If horses are lovely creatures to look at then miniature horses are just downright adorable. Take a baby miniature horse and the cuteness warning meter reaches hazardous levels. So before you watch this video of how a baby miniature horse reacts when he is suddenly confronted by a human playmate, be prepared. You may need tissues or even a towel and for god’s sake don’t watch it in a room when other people are present. You’ve been warned.
At only three days old this miniature horse is already trotting around the paddock without hesitation. It’s mother starts to become a bit concerned when it is running in the opposite direction, chasing its new playmate. Then there is a strange moment when the baby horse’s mother is brought over. “Who or what is this thing?” it seems to be saying. The tiny horse hides behind the legs of her new human friend as a big shadowy creature approaches. What could it be? Oh,it’s mom.
After a brief mother and child reunion everyone mingles together and it’s hard to tell the forest for the trees, or in this case the human legs from the horse legs.
But is this really a miniature horse at all? Officially, according to the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA) a miniature horse cannot be any taller than 34 inches. This little guy certainly isn’t but then it’s only three days old and mom looks a heck of a lot bigger than 34 inches tall. The difference between a miniature horse and a pony is a subject of hot debate. Such a hot debate that there are more than 30 different groups that register miniature horses or ponies around the world. Each one has their own idea of the maximum size and the ideal proportions (ponies tend to have thicker shorter legs) of a miniature horse. The argument seems a little like deciding if a tomato is a fruit or vegetable. To those that don’t belong to the equestrian club this looks like a cute little horse that thinks he’s a human and gets so excited that it wags its tale like a dog.
Many believe that early handling of a newborn horse, called a foal, within the first few hours is critical in the future training and easy handling of the horse. This form of training is called imprinting and one of its most notable practitioners is veterinarian Robert Miller. He teaches horse owners how to handle their newborn foals in order to desensitize them to handling and touching of their hoofs, back and mouth. He claims this makes shoeing the horse, saddling and teaching it to wear a bridle much easier when the horse is older. This miniature horse is certainly already comfortable around humans and seems to think that it is one too.