For reasons I don’t quite understand beyond an affection for cuteness and Parks & Rec, the idea of hanging out with mini horses has been on my bucket list for over a decade. This past weekend, I finally achieved that goal…and I learned quite a bit while doing it.
A friend learned that there’s a mini horse rescue ranch in St. Louis, just over 30 minutes from where I live. They have various times set aside for tours, so we made the trek out there on Saturday.
I joked along the way that I was going to try to sneak a mini horse back to my condo. But as I learned during the first 30 minutes of the tour of the stable–which is beautifully built and maintained–that (a) even mini horses are too big to fit into a Camry and (b) keeping any horse happy and healthy is a lot of work.
Therein lies the source of why so many of these horses needed to be rescued. People get them because they’re cute, and then they don’t know how to properly take care of them. Their hooves and teeth need to be regularly trimmed, they benefit from frequent grooming and love, and they often need frequent medical attention simply because of how they’re built.
In one particularly sad case, before they were rescued, a pair of mini horses hadn’t been trimmed in so long that their hooves looked like elf shoes. I can’t imagine how painful it must be to walk around in that condition.
After learning their stories, we were allowed to roam around the stable and hang out with the horses (though no petting without supervision–it was VERY difficult to not pet them, as many of them were curious about the humans). There was one exception to this rule: Little Martha, a dwarf mini horse, is so small and gentle that she’s allowed to roam freely with visitors.
Enough talk–here are the photos (also found on my Instagram).
I had an amazing time meeting these little wonders. If you get the chance to visit this rescue ranch or one like it, I highly recommend it.
Have you hung out with mini horses? Is there a special animal on your bucket list?