What a beautiful winter day, and then I heard the sounds of commotion coming from behind the barn! Big whinny, little whinny, big whinny, little whinny ... then silence. I glanced quickly at the new mini pen that we had just completed with its cute little mini house and realized that there was not a mini to be seen!
I had bought two Miniature Horses thinking that they would be the perfect size to introduce my two little grandsons to the horse world. But the minis weren't technologically correct, certainly didn't operate very well with a remote control nor did they have guns, blasters or general noise makers attached! One quick mini look and the grandsons gave me the… that's-great-Grammy-but-now-we're-headed-for-real-toys look and off they went with never a backward mini glance.
Meanwhile the two white, blue eyed little darlin's stole MY heart! Minnie Pearl, the mini-mare, and Sonny Blue, the mini-man yearling, were my summer companions and ranch greeters. There was many a little GIRL who would gladly have taken them home! But now the minis had disappeared!
Big and little whinnies were again coming from behind the barn. Commander, my big white perlino stallion was back there! I raced around the barn corner and stopped dead in my tracks.
There was Commander, with his head held high, scanning the mare pastures and every once in awhile letting out with a loud stallion mating call. Oh yeah, I'd almost forgot, spring breeding times were just around the corner. At Commander's feet, just outside his corral, stood two little white minis.
Mini Pearl had the look of love in her blue eyes. She was star struck, as she stared up at the big, white, Lone Ranger of a stallion in front of her. Mini-man was doing his best to convince her he was a better companion for her. Since he is a gelding, the whole mating drive thing was kind of a mystery to him. When he was in to be gelded the vet and I laughed, my big tomcat, in for the same procedure, had bigger ones removed than mini-man did!
"Commander, look down!” I said,” The mare you're hearing is below you. Besides that, she isn't quite you're... well, she isn't quite your type!"
Commander glanced at me, looked down surprised at mini-mare, back at me, back at min-mare and then in a very controlled voice said. "My, what a sweet little mare package."
"Commander! Don't even THINK about it!" At least when you have a stallion that talks you know right away what is on his mind! As if there isn't just one thing that is always at the front of any stallion’s mind!
Mini-mare in the meantime was not helping matters. She uttered little adoring whinnies interspersed with excited squeals that sounded just like a teenage girl at a rock concert. Stallions and men, mares and girls, after having a breeding horse herd for many years I've decided that we really aren’t that far removed from the animal kingdom!
Mini-man had lost interest and was quietly munching some hay off to the side. You just got to love geldings!
"So little missy, how old are you?" Commander had suave just dripping off his tongue as he regarded the little mare in front of him.
"She's 3 and full grown at 32 inches! Commander, put your tongue back in your mouth!" I stormed.
"Hmmmmm, she's old enough..." Commander was not even looking at me. This was as close to any mare as he had been since last breeding season. Last year he had bred several 16 plus hand Appaloosa mares that were a challenging height from a different perspective! But this, this mini-mare was out of the question!!!
"Commander! Wipe that smirk off your face, this is not going to happen! Look how tiny she is." This was accompanied by another big shriek from mini-mare. My gosh she has a loud voice for how small she is!
Miniature horses have become very popular in the US as pets, companions and small show horses. Standing not more than 34 inches at the shoulder, they have many of the characteristics of big horses but in a small manageable size. Minis have curious, affectionate personalities and come in a variety of colors. They require the same maintenance as larger horses but a whole less feed!
As I gazed affectionately at my mini blue eyed wonders, I thought maybe I was being too harsh on the big white stallion that held such a special place in my horse heart. Perhaps I had better point out the issue a little more specificity since his blue eyes were glazed over with mini lust and maybe he just didn't understand the logistics of the matter.
"So Commander do you see what I mean about Minnie Pearl being too small for you to really consider her a good breeding companion? Why you'd have to get down on your knees to make it work." I said gently, trying to sweetly bring him back to earth and not go into too much detail about big and little sizes.
Commander gave me a big horse grin, whirled around and headed for the barn. Relieved that the issue was over, I called after him to see where he was going?
Glancing back over his shoulder he said, "To get knee pads!"