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hmdesign

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Hi All,

It's after years (literally…years) of lurking that I've decided to introduce myself and become a member of the forum. I've read plenty, and seen lots on this site in the past 6 years.

I'm not sure where my obsession with the miniature horse began. Like many I've been a horse crazy person for most of my life. It started with a YMCA horse camp at the age of 10. I still remember my favourite horses even 14 years later. One was the largest (or at least at the time to a 10 year old he seemed rather large) His name was Avis. He was strikingly beautiful - a deep brown/black in colour - and oh so gentle…as I suppose most camp horses had to be. The other was the smallest (though not a miniature) just a dainty pony named Rowdy. He was a smoky coloured, dapple gray and he definitely lived by his name. It was certainly entertaining trying to learn how to post to a frisky pony's trot who had his own agenda.

After that I was hooked.

At the age of 12 I started weekly lessons. They weren't necessarily tailored to any specific discipline - just the basic english lessons - but to me it was perfect. After a couple of weeks of walk and trot work, we added in poles, cantering and tiny cross rails that a horse could tiptoe over. I made some great friends in my lessons, one imparticular who I continued to ride with for many years. Eventually the jumps got higher, and the horses more difficult. After a stable change I found my confidence beginning to wain. The horses were not experienced enough to be jumping some of the jumps we were attempting (neither was I for that matter) and suddenly there seemed to be more refusals, falls, and glitches then I was used to - or comfortable with.

I left the sport after that. It was somewhere around this time that I had taken a leave from riding that I discovered miniature horses, and the Lil'beginnings forum. I visited frequently, drinking in as much information as I could. I was so totally enthralled with this tiny, but powerful equine who held just as much beauty as their larger counterparts. It didn't take me long to discover that one day I would need to own a miniature. Not want, but need.

I began looking online, and limited my search to Ontario to reduce transportation costs. I contacted Carolyn Arrup of Dakotawinds farm about a tiny chestnut mini that she had for sale. I was in love when I saw him, and I wanted him to be mine. Seeings as I live in a small neighbourhood I immediately began looking for somewhere to board, and that's where I ran into trouble. It was nearly impossible to find somewhere to board a miniature. On top of that I had one barn owner tell me they would charge me MORE to board a mini then a biggie…and their board was already $500! The list went on and on, and so did the excuses. The places that said they would board, told me they would turn out my horse with the biggies, which thanks to all my time on the forum I learned was not okay. "It's okay until it isn't" just didn't work for me. After that I had to ask myself how far was a reasonable amount of time to drive when I already had a full time job. With devastation I had to decline having my dream come true.

I like to try and believe that things happen for a reason. It was heartbreaking to pass up on the opportunity of owning a miniature simply for the fact that I couldn't find anywhere to keep him (safely), but a couple months later I applied for college and was accepted. My time and finances were focused on something else now, and though I'm sure many went to school, worked, and had time for their horses, I still find that task daunting just thinking about it.

But I quickly realized that I could't be without horses any longer. I turned back to riding on my summers off - one summer dressage, the following western pleasure. I gained back my confidence in riding with some good horses (maybe not enough to go back to jumping, but I'm okay with that). After graduating school I've been thrilled to be back in the saddle year round. I continue my western pleasure lessons but the dream of a mini has never died. Knowing that I WILL one day get my miniature (I'm thinking an all around B sized gelding -halter, driving, showmanship, etc - that's not too much to ask, right? ;) I looked into driving lessons. Though it seems a lot of people enjoy driving, there's even more who don't as it was nearly impossible to find somewhere that taught lessons! I finally came across a Morgan Horse Farm who offered hourly private lessons. It was a 45min drive away, and rather steep in price, but I didn't care. I wanted this bad.

I took lessons all summer with a great trainer, and a horse well experienced in the driving field. A steady bay mare who knew her job well. I didn't know it could be so much fun, and better yet I finally got some experience with driving. I learned about the harness and how to hitch, worked with a rein board, and did lots of cone work. After I'd had some practice with that we turned to cross country, and boy could this mare road trot! I find it really hard to even try and explain the feeling of flying through a field on a cool summers evening, but those who have been there will know it well. I chose to not keep up the driving lessons as living in Canada, I can't be making that 45 min drive when the winter hits. But I had a great 5 months and hope to go back next summer.

Now that I'm done school I briefly started looking into my hopes of owning a miniature again. This time starting first with looking for somewhere to board. It still hasn't proven to be an easy thing. I've even gone as far as to offer to pay for a separate area to be fenced off and still haven't been able to work things out. I guess for now I just grit my teeth and forcefully tell myself again, it will happen. Perhaps I'm being too picky whilst trying to find a place to board It's just one of those things that makes me cringe thinking of what could happen when I'm not around - Being turned out with a biggie. Being let out into a lush field of grass. Being fed handfuls upon handfuls of treats. Having young lesson kids say 'ohhh look at the cute little pony, let's ride it! - It's just one of those things where I'm hesitant to invest the time, money, and more importantly, building of a relationship with a miniature when I'd fear about it's safety and well-being of those horse people inexperienced with miniatures. If there's one thing I've learned from the forum it's that miniatures are just like big horses, but at the same time different. I know I'll find the right place soon.

If anything I've been able to make a mega wish list of horses that I want! Any horse from Erica's tiny trotter's will do. I'm also a fan of SMHC, Reese Family Miniatures, Strebor, Sample's majestic miniatures and so, so, sooooo many more - I can't even start with the list because it would quite literally go on forever. There's something so amazing about mini owners. They are quite content to share their world and sit down and have a chat about their horses. I've visited with Desiree of Midnight Star Stables (may I say she was a great host, who invited me to meet her horses and shared a vast amount of knowledge about the breed, and showing -it was a very positive experience for me when I first found my interest in this small breed -what a great ambassador for the breed to have!) I've also talked with Robin of ROKO Miniatures -does this breed have the nicest people or what?

I've spent many years on here reading everyones stories and seeing their pictures, and plan to spend many more years here -and eventually share my own. I'm excited to finally join this forum - throughout the years it's never lacked in information (or fun) and I've definitely noticed that fights are few and far between (unlike other forums)

If you've stayed attentive this long, kudos to you. I hope I haven't bored you to pieces. I hope one day I will be able to come on here and shout I'VE GOT A SECRET! Like I've seen so many other do. But until then I hope you all won't mind me partaking, ogling and drooling of your own horses even though I am horse-less.
 

LittleBittyBritches

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So glad you joined us! Sorry it hadn't worked for you, but with your determination and commitment, sounds like you will get your dream! Welcome from Ohio! Best of luck to you.
 

wingnut

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Welcome Holly! I'm jealous of your riding and driving adventures!!! Your story reminds me just how lucky I am to be able to walk out my back door and voila! My 4 girls are right there.

I will being praying and keeping my fingers crossed you find a way to make this work for you.
 

chandab

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Welcome to the forum from Montana. I'm sure with your determination, you'll find a way to have minis in your life.
 

targetsmom

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Welcome from Connecticut. I agree, that with your determination, your dream of owning a mini will come true some day! The nice thing about minis is that you can KEEP enjoying them long after you have given up riding. We have a B size mini (Clyde, a gelding-to-be) that I think you would like but he isn't for sale at this time! We want him to be OUR all- around gelding! He has a trot to die for...
 

MajorClementine

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Welcome welcome. Finally getting a place I could keep horses was a dream come true for me. If you want something bad enough it will happen eventually. Sounds like you want it pretty bad. Careful though... it's true that these little guys are like potato chips!
 

Catsie

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Welcome!
It is refreshing to know there are other people out there like me. I searched all spring to try to find a suitable boarding arrangement for a mini, then gave up. I had the same issues you were having - turn-out with biggies, fencing inappropriate, lots of unruly children taking lessons, etc. Well, lo and behold, my best friend since childhood bought a horse farm two months ago! Oh yeah, and the previous owner kept minis and there is an adorable teeny-tiny barn just for minis, along with an outdoor and an indoor, and plenty of dry lot paddocks with appropriate fencing.

If someone had told me in the spring, while I was on my 15th phone call to local boarding stables, that my best friend was going to buy a horse farm, I would have punched them in the face. But hey, you never know what the universe has in store!

Now I'm having a blast helping out around the farm (and spoiling their sweet-as-pie 2yo B-sized mini) and helping my BFF's fiance figure out what work the mini barn needs and in what order we need to do it. I have a really busy winter, so I'll be horse shopping in April - which gives me plenty of time to research breeders and figure out who and what I like.

I hope the tides turn for you soon and the right situation appears. Keep hunting!
 

Riverrose28

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Welcome fro Southern Maryland! Hope you find your dream boarding farm soon so you can share pics of your babies, cause you know you can't just have one!
 

Knottymare

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Welcome to the forum. I am sure that if you hang on to your dreams, they will come true!
 

REO

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HEY!!!! I'm glad you joined the forum! WELCOME!!!!!


You're the one that did the ad with Pooka on it? Can you post one? How funny, I was just thinking about you yesterday!


I really enjoyed reading your story!
 

hmdesign

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Hi Robin! Yes it is me!

I posted your ad over on the photo/video section of the forum. Glad you liked my rant!

Thanks to everyone for such a warm welcome


I might be a little bit jealous of those who have the land to keep there own horses at home (want to share the love? hehe) I will take into consideration everyone's warning of the miniatures addictiveness...perhaps one day when I have my own little farm and 10 of them I'll be satisfied...but there's always room for one more, right?

Thanks again for the welcome and I look forward to joining in on some conversations (as opposed to lurking in the shadows)
 

hmdesign

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Welcome from another Ontarian. Glad to see another mini person on board. Where are you in Ontario?
Hi!

Thanks for the welcome! I'm in the Durham Region of Ontario. Do you show in Ontario? Next year I think I might go out and watch some shows. Usually I just see the mini classes at the CNE, but I'd like to attend more. If you ever need a spare hand...
 

supaspot

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I enjoyed reading your posts , I have to admit I lurked for a couple of years too lol you may not have a mini yet ( You will though) but you will make fantastic friends on here
 

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