Mini Horses, Big Hearts
By Maggie Stewart
Part One: Meet Bean
Meet Bean. He is a 10-month-old miniature horse.
Bean came from a family who could sadly not care for him anymore. At his young age he is still very similar to a puppy. In his former home he had little socialization because the family was very busy and they were somewhat timid around him. He is a baby and babies are not the best-behaved animals, especially because he did not have proper animal friends to teach him the rules.
Right now, I’m working with him using positive training to getting him used to the world around him, so he can eventually become a therapy horse for Mini Horse Heroes. The group’s mission is to support local police and fire departments, as well as veterans, assist children and adults experiencing trauma, provide educational and mentoring programs to high-risk children and comfort those dealing with life threatening illnesses. He is learning manners like not biting, kicking, and working on his comfort around new experiences. Bean has a great personality and we are looking forward to helping him grow and become a great therapy horse and companion.
Part Two: Meet Lebron aka Lil’ Bron Bron
While Bean had his mini friends at Mini Horse Heroes on play-dates, I knew he needed a buddy at home. He was becoming so playful and social. I found Lil’ Bron Bron on a dog rescue group’s page. They were doing the horse’s owner a favor by posting his photo. We were looking for a slightly older mini that would have the stamina to happily keep up with a young 10-month-old mini but have the patience to teach him a few lessons. Instead when we arrived to pick up the mini at the barn we found he was actually 12-years old (!) and lying in a field in so much pain he could barely stand up and walk. The owner had told us the horse had foundered in the past but it was clear that he was currently lame and in very bad shape. My heart broke for this helpless, chubby mini. We rushed him immediately to the vet as he had a fever and was clearly in a lot of pain. We took him immediately to Mid-Atlantic Equine Center where the fantastic vets there quickly made him comfortable. His hooves and legs were x-rayed, blood and fecals were run and we were given a great plan to get him back to feeling better. He joined his Daily Squeal family last Thursday. He loves his new friends and family and we love him. I had hoped to find a playful, healthy, happy horse but instead I left with a friendship of a lifetime. I feel like I saved a life that night, and I know he is improving mine. He may need help and is in a bad state physically and will probably never be a “normal” mini, yet he is everything I hoped and more. He is EXTRAordinary.