Saturday, April 24, 2010

Spanky's Pending Training-a miniature horse's grand goals

Meet Spanky and his bigger buddy, Chief. These are our horses last week in a blizzard. (I know, it's April!) Spanky has a cute, mischievous personality. He's totally curious about everything including bonfires. He can't resist getting as close as possible and tends to end up with a singed sniffer. But he likes being there for the s'mores!

These are fun times. Spanky is going to be learning the Delta Society program with me sometime this year. Then he'll be trained to go visit people in the hospital, nursing homes, and children who need a smile.

Spanky is three years old and a class B miniature horse. That means he's 36 inches tall. He weighs about 220 pounds according to our special measuring tape. He can pull up to five times his weight in a cart. I'm hoping to get a cart soon too, but he has to work with pulling a tire around comfortably first and build his confidence.

One thing we have to be careful of with this guy? He wriggles under the fence in the barn stall. No kidding, he lays down and wriggles under the fence! He watched our grandson, Jude, duck under the rails a few times and decided to follow. So we've had to build up a deterrent. I didn't believe it at first, but sure enough, there's a big wiggle spot in the dirt floor! Smart and mischievous.

If you could train a miniature horse, what would you want him to do?
Do you think animals help in the healing process?
Did you know that miniature horses under 24 inches act as helping/companion animals for people who are disabled?

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