Possibly adopting a mini - In utero!
So yeah, I might wind up with two equines before this year is over…hopefully I won’t be filing this under “OMG WHAT HAVE I DONE”.
So an old friend of mine now lives in WV with his family, and I can basically describe his dad as a “gentleman farmer”. No serious business plan, but the guy made his money, bought a farm, and now the family lives on a sprawling acreage and basically has animals for fun and food (cows, chickens, pigs). They’re not big into horses and the ones they have are basically freebies they’ve gotten from other people in the area who don’t want them, and they live as pasture puffs/pets. Well, they assumed (and we all know what assuming does) that they’d be able to turn out a mini stud with 4 mares, that he wouldn’t have time to do anything before they had him gelded.
...Well, we all know how that goes :P
So now there are 4 pregnant mares- several minis and a pony – that will be foaling in the spring/summer…and one proud, short baby-daddy to them all :P. I had talked before about possibly getting a mini for myself, and he’ll have 4 weanlings that will need homes by the end of the year. At this point, he’s offering me my pick for free just to take it off their hands.
My pros – I’d already have a riding animal so this would just be a side project, and a friend for my other animal. I’d really enjoy learning more about training and hopefully with a young mini or small pony, I could bypass some of the “Chihuahua horse” problems people give them because they don’t discipline them. Eventually I could also see if they would work as a driving prospect (this would be YEARS down the road and a significant amount of training on both my part and the mini’s part, mind you). I’d be working with a trainer and I’m exploring the local mini community and making connections there that can assist. As long as whatever place I choose to board doesn’t charge me for two full-size horses, I could more than afford it board/care-wise for two.
My cons- I’m more concerned about making a mistake and really messing up a weanling, even with guidance. I have experience with green horses/donkeys that at least know how to lead and whatnot, but nothing totally from scratch. So I guess “low self-confidence in my abilities” is my main factor. Also, I’m going to be talking with him more about the type of handling the foals will be receiving, as I don’t know if anyone in the family is working with them or plans to teach them to be handled/led. I don’t want to wind up with a spoiled baby that’s basically wild. Basically at that point I’d be sinking more money into them because I’d pretty much drop it straight with a local mini trainer to get some manners on them.
Obviously these babies aren’t even born yet, so it remains to be seen. But the possibility exists, so I’d rather think and plan a strategy now. I’d love any thoughts people could add. Again, these people are friends, but they are most decidedly NOT horse people – and that is not going to change. These are basically pasture pets for them.
Thoughts? Ideas? Comments? Condiments? Let 'em rip :)