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November 13, 2005

A big horse in a little package.

If you happen to be lucky, you might stumble into the good fortune of owning a miniature horse. I got mine quite by accident, given to me in the most gracious and generous manner by a friend named Susan Hopmans. She has a wonderful miniature ranch filled with world class minis.

"La Vista Mittey McKee" was born in April of 2004 and he entered my life in August of 2005. He may be small in stature, but he is anything BUT small in heart, desire and good 'ole smarts.

The thing that amazes me most about this little horse is his BIG horse attitude. In his mind he is a full sized horse, no question, and along with this mind-set comes the full gamut of full sized horse attitudes and behaviors. For instance, if I use my body in a rude manner to move him out of my space, he'll react as strongly as a big horse.

As I've entered the realm of the little horse, I've begun to see that many miniature owners don't think twice about basically "man-handling" these little horses. For example, if they want a horse to load into a trailer, they just "shove" him in. Period. I don't mean the horses are being hurt, they're just not being allowed to learn how to load into a trailer with dignity and respect. After all, why take the time to "teach" a horse when you can just make him do it.

One thing for certain, with little Mittey McKee, I'm going to commit to teaching him using Clicker Training and Peggy Cummings "Connected Riding/Groundwork" techniques. I've already gotten some profound results (you can see some of our efforts in the pictures below). He has been an amazing addition to my horse herd, and for those of you who have made a commitment to studying, learning, and understanding the psyche of the horse, I invite you to get to know a miniature horse. Just be prepared for a "BIG" horse adventure.
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