie Hicks of White, South Dakota received a call from the owner of mini horses, she knew that she would find a way to help them. Hicks, who owns a miniature horse and donkey rescue, received a call from a woman in Louisiana who could no longer afford to care for her five mini horses.

At first, Hicks tried to find rescues closer to Louisiana who could help, but despite numerous phone calls no leads turned up. So, Hicks knew that she would have to take action.


On Labor Day weekend, Hicks and her husband set out for Louisiana with their horse trailer in tow. It took them three days to drive the 2,500 miles to their destination, but during that time the Louisiana flooding struck. One of the mini mares drowned before Hicks was ready to reach her. However, Hicks was able to rescue the other four minis, including the three-month-old foal of the mare who had drowned.

Taking on four minis requires significant financial reserves, and Hicks relied on a GoFundMe campaign to enable the minis' rescue. The campaign raised over $1,100 in donations, getting the minis the food and care that they needed. Since rescuing the minis, Hicks has successfully rehomed three of the horses.

Hicks grew up with horses, and ventured into minis because they require less space than full-sized horses do. Thanks to her determination, Hicks got the four minis into a better situation, and provided their previous owner with some comfort in knowing that her horses would receive the care that they needed.

Images by Valerie Hicks via Argus Leader

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South Dakota Woman Takes in Mini Horses Displaced by Louisiana Floods