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Norfolk, MA trainer?

Posted by MJ Ryan on September 3, 2017 at 9:40 AM Comments comments (1)
I have heard of a trainer in Norfolk, MA who is known for training mini teams to drive. Does anyone know his info? Thank you!

Mesothelioma in animals, yes it can happen

Posted by Nancy on August 17, 2017 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (0)

I was contacted recently by a gentleman from Texas who has meso and wanted to let us know that meso can occur in pets.  Yes folks that does include horses.  How you think?  Well, a barn on some property that I rented a barn on was used for milking cows and had asbestos in the ceiling.  The Animal Rescue League wanted to buy this property until it learned of the asbestos and backed out of the deal.  Not the only way folks.  Keep reading!  If you or someone in your household is exposed to asbestos when doing work on houses, inside or out, they can bring it home on their clothing.  Now we all know what your dog does when he sees you after work, no explanation there, but what if you go out to the barn to feed before cleaning up and you expose your minis to your clothing that could contain asbestos?  Get my drift here?  We don't want to scare you, just educate you that this deadly disease can affect your minis, dogs, cats, birds and whatever else is lurking in your home, if someone in your home is exposed to asbestos or if you are renovating a house built before the 1980's, which we probably all live in.  Just keep this in the back of your brain somewhere and please read more about it at  There will also be a link in the links page soon.

Coyote encounters

Posted by Nancy on July 3, 2017 at 6:50 AM Comments comments (0)

We all dread the encounter of a coyote while driving our minis.  So what can we do to protect them and ourselves?  You certainly can't carry a gun into a state park  Here is one solution for you.  Put a basket on the dash of your cart, get the biggest squirt gun you can find, load it with amonia and keep it in the basket within easy reach.  Amonia is the next worst thing to skunk spray a coyote could bump into.  Aim for the nose and eyes, it burns, it gags and it works, just take a snootfull yourself and see.....wait, not don't do that unless someone is there to call an ambulance!  Seriously, you need to think about not only your minis safety but yours.  Never drive alone, always have a person with you to check whats coming up behind you, coyotes are sneak attackers and will stock you.  For those of you who want your minis out 24/7, they are no match for a hungry pack of coyotes or dogs and there have been reports and some nasty pictures of surviving minis.  Please think about the probabilities and act accordingly, we don't like the "out of sight, out of mind" attitudes of some mini owners.  They are little and need protection.

Have a happy Fourth of July and enjoy the summer with your minis.

Low energy

Posted by Nancy on March 27, 2017 at 12:20 AM Comments comments (5)

Having trouble with your mini?  Ever think it's not him/her?  Well you might just be right, maybe it's YOU!  Minis are the smartest equine I have ever worked with, owned and competed with.  They make big horses look stupid.  They also have the ability to make some owners look dam stupid too.  A lot of folks think that, hey, I will get a mini.  They are small, cute and I am bigger than them.  WRONG ATTITUDE!  The lead line or reins, depending on whether you are walking them or driving them, is the telephone line to their brain.  You think it, they know it, they react.  The key to success with a mini is low energy.  What exactly is low energy.  It is how YOU react to their reaction.  The best thing to do when getting a new mini or if you are having trouble with your current mini, take a month of going for walks in the woods, around the farm, anywhere, just get walking and get to know each other, learn to trust each other and don't react.  If your mini stands on their back feet, ignore it, tell them to get over themselves and keep walking.  Don't yank on the line, scream at them and make a scene.  Don't get upset and react.  That is the worse thing you can do.  You will find your relationship with your mini is so much more fun and rewarding when you become trusting friends.  We have worked with feral minis and minis who have had driving accidents and if we didn't keep a low energy, the outcome would not have been good for the mini, we don't matter, the mental state of the mini does.   We had one mini who had been in a driving accident and became scared of everything.  When he came to us we took him over to the indoor, we only got as far as the doorway.  There was a cart on the opposite side of the ring, sitting there, no attached horse, just sitting there.  This poor guy reared up, tried to run and was frantic.  We kept a low energy, let him react until he quieted down, rewarded him with neck rubs for relaxing and left the doorway to the indoor.  We never went inside the first couple of days.  When he finally would walk up to the doorway without a reaction, we went inside and walked around.  We kept a distance from the carts until he knew they weren't coming for him.  This took about a week.  Again, low energy, rewards for being relaxed and leaving the indoor, not making our stay too long to stress him.  We then moved a cart into the center of the ring.  He was a little nervous that it had moved, but he had started to trust us and walked around the ring, always looking at that cart.  Another few days of this and then we started approaching the cart.  We had placed his favorite treats on the shafts, the seat, the floor and let him explore the cart, on lead line, but on his own terms.  He found the treats.  What a great feeling it was to watch him poke the cart with his nose looking for treats.  This became his favorite game.  We then moved on to having the cart walk beside us, in front of us and then behind us.  He was super.  No reaction.  At one point I accidently scuffed my feet on the driveway and he reacted.  We made that part of the routine, scuff the feet whenever we walked.  His reaction time had gone from a week to a few sessions of scuffing before he decided it didn't hurt him and he stopped reacting.  Again, we always maintained a low energy level and never reacted to his over reaction.  Sometimes they need a little supplemental help with Quienscence.  Works on some horses, doesn't work on some horses but is worth a try.  It is just magnesium but my little one wouldn't be able to drive safely without it.  She is one of those horses I call Arab minded.  Everything has a monster hiding somewhere around it.  The Quiescence has made such a difference for her and she has been on it now for five years.  She has severe anxiety problems with a bit in her mouth unless she is driven everyday, so, she is now yard art.  I would rather let her relax and not drive than to put a harsh bit in her mouth.  You see, she can flip her tongue over any bit.  Not worth ruining her mouth.  Sold her cart, turned her out, she is happy and I am happy for her.  So keep your energy low, relax and enjoy your mini.  Spend some time becoming friends and trusting one another, the reward is priceless.

Searching for a mini companion

Posted by misbhavan on August 3, 2016 at 4:15 PM Comments comments (3)

My 39 year-old QH passed away on Monday leaving his mini companion absolutely devistated.  Houston is having a very, very difficult time being alone.  I can understand why as he has never been alone in his life, from the day he was born until this past Monday.

I'm looking to give a loving and wonderful home to another mini so that they will both have a friend.  I prefer a gelding, only because that is all I've ever owned and don't know much about taking care of a mare.

I'll consider a free lease, a borrow until I can find another mini, a rehabilitation candidate, and, of course, a forever home.

I had my QH from the time he ws 2.5 years old.  He was green broke when I got him.  I did all his training and he was quite successful showing under saddle for many years, although he prefered trail riding over everything.  I got my mini, Houston, as a yearling.  The first show we went to he was reserve grand champion.  We showed for 2 years and was very successful. He is now 12 years old and just a wonderful fresh little boy.

I'm now living in New Hampshire on about 6 acreas.  The back field will be fenced in next month allowing the horse(s) to have a huge space to run and play.  I've got a lovely center isle barn so winters are be cozy and safe.  I have incredible hay, a fabulous farrier,a magnificent dentist, and the best vet one could ever hope for.

If you have a mini you need to rehome, or know of a mini that is in need.  Please let me know.  I can be reached at 603-291-0367.


Buying a driving mini

Posted by Nancy on July 4, 2015 at 1:30 PM Comments comments (3)

We have had some people experience buying a "driving" mini that has turned out not to be so.  If you are planning on buying a driving mini or might be looking in the future we have a little advice to share with you.  DO NOT BUY ANY MINI YOU DON'T ACTUALLY SEE BEING DRIVEN.  If they come up with the excuse, "oh, I don't have any equipment, I sold it... walk away.  Any excuse to not seeing the mini drive is a big RED FLAG.  I don't care how pretty or stunning the mini is...if you want a driving mini, see it being safely driven or move on to the next one you see for sale that might catch your eye.  Don't be blinded by how nice a mover, the color or otherwise, see it drive.  Don't fall for phony excuses.  We had one person see pictures of the mini being driven but did not actually see it drive and when they got it home and it came to driving, had a problem.  The mini obviously had a crash and was now no good for driving, they were stuck with a horse that was not what they were told it was.  Please use caution and listen to the little man on your shoulder when he says don't do it. 

Minis as guide animals as seen on TV recently

Posted by Nancy on February 26, 2015 at 11:10 AM Comments comments (2)

So, how many of you saw this on TV recently?  What was your take on it? 

Now let's examine some horse sense facts:

Horses are prey animals.  Picture having a seeing impaired person on the end of the lead line and here comes some loose dog.  Dog wants to play.  Mini thinks he is going to be eaten by a bear.  Mini spooks and runs.  Seeing impaired person is now on the schedule for hip replacement and the mini gets hit and killed by a car.  I know, I have a vivid imagination, but you can picture this happening can't you?

Horses don't do stairs.  Yes they can maneuver up, but coming down....they jump.  Did you notice that they didn't show that mini coming down a flight of stairs, that's because it ain't happening!  Riding in elevators is a piece of cake for minis, mine do it all the time when doing therapy work, but not stairs.

Horses don't house break well.  Yes there are therapy horses out there trained to pee on command, but when nature calls, nature calls not only for animals but for us humans too.  I can't see a mini going to the door and knickering cause it has to pee. 

Horses don't do well on ice, linoleum or shiny wood floors and Build a Bear sneakers only do so much gripping.  In the bad weather even sneakers don't do well on ice. 

I think most importantly though is that most seeing impaired people don't have horse experience.  That may not sound like a big deal, but it most certainly is.  How would they know when the poor mini is colicing?  Do they know that they have to be wormed and their feet trimmed.  Do they know how to listen for gut sounds.  These are all things us "seeing" folks learned, but we rely on our vision, especially for colic. 

So feel free to weigh in on this subject.  I may have missed something you can add or you may disagree.  In my opinion, the TV station did a big injustice to the minis running that story.  Oh, let's not forget the fact that they are using dwarf's for guide animals.  These poor things have a lot of their own problems and don't need to be forced into this type of situation.  I say leave them alone and move back to guide dogs.

Foster Failure AGAIN !!!! :)

Posted by Nancy on January 7, 2015 at 5:50 PM Comments comments (8)

Well, Sugar the rescue pony has a home and if you read the above title of this post you know that Robyn has failed again.  This first failure started with little Dodger, who was slated to go to a new home after being at Robyn's for a month.  Dodger had stolen her heart and that was the end of the story, he stayed with Robyn.   Now we have Sugar, who has been with Robyn since last August due mostly to the fact that no one was interested in an older pony with Cushings.  Sugar has had a few bouts of colic recently and Robyn has put a lot of time and love into taking care of her.   Sugar  was very untrusting when she first came.  She didn't want anyone to touch her.  Robyn took her time and gradually has been able to not only groom her but she stands still and loves it.  She takes her medications from Robyn with no trouble too.  She watches Robyn no matter where she is, eyes peeled on her.  Recently Sugar and I came up with a plan to make a picture book of her from her arrival as a very skinny girl to her new fat and happy status with a story that went with it.  Well, it must have helped because today Robyn called Cindy to say Sugar had to stay with her, she couldn't let her go.  You see, Cindy had someone interested in taking Sugar as a companion for another Cushings horse.  Reality set in and some heart strings got yanked and don't think Sugar doesn't know she has a home, you can see it in her face.  Looks more like relief to me, but what do I know.  When I walked in the barn today Robyn asked me to do her a favor, I said sure, what?  She said, make Sugar a name plate for her door.  That is how she announced to me Sugar was staying.  I had a big grin on my face...OF COURSE I will make Sugar Bear a sign for her door, more than happy to.  Welcome to your new forever home Sugar Bear! 

Thyroid problems in horses and people

Posted by Nancy on December 16, 2014 at 6:30 PM Comments comments (1)

Few people know that they have taken the iodine out of our food and our pets food and replaced it with bromine.  The thyroid NEEDS iodine or it becomes sick, aka hypothyroid.  I had Graves disease and had I known about iodine I never would have let them give me radioactive iodine, as it killed my thyroid and I am now forever on replacement.  Even though I use a natural replacement, Armour, made of pig thyroid, my metabolism is in the crapper. 

So  you are wondering where I am going with this.  Well, my mini had a low thyroid.  Her symptoms were:  she was very logy.  she was overweight.  Her hair felt like it belonged to a pig, really, a pig...a few course strands here and there.  She was put on L-thyroxin, which is a synthetic.  I had a synthetic before finding Armour and some of the side effects are not good.  I did some research and found that the Japanese use Kelp for protection of their thyroids in the wake of the atomic bombs and they have almost no thyroid problems.  It is also a substance used for allergies and I can attest to how well kelp works on allergies having a husband who is allergic to everything, gone through surgery, shots, bee pollen and five nasty handkerchiefs a week, down to one a week and no more problems when he is taking his kelp.  I also put my mini on Icelandic kelp and she is now off L-thyroxin and her thyroid level is normal again.  So if you have a mini on thyroid replacement or if you are on thyroid replacement and have not killed your thyroid, consider taking kelp.  Not the pill form, the capsule form.  Take it for six months before weaning yourself off the synthetic replacement, then three months later have your thyroid level checked.  I get kelp from for me, Natures Way (?), very reasonably priced.  I get loose kelp for my horse from Wolf Creek Ranch, Thorvin kelp is what it is called and you can Google either one of those names to find it.  Hope you find these info news bits helpful. 

Salt Facts Article from the Holistic Horse

Posted by Sue on December 11, 2014 at 8:25 AM Comments comments (0)

Did you know that your horse’s blood is the same mineral consistency as natural ocean water? Nearly 100% of sodium is absorbed in the large intestine, and stored in fluid surrounding cells (60%), within cells (10%) and in bones (30%).


All salt comes from the ocean. Sadly, the salt you feed your horse may be of little nutrient value, originate from polluted waters and be further depleted by strip mining or harsh processing techniques such as chemical bleaching and high heat drying.


Sodium, a primary positively-charged electrolyte along with potassium, calcium, magnesium and phosphoric acid, is one of 90 potential elements naturally contained in unrefined sea salt. Horses seek mineral salt in their natural environment but often require supplementation due to toxic or imbalanced soil and pastures, hot climates, and following intense exercise or competition. Serve only feed-grade sources intended for animal consumption.




White Salt is the familiar processed white iodized table salt, commonly used by humans. Unrefined Sea Salts include salt originating from salt mines in Asia, salt from ocean water near Europe, and mineral rock from underground tunnel mines in Utah. Loose Salt can be offered free choice when stored under cover in divided compartments with dried kelp (bladderwrack) and dolomite. It can be added to grain when it’s lacking from your horse’s diet, as identified by blood samples taken before and after exercise. Mineral Rocks can remain in open pasture without dissolving in rain water. Salt/Mineral Blocks can become cold in winter which may reduce their consumption. A salt block is better than no salt at all; a mineral block may not be a wise choice for all horses in areas with excess iron in the soil.


Other forms of salt:


* Sodium free-salt (potassium chloride) non healthy


* Lite salt (more potassium chloride, less sodium chloride)


* Food sodium sources including carrot, kelp, beet, celery and artichoke


Note: It is normal for horses to consume extra salt for a few days then back off. If you observe them eating large amounts, they may be deficient or simply bored.


HHH: Offer free choice unrefined sea salt to your horse’s diet to:


* aid blood sugar control and improve insulin sensitivity


* alleviate dehydration


* balance hormones


* encourage healthy weight


* help retain magnesium from feed


* improve overall heath including hoof health and hair coat


* increase thermogenesis in cold weather


* lower adrenaline spikes


* maintain pH


* neutralize acid/alkaline


* provide a natural antihistamine


* regulate your horse’s water between cells and other fluids


* reverse acidosis


* speed up a slow metabolism


* support a weakened thyroid


* suppress stress


HHH: Sodium deficiency (Hyponatremia) reduces your horse’s performance and may:


* blur vision


* cause sodium cravings, often indicating adrenal insufficiency


* contribute to flatulence


* decrease water intake


* encourage dirt consumption, tree/fence chewing, licking objects exposed to salt


* impair concentration and memory


* increase the risk of impaction colic


* lead to confusion or apathy


* result in muscle shrinkage, cramping, and incoordination


HHH: Correct sodium levels optimize multiple equine system functions:


* cardiovascular system to support increased blood viscosity thickness, increased blood pressure to alleviate hypotension, or help to regulate osmotic BP


* digestive system for food metabolization support and to alleviate diarrhea or constipation


* excretory system to correct kidney function when sodium is not excessive


* immune system to help reduce fevers


* lymphatic system to optimize correct sodium levels and as a component of Lymph


* musculoskeletal system to balance or correct function and contraction of muscles


* nervous system to facilitate cell membrane nerve impulses which may also alleviate heat stroke


HHH: Be informed!


* Ask your hay provider for an analysis of major and trace minerals in your horse’s diet.


* Avoid colors, binders or additives like dextrose (sugar) and heat-processed salt stripped of natural trace minerals.


* Balance is needed of positively charged electrolyte cations and negatively charged anions.


* Bile salt requires sodium as an essential component of sodium taurocholate.


* Consult your vet before increasing equine salt levels in cases of kidney disease or hypertension.


* DO NOT FEED anti-caking industrial prussiate sodium, sodium ferrocyanide, sodium hexacyanoferrate, or tetrasodium hexacyanoferrate.


* Epsom Salt is not salt. It is two minerals, magnesium and sulphate, known to flush toxins, and to soak tired muscles or fungal hooves.


* Excess sodium causes edema (swelling) because the body transfers water to balance the sodium.


* High sodium results in potassium depletion.


* Horses may resist the altered taste of electrolyte water.


* Read your horse’s feed labels. Commercial feeds normally contain 0.5-1.0% salt.


* Texture of salt is not an indication of nutrition.


* Your horse should consume at least double the normal (1-2 ounces) salt intake during pregnancy, after heavy exercise or in hot weather to replenish electrolytes lost through sweat evaporation.


If your horse has an iodine deficiency , he could never get enough iodine from iodized salt.


Take your horse’s salt needs seriously. Seek neither deficiency nor overconsumption. Consider your horse’s age, size, environment, diet and work requirements. Offer free choice unrefined loose or rock natural sea salt. Make sure unlimited clean water access is available.