Small Horses

Horses are very popular in this part of the country, but one breed in particular is growing in popularity. It's a horse of a smaller variety.

Some small animals are doing big things in Jackson County. Miniature horse "Islands Hurricane" is a grand champion stallion. He's one of 19 miniature horses that roam the 72-acre farm in Bascom.

"Shady Acres Minis" has called Bascom home for about a year. Farm owner Grace Kellow says they breed these horses to have the perfect coat, a flawless walk and to be just the right size.

Grace said, “Our breed goal is to breed the smallest correct balanced horse of the perfect horse miniature.”

You won't find horses like this in the wild. They stand about three feet tall and weigh up to 300 pounds. Minis were originally bred to work in mines and it's taken 400 years of selective breeding to get down to size.

Thomas Perry, a farm hand, said, "The reason they bred them down to this size is because you can't get a full size horse in and out of a coal mine. Believe it or not, they have more stamina than a full size horse."

Minis can pull eight times their own weight, making them pound for pound stronger than most larger horses. These days miniature horses are bred for shows, novelty and therapy for the elderly and handicapped. They are the third most popular breed behind thoroughbreds and quarter horses, and they don't like to be called ponies.

If like to learn more about miniature horses and the Shady Acres Farm in Bascom, you can log onto their Web site at www.shadyacresminis.com.


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