Recently I had a chance to take a tour of Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch in Tucson, Arizona. My trip was an absolute delight as I got a chance to take in a real-live miniature horse operation. Up until this point, my experience with miniatures had pretty much been limited to petting zoos or the various equine displays at the Calgary Stampede or Spruce Meadows.
My personal tour was conducted by Suzanne Rogers, a woman who truly has a desire and passion for horses big and small.
Suzanne showed me her broodmares and a couple of mares with foals at their sides. The breeding aspect of a miniature operation is much different from that of larger horses.
For one thing, using Foal Alert monitors on broodmares is less effective for alerting the manager to the arrival of a new foal, since a newborn miniature doesn\’t always reach through the vulva properly to trigger it. Therefore, Suzanne\’s mini mares wear purple \”boxes\” underneath their halters that alert her when they have laid down for several minutes.
Needless to say, alarms are constantly going off at Suzanne\’s house during breeding season. She doesn\’t mind in the slightest however, she would rather be present for the foaling of each and every newborn mini. Even if it means several false alarm runs down to the barn…
The coolest thing I discovered about the minis was, they are incredibly amiable creatures. I\’ll admit, when Suzanne and I first walked out to the pasture to see them, I was nervous when they began stampeding towards us.
34 inches or not, they were still horses. And having so many around my ankles made me apprehensive for a second. But it didn\’t last long.
What began as \”Wow! Do these little things bite?\” turned into, \”Clay! Can we please take one home??\”
For more info about Rogers Heaven Sent Ranch, check out www.rogershsr.com