Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sam's Arrival: My Horse is in Love with a Midget (and What's a Mini Anyway?)

My horse is in love with a midget.

So as promised, here's the full story of Sam the pony. Last weekend my wonderful mother went with me to the auction. She's scared of horses, refuses to ride them and doesn't really like getting dirty... but she totally supports my equine obsession and loves getting out and about. After spending the first quarter of the sale flirting with cowboys less than half her age (pretty successfully I might add), she joined me in the bleachers. For the next forty minutes, she watched my face contort in agony, watching countless horses and ponies go through the ring for very little money. Finally, she couldn't take it anymore. Out of the blue, she raised her hand! My jaw dropped. She'd bid on this little shaggy pony we hadn't even seen in the pens. I wasn't even sure of the age or sex, only that she'd gotten him for peanuts. It happened so fast, we didn't even know his hip number. All the way out to the pens, she kept apologizing, even crying a little. Awww! It's okay mom. Auction fever happens to everyone.

So Sam arrived just over a week ago. He's a four year old gelding, absolutely healthy, though with a tiny bit of an overbite, and slightly too-long hooves. After a vet check and vaccinations, we let him out to try making friends. Annie was instantly smitten. I mean tail-lifting, ass-waving, sticky-fluid-excreting, totally in lust/love. She did everything except hand him a stepladder and a box of Trojans. And all this was over a midget gelding! There are times when it's very embarrassing to own a mare, and this was one of them. Mr. Strut, on the other hand, was less than thrilled.

It took days of supervised visits for Mr. Strut to get used to the idea of his new buddy, but now everyone has mostly settled down. Annie remains glued to Sam. Sam is a delight, easily handled but with all the amusing attitude I've come to expect from a mini.

But wait... a mini what? A mini horse? A mini pony? What's the difference? A Hackney is called a pony, but looks like a small horse, with proportional, if dainty features. Icelandics look like ponies, with short stocky legs, thick necks and large heads... but are called horses. I'm confused! I have to confess, I'm pretty ignorant about the fine points of midget equines. By the time I had saved up for my first horse, I was well past the pony stage. Let's see, Wikipedia says,

"There is an ongoing debate over whether a miniature horse should possess horse or pony characteristics. This is a common controversy within the miniature horse world and also is a hot debate between mini aficionados and other horse and pony breed owners. The level of controversy is reflected by the presence of over 30 different registries for miniaturized horses or ponies just within the English-speaking world."

Oh. I guess I'm not the only one confused.

Hey, before we're done today, let's talk Midwest Horse Fair!! I'll be there all day Friday and Saturday, and I will be there for at least the Chase the Dream challenge on Sunday. I'll try to give you an update on the new horse psychic, Amy Miller, and tell you if she's more or less of a con artist than Asia Voight. I want to attend an awesome Western Dressage session, and I'm looking forward to seeing exactly what kind of bullshit people are trying to sell us about using essential oils on horses. (Really? Seriously?) The Equine Fashion Show that could be magnificent or ridiculous. The chickens and horses thing is equally up in the air for me. I'm confused as to why there are so many programs on body clipping. I'm most looking forward to the "What's Wrong with This Picture?" session on Saturday afternoon, Ride Like a Horseman, Rhia the trick horse, and of course the Dream Challenge on Sunday. As always, I'll be promoting the goodguys, exposing the badguys, and keeping a watchful eye out for wiffleball bats. Stay tuned North Horse fans!