Horsy News, Views and Attitudes   Vol. 1 Number 22   December 17-23, 2007


Fallen Log in Mt. Morris Woods

 Photo by Jeanne Betancourt


Rooster Update


     Fred Jones of the St. Francis Animal Shelter reports the ten roosters who were abandoned at Gertrude Quinn's are now doing fine at the shelter.


     "It wasn't too hard to catch them," Jones said. "We went out last week with some chicken scratch feed and a couple of nets. They were pretty wild but they were also very hungry."


     "We are keeping them in a large fenced pasture outside the shelter during the day," Jones grinned. "It didn't take them long to settle in. It's pretty noisy around here in the morning, though."


     Six of the roosters are still available for adoption at the St. Francis Animal Shelter.  An adoption donation is requested.

Vermont Pony Problem

     Patty Cooper is a handicapped lady who lives in a Vermont small town.  She rents an apartment in a complex where some neighbors keep animals that help them, like guide dogs for the blind.


    This year Patty bought a 32-inch-tall miniature horse to help her.  "Earl" the mini horse is learning to pull Patty's wheelchair to help her get places.


   Patty wants to keep the animal in her apartment. Her landlord said no, so Patty filed a complaint. That legal paper says her landlord is discriminating against her pony.


     Earl, her pony, is a 1-year-old gelding.  Patty wants Earl to help her take trips to the bus stop and into town. The agency that owns the complex said she may not keep Earl in her apartment. The building owner is concerned about horse droppings, hay storage and lack of grazing space.


      Patty said Earl can be house-trained and that he "just makes me so happy whenever I'm around him. I'm not lonely anymore."

(story continued on page 2)

Patty Cooper with her miniature horse Earl,

 Photo by Associated Press

Thought for the day - - ' Arab horse maxim' from Nebraska Farmer, 1895

Do not beat your horses, nor speak to them in a loud tone of voice; do not be angry with them, but kindly reprove their faults; they will do better thereafter, for they understand the language of man and its meaning.

Page 2

Horsy News, Views and Attitudes    Vol. 1 Number 22     December 17-23, 2007




Q.   Hello, I appreciate you letting me know what Keith Hosman had to say. I love to hear what you have to say about pony problems.  Could you tell me facts about miniature horses? I love them, and I may get one.    Thank you, Ponigirl

Dear PoniGirl,

     First, you may want to read 'Learn to Speak Horse' from the Wiggins Weekly 1-17 November 12-18, 2007. Very tiny ponies were bred as pets for European kings and queens in the 1600's. By the 1800's some of these small horses were working as pit ponies in coal mines. That ended in the 1950's but these tiny ponies now have new jobs. Some people use them as riding horses for small kids, for logging in small woodlots or pulling carts.

File written by Adobe Photoshop¨ 4.0

Photo courtesy of www.cedarplains.ca

      There are two American registries for minis. The American Miniature Horse Registry is part of the American Shetland Pony Club. This group has two miniature sizes. Division A minis can be up to 34 inches tall and Division B are 34 to 38 inches.

      The American Miniature Horse Association promotes a written standard of equine excellence.  Horses registered with AMHA are bred to look like this description and cannot exceed 34 inches in height measured from the last hairs of the mane.

    When you are looking at these tiny ponies, there are two basic types. The "draft" type looks like a tiny Shetland pony and a fine-boned "refined" type that looks more like a Dartmoor, Welsh pony or Arab.

    Miniature horses can be great fun. They are living proof that pony power comes in miniature!

Vermont Service Pony Problem

(continued from page 1)

     Patty's landlord told her to take out the 4-by-6 stall she designed in her living room. Earl is now staying at a farm, where she visits and trains him.


     Janet Burleson, head trainer with the Guide Horse Foundation, said mini horses are "Just like using a guide dog."


     "The horse serves the same function--guides the person around obstacles, alerts the person to changes in elevation and oncoming traffic. Horses can be trained to do all that," Burleson said.


     In her blog, Patty Cooper says "If you want to help in this matter I encourage you to send a post card to: Preston Jump, Central Vermont Community Land Trust, 107 North Main Street, Barre, VT  05641. Here is a sample of what it could say, but you can write your own if you want to.  Let Patty Cooper have her service animal. Let Earl COME HOME!"


       Read more in Patty's blog at: 



 Pony Pals Letters

    i have read the Wiggins Weekly newsletter and thought it very good. I found your information on how to speak horse was interesting and useful. I have some horsy news, last week i galloped for the first time. I think you should make the newsletter a bit longer.    fern

(Fern – Congrats on your first gallop and thanks for your support! I'll get my reporters to work. Anything special you want to read about? Ed.)


    It was great talking to you today.   I'm so impressed that you come out with the Weekly so regularly ...  I will have my website refer readers to your site before we move into  2008. Cheers,

 Jeanne Betancourt