Photo Series: Raising Miniature Horses

By: Gia Mariani

Even though I am only 20 years old, I’ve already spent over 10 years raising horses. My grandpa spent his life raising horses on our family farm in Iowa, and my mom grew up riding so naturally that I fell into horse work as well. I have focused most of my efforts into raising miniature horses after my grandparents gifted me a miniature when I was little. They are purely pets and a fun hobby for me. I don’t show them, use them for profit or anything like that. I’ve had a herd of up to 16 horses at one point in time, but currently I just have seven. They all have unique personalities and can be as much of a companion animal as a dog. 

 Vanilla, the only female mini I’ve ever had born on the farm. She’s extremely particular about who she likes and who she will allow to pet her.
Vanilla came over to investigate.
Sunshine and Vanilla itching each other’s necks.
A close up of Sunshine’s beautiful blue eyes. Sadly, she passed away on Aug. 19 at the age of 20. Mini horses and ponies can easily live up into their 20s, but typically not past 30.
 Newt, my little boy who was unexpectedly born this summer. He is still not to sure about humans, but loves to socialize with the big horses in the other pasture.
 Newt showing off how cute he is.
Here is a little bit older picture of Newt from when he was first born this summer.
Nilly grazing while still keeping an eye on her baby. She’s the mother of both Newt and Vanilla.
Nilly grazing.
Remy, currently my fattest mini. He was also the first baby that I ever raised and is trained for cart driving.
GP, my 20-year-old pony who I’ve had since I was born. I used to ride her when I was younger.
Poncho, my stud horse. He is my smallest full grown horse and loves constant attention from people. 
Elton, my baby from summer 2019. He gives kisses if you ask him and is extremely well behaved.
The boys, Poncho and Elton, in their bachelor pasture.

All photos courtesy of Gia Mariani

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