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Riverrose28

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Jeans thread got me to thinking about how we in the mini community educate the general public, such as, taking our minis to promos, parades, events, or whatever. Please share your experiences on how you educate the public that not all minis are the dwarf types that they used to see.

 
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Riverrose28

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Sorry about the double picture, but I have a hard time with photobucket. The above photo is taken at the St. Mary's Animal Welfare League. This organization serves all of So. Md. and holds an event every May to educate the public on the care and welfare of animals. As you can see we are surrounded by children. They also have pets there for adoption, a vet to give rabies shots at low cost, and to educate pet owners about vaccinations. The state police bring their canines to demostrate how to take down a criminal with a gun, that yes they shoot, but it has blanks, bomb sniffing dogs, and yes your horse better be bomb proof as they also set off simulated bombs. The horse demo includes a parade of breeds with a demo on what to look for in each breed and how they are used. Now for So. Md. Horse Science school, they also have a parade of breeds similar to the above.

 

targetsmom

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Good topic and always open to ideas here. The first thing is that we train our minis to do about everything you can thing of - showmanship, trail, hunter, jumper, ground driving, driving, and of course halter. Then we take them to shows other than AMHR or AMHR shows so that "big" horse people can see what minis can do. For us, this means Pinto shows, American Driving Society events, and local Open Shows. The Little Hooves 4-H Club is another way we promote what the minis can do, so add the County 4-H Fair. One of our members is special needs so when she shows we are not only promoting minis but how great they can be for anyone. I suiggested an article about using minis for 4-H and someone else wrote it and it got published last year in the Mass Horse magazine. We also promote the minis on Facebook and on our website, especially our 4-H activities. We take minis to nursing homes and local events where people can just see and pet them. We take people up on invitations to participate in fund raisers (such as retirement homes for therapy horses or any horses) which will attract "big" horse people. Last year we took 4 of our minis to the MA Equine Affaire where they were a "huge" hit, even among horse people. We are planning a fund-raiser tack sale for the 4-H Club that will include large horse stuff and we hope attract a big crowd. Planned for after foaling season so that there will be foals to ooh and aah over plus the kids can show what their project minis can do.

A few photos: Equine Affaire (I was not wild about this so they closed stall door soon after): nursing home; local event. Plenty more on our website!

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nrusing home_3.jpg

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Riverrose28

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We also enter our minis at the local open shows, and even take them in liberty at the local arab show, and sometimes we even win!

We are also all over fb, and the net. we have printed brochures and handed out the ones that AMHR send us with lots of info. We also try to take an A and a B so people can see the difference.I need to add we have also hosted injured war vets at our farm and several dignataries since we live close to the Nations capital.

Keep em coming guys!
 
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targetsmom

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Yes, we have printed info sheets that we hand out at Equine Affaire mostly, with general mini info and links. We have offered to take minis to Newtown CT and they have contacted us, but we are in no hurry and must wait now until all foals are on the ground.

ETA:(I will likely keep thinking of things). This one may be a bit strange, but we enter our minis in photo contests run by "big" horse magazines, national sponsors or even local papers. Our 2012 colt Clyde came in third in a contest last year sponsored by Dressage Today magazine and he not only won 1/4 ton of grain, but a lot of people got to see his photo. I did let the magazine know that we plan to train him to drive in the future, so he will be expected to compete in dressage some day. I just submitted an essay for another contest last week.

Now, I maybe shouldn't mention this, but all this promotion has not helped us one bit in marketing our minis. We have not sold any of our minis that we have offered for sale over the years. Can't compete with free or Craig's List.
 
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Reignmaker Miniatures

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We have done the parades and fall fairs, breed and open shows but the thing that seems to generate the most interaction with the general public is our pleasure drives on our country roads. I am stopped on nearly every drive by someone who wants to ask about minis and take pictures of us. I always have/make the time to chat with the people who stop me, seeing minis being used for something always seems to surprise people and and I love how they all leave smiling.
 

AngC

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targetsmom..

That is just the sweetest photo the lady with the horse in her lap... Love it!
 

targetsmom

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That woman was visually impaired so she was feeling all over Rusty's head to "see" him. Rusty is such a natural for this - that was his first time off the farm and he was great.
 

Jean_B

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I have taken minis to the local nursing homes when I lived in Wisconsin, and I've taken them to open horse shows during the County Fair where we had to compete against the 'big' horses in the halter classes. What was REALLY cool was when my stallion beat a TWH stallion that the owner had been campaigning nationally!! TONS of people came up to ask questions (but the TWH owner stayed far away). :)
 

Boss Mare

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I go to the Animal Fair for work! Been going for several years now. Always wondered who the "mini person" was!
 
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Riverrose28

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Michelle, I haven't heard yet from the snowflake society, Ellen, Richard or Sue, they usually e-mail me by now, so what is the date this year? Hope it doesn't conflict with our show schedule.
 

Boss Mare

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May 11th. - Saturday is the date I have wrote down from SMAWL -- I used to go as an advocate

for Petco (Lexington Park, MD) for a few years.. Last year it was for the kennel (Farmstead) I worked for since I left Petco. Now I am at a new

place that's right in Leonardtown; excellent store & people, just lacks advertising, so I am hoping if I bring the event up to the big bosses I can go again this year! Even if it means loss of money -- I am a contracted groomer there, so I don't get paid anything if I am not grooming, but I look at it as a business investment, social time and fun!
 

wingnut

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You remind me that I need to check into taking our horses to our county fair here. They don't show the horses but act as "living exhibits". I'd love to spend a few days sharing my girls and what great creatures miniature horses truly are. As well as what they are not!
 

Suzie

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We have done parades, vacation Bible schools, about anything. People love the minis. We drive on country roads and people stop and ask too. We are promoting a miniature horse/draft horse fun show locally on June 8, 2013 to show that minis are just as good as the big, big boys....I was just told today by my farrier he would love to see my smallest mini beside a big shire. Well one of our club members has a big shire and I hope he comes to the fun show and we can take some pics! You have to get minis in the public eye to change their perception of the breed.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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We do parades, Ag fairs, our town's summer Fair, gone to nursing homes, did St Nikolas fair one year... anything we can go to, we do! I'd like to try open shows this year. I don't dare drive our roads, I'd get run over for sure- they FLY down them!!
 

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