Meet Clover, my former miniature horse. She came from Be Bop Farm in Oregon. We shipped her by air to a major airport in NJ, where we met her. Then we drove her to her first home away from the farm where she was bred. That was when she was a yearling, back in Nov. '97. Clover had been living a life of ease with the chickens and several other animals that she'd met at the farms she's been boarded at. She is currently residing with her owners at a beautiful, private farm in NJ where she can enjoy the company of other horses and watch the harness horses practice on the track.
This is Clover in December '97,
all woolly and ready for winter.
Reg. name: Be Bop's Crimson and Clover
Sire: BZ's Legacy, Dam: Be Bop's Uptown Girl
Foaled: April 6, 1996
Height: 29 3/4 inches
Color: all black, no markings
Registered with: AMHA (pending)
(See AMHA link below)
Here's Clover enjoying a good roll in her field:
Before Clover came to live with us, her breeder took her to a few shows where she was shown in Halter. Clover did very well, coming into the ribbons each time in classes as large as 20 horses. Unfortunately, due to transportation difficulties, we were never able to show Clover.
Clover loved attention and just ate it up. She was very friendly and loved to have back rubs. She'd stick her neck out and wiggle her lips while you give her one. Clover was a sweet, curious, and intelligent little equine. And like most horses, loved to eat! She tended to gain weight rather easily, as many minis do.
What do ya do with a Mini?!
Many people ask, "What can you do with a Mini?" At first glance, it would seem very little, as most are too small to be ridden, but the larger Minis may be ridden provided the child isn't too large. A general rule is 20% of the horse's body weight is the maximum weight that can be carried. This goes for any size horse. Saddles and bridles for Minis can be purchased for riding purposes. Most Minis are very friendly and outgoing animals and make great pets.
They can be trained to pull a cart. They make excellent harness ponies, and can be easily handled by children and adults alike. There are even Mini harness races!
Some people take their Minis to schools and make presentations to the classes. We had done that with Clover. The children were thrilled at having a horse at school! Some people also use them as therapy animals at nursing homes and hospices. There are even seeing-eye Minis for blind people, especially for those whose religion prohibits them from keeping dogs.
And, of course, there is always the show ring. There are halter classes where the animal's conformation is judged, driving classes with carts and small carriages, and also trail classes with obstacles that the Mini must maneuver around, through, or over. There are also jumping classes in which the Mini is led over a series of jumps.
Minis come in a range of sizes and are classified as being a Division A or a B Mini. The A's measure up to and including 34 inches tall at the withers and are registered with the AMHA. The B Minis are from just over 34 to 38 inches tall, and are registered with the AMHR (link below). The AMHR can also registered the Div. A Minis.
A Special Word About Hoof Care
I recently came across a more natural way of caring for horses' hooves, thanks to a friend of mine who also keeps horses. I've always been against steel shoes ever since I was in my teens. Minis can't wear shoes anyway because the hoof wall is just too narrow to hold the nails required to keep steel shoes on a hoof. With the angle needed to go through the shoe and the hoof wall, you'd be going through the sole of a Mini's hoof as well. And that would be causing pain and injury, not to mention making your Mini lame.
I believe that keeping a horse barefoot is one of the best things one can do for a horse. It has been shown many times over that horseshoes constrict the hoof in such a way that the hoof cannot function as it was meant to do by nature. The hoof is a wonderful apparatus and can function perfectly well without shoes if it is trimmed and cared for properly. Look at the wild mustangs of our West. They roam 15 - 20 miles every day in rough, rocky terrain. That's pretty rugged territory for an unprotected hoof. Yet Nature provides the mustangs with hooves that are strong, durable, flexible, and adaptable. There is a "barefoot movement" among horse owners today that reflect a mustang's hooves. It is called the natural trim or wild horse trim. It is now the way I care for my horse's hooves and I highly recommend this method to all horse owners out there.
For more information on this type of trim, hoof care, and supplies, please visit the following websites:
Barefoot for Soundness
Horsneakers Hoof Boots
Your horses will thank you for it!
Some Favorite Breeds
Some of my favorite breeds include the Miniature, the Arabian, the Friesian, the Lipizzaner, and the Rocky Mountain Horse. I also love Morgans, Quarter Horses, and Cleveland Bays. But in actuality, I love them all.
A Lipizzaner performing a Piaffe
courtesy of the US Lipizzan Registry
In the past, I've had the pleasure of owning and learning from:
Victor - a chestnut Shetland/Welsh crossbred pony gelding belonging to a neighbor,
my first horse, Hobgoblin, or Hobby for short - an grey marble Appaloosa mare,
Sundown, Sunny for short - a chestnut Arab/Quarter Horse (QH) cross mare,
Shadow - a bay Thoroughbred/QH (TB/QH) gelding,
Prince - a retired bay TB racehorse gelding,
and Bubbles - a chestnut pinto Shetland pony mare.
In 1992, I leased for one year a black Miniature stallion named Samson, and that is how I became involved in the Minis. I really enjoy having a Mini around. I would very much like to get another Mini or two. It's just like the saying goes: "Minis are like potato chips... you can't have just one!"
There is also one more horse I'd like to mention, a special mare called Bunny. Bunny is my current regular sized horse, a gorgeous Arabian mare. You can visit with her here: