Just a little horse

Dianna McInnes tries to feed the miniature horse that recently turned up in her yard. If she keeps him, she’ll call him Littlest Hobo. (C. PROCAYLO, Sun)

But stray miniature equine charms Woodland homeowner

Wed, May 10, 2006

At more than 200 pounds, he isn’t your typical stray.

About 7 a.m. Monday morning, a miniature horse was found in the yard of a home near Woodlands — about 50 km northwest of Winnipeg — trying to play with four full-sized horses living on the property.

“He was just standing at the corral on the outside looking in,” said Dianna McInnes yesterday. “It was like a rodeo out there where they were chasing him.”

Now, she’s searching for the owner of the chocolate brown miniature with a black mane and tail and a beige halter.

“He’s a real cute little guy. A little bigger than a St. Bernard. He’s about waist-high,” said McInnes, adding the animal looks like a stallion and appears to be about five years old.

The animal looks well-groomed and is losing its winter coat, with old fur blocking much of its face, she said.

Her household is no stranger to strays, attracting dogs and at least one new cat every year.

They’ve also had a baby owl and porcupine stay in their yard.

McInnes believes a coyote or large dog might have chased the horse from home.

She and her husband have separated the “little guy” in a second corral to protect him from the 1,200-pound horses he tried to befriend.

Defined as a “height breed,” miniature horses must be less than 91 cm tall, according to the Miniature Horse Association of Canada.

They can resemble quarter horse, Arabian, Morgan and draft types in proportion.

WORTH $500 TO $1,000

Ernie Boklaschuk, a hobby miniature horse breeder just outside Warren, said the stray is likely worth about $500 to $1,000.

Most miniatures sell for $500 to $2,500, with attractive, breeding mares commanding prices of up to $3,500, he said.

The breeder said the offspring tend to make lovable, docile pets.

McInnes agreed.

“You have to love him because he’s just so cute,” she said. “If no one comes forward, we’ll definitely hang on to him.”

Martin Van Osch, the area’s animal control officer, said the stray may be far from home.

“It’s not unusual for horses to travel long distances, especially if they have dogs chasing them around or coyotes,” said Van Osch.

He said the last stray horse he found had left home in Poplar Point and wound up near Shoal Lake.

Van Osch said stray horses are rare, usually triggering about one or two animal control calls to his office per year.

But he received two calls Monday alone after another horse in West St. Paul, with a different description, was reported missing.

Anyone with information about the horse is asked to call Stonewall Animal Control at 461-0549.

The owner is asked to provide a photo or proof of ownership.

Copyright © 2006, Canoe Inc. All rights reserved

Source: winnipegsun.com – Manitoba – Just a little horse

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