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New to minis in Western PA

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mrichmond

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My name is Maria. Long, long story...my partner and I are new retirees (59 and 60) who’ve responded to social distancing by surrounding ourselves with animals. It all started with standard poodle puppies, 2 sets of 2. We fenced in our entire acre and a half into separate sections to make sure they’d be safe and contained. Our neighbor started egging us on, saying we needed something grazing in our paddocks, which were clearly going to waste, only being used by dogs and chickens. He suggested emus, alpacas and donkeys, which I nixed.

A friend posted a photo of her goats on Facebook. They were incredibly cute. Oh, no! I started looking at Craigslist. I found two little Nigerian dwarf weanlings not far from us. While looking, I saw a beautiful pinto Shetland broodmare and, on a whim, texted the seller. She was only an hour away, so we went to see her. As it turned out, the seller breeds minis and Shetlands and had an entire herd. I was completely enthralled. I had horses and ponies as a kid and again as a young mom, but it has been 25 years since I’ve been around horses in this quantity. There were pintos and Appaloosas, chestnuts and bays.

We talked about a horse’s need for equine company, which I remember now, but had forgotten. We spent a long time looking and though the mare was lovely and might have done ok by herself, we wound up putting a deposit on 2 colts, still by their mamas’ sides. One is a liver chestnut with a star, the other is sort of pinto-ish with blue eyes. He could be pintaloosa. It was hard to tell if it’s a pinto pattern or blanket pattern as he’s red roan in the front with a bald face, but mostly white. They’re the two left-most colts in the attached photo. They’re both by the same leopard stallion. Crazy colors!

I’m over the moon at having babies to train. I’ve trained full-size horses and even a Death Valley burro for riding, but don’t know the first thing about minis. I imagine that much remains the same, just groundwork. I want to make sure these boys have good manners and sound foundations, so that if anything happens to us, they won’t be a nightmare to rehome. Our animals always stay with us for life, but with minis’ longevity, it’s possible that they’ll outlive our ability to care for them.

We have a new, 2 stall mini-sized prefab barn coming in 6-8 weeks, just before the boys get here. It will go in the far right corner of field in the attached pic.its about 1/2 an acre. We have 2 other areas fenced on the other side of the house, one a little larger and one a little smaller, so we can rotate areas. Our neighbor mows everything weekly. We might need to fence off a small paddock close to the barn to control grazing in the early spring. In the meantime, I have to find hay, a farrier, a vet, all the tack and barn gear...I’m sure I’ll have a million questions. Thanks so much for taking the time to read this!
 

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Willow Flats

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Welcome and congratulations on your two new boys! You are going to have a lot of fun with them. So nice to hear you thinking long term too, setting them up for success now and for their futures. I wish you all the best on this new journey. Love the picture of the dogs too!
The people on this forum are very supportive and happy to help.
 

mrichmond

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Welcome and congratulations on your two new boys! You are going to have a lot of fun with them. So nice to hear you thinking long term too, setting them up for success now and for their futures. I wish you all the best on this new journey. Love the picture of the dogs too!
The people on this forum are very supportive and happy to help.
Thank you!
 

MerMaeve

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Welcome!! Super cute boys! I love appies and paints. 🥰 You are in the same boat as I am, waiting on one mare to foal then wean before we can bring her home (it'll probably be Christmas at this rate), and in the process of finding mini #2. Barn is done, fencing purchased, now waiting for dirt in the barn before we can build the stalls and tack room.
 

mrichmond

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Welcome!! Super cute boys! I love appies and paints. 🥰 You are in the same boat as I am, waiting on one mare to foal then wean before we can bring her home (it'll probably be Christmas at this rate), and in the process of finding mini #2. Barn is done, fencing purchased, now waiting for dirt in the barn before we can build the stalls and tack room.
Thank you! It’s so hard to wait! And I’ve only been waiting since last week. 🙄 I can imagine waiting until Christmas is really hard! 😁
 

Taz

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Looking forward to more pictures and updates on Cody and Theo! I think you're getting to go visit? That's great, they grow so fast they will be almost full size when they're weaned, this way you can enjoy some of the 'babyness' and get to know them☺
 

mrichmond

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Thanks, Taz. They really haven’t been handled at all, so I couldn’t get my hands on them so I’m dying to. I’ve never bought a horse without checking them all over. I don’t want to disrupt the breeder’s way of doing things, but the babies I worked with were all halter broken and accustomed to being handled by the time they were a couple of weeks old. Of course, I was a horse-crazy kid with nothing but time on her hands. These folks have 20+ horses plus grandkids, so I need to chill out a bit, I think. Maybe I’ll see if I can go up next week.
 

mrichmond

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Looking forward to more pictures and updates on Cody and Theo! I think you're getting to go visit? That's great, they grow so fast they will be almost full size when they're weaned, this way you can enjoy some of the 'babyness' and get to know them☺
I’m going to see Cody and Theo tomorrow. Woo-hoo! I can hardly wait. I’ll post some more pictures when I get home.
 

mrichmond

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I made it out to see the boys today. I got to hold Cody. The breeder actually picked him up and held him until I could get my arms around his neck and rump. He squirmed away from me after a couple of minutes. He’s a really strong little bugger and weighed more than I expected. My big poodle pups are close to 70 lbs and he definitely weighed more than either of them. Hopefully, I haven’t scarred him for life.

I got to pet Theo, too. He didn’t object nearly as much, so I was able to find a good spot to scratch on his neck. I think he’ll be easier going than Cody, but I’ll reserve judgement for now...being picked up and plunked into someone’s arms is less than ideal when it’s never happened to you before.

I’ve worked with foals before, but I always took my time and let them come to me. At any rate, once they come to us, I can take my own time getting to know them.

I got some good pictures of both of them, as well as a pic of a mare who kept untying my shoes. Theo’s losing his foal coat pretty well, and he’s so much darker underneath. I can’t really tell with Cody. He’s a really a dustball so it’s hard to tell. There will be plenty of time for grooming and getting them cleaned up. I plan on taking a chair into their run once they’re here and spending lots of time just hanging out. Thanks for looking!

9350805C-68C6-4D8C-9D0B-BD008D9D7DB4.jpeg84E7A931-1232-4F31-830F-1C8A42D2C3D9.jpeg032F086F-28E7-482A-A6CD-C0AF6CE90C3B.jpeg8B818556-2BAF-4169-B7EC-693E749020A3.jpeg23A8D8DC-E137-41AA-A798-8AE39D11835F.jpeg8941DC05-69CC-4FFE-8D3E-A6A7CFA42EC8.jpeg
 

Taz

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It looks like that mare wants to come home with you too 🤔 ......🤣
Theo's the liver chestnut, Cody's the pintaloosa?
 
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mrichmond

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It looks like that mare wants to come home with you too 🤔 ......🤣
Theo's the liver chestnut, Cody's the pintaloosa?
She was in my back pocket the whole time, when she wasn’t untying my shoes, lol! Yes, Theo’s the liver chestnut and Cody is the pintaloosa.
 

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