Feel Good Sunday: Mini and Pony Video Compilation

“Hold your horses, er, ponies; what else to bring a smile to your face but interesting video clips of the “lil” ones at play.  It’s a day of rest but why not expend a chuckle or two over these bodacious little guys having one heck of a good time.  Take a breather and relax a bit my fellow advocates.  You deserve the day off.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

Feel Good Sunday: Video-Mini Horses Say Goodbye to Winter

“Recently we ran a Mini Video on Feel Good Sunday and received many notes calling for another, so here you go folks.  Old Man Winter is only hours away from succumbing to Spring so it is only fit that the little equines who capture everyone’s heart have a final romp in the snow before the arrival of fresh green grass, flowers and foals.  Have a great and wonderful day where ever you are and never give up on the good fight.  Keep the faith my friends.” ~ R.T.

Feel Good Sunday: Short & Sweet, in more ways than one

“We have a brief but funny one for you on this day of rest, folks.  Nothing will give you the chuckles over your morning coffee or Bloody Mary like a herd of wild minis’ stampeding through a barn with a dog in the lead, ya just gotta luv it!

Have a great  day with family and friends, be they two legged or four, and we will jump back into the fray in the morning.  Keep the faith.” ~ R.T.

Amazon Goes for Prime Equine Cuteness to Reel in Holiday Shoppers

forward by R.T. Fitch of Wild Horse Freedom Federation

Disclaimer: We are only grooving on the cuteness and not endorsing any specific product and/or service.

Several weeks ago Terry and I noticed a special little ad on TV the conjured up both memories and giggles over a little miniature horse, who reminds us of Munchie from Habitat for Horses, and the always present “herd stupidity” that permeates our rescued herd that lives with us.  Our big boys, one being a Drafty, were once terrified by a little miniature donkey that was a guest when his home was threatened by a nearby wild fire.  (Our boys annually spook over our lighted Christmas horses so we now either hide them from their bulging equine eyes or just don’t bother to set them up…but the reaction is worth a thousand laughs)

Anyone who lives with horses will appreciate this little ad that highlights Amazon’s crazy fast Prime delivery; not only an eye blurer but also a stealth holiday advert due to the current timing.


Feel Good Sunday: Tiny Horse Bringing Bales of Joy

Source: Sterling Barlow on You Tube

“We lost our ‘Feel Good Sunday’ last week due to a pressing news story that needed to be shared.  But not so this week.  Albeit diminutive, this moment will hopefully bring a ray of sunshine into you day.  One tiny, 3 day old miniature horse is your ticket to a few giggles and grins this day.  Enjoy.” ~ R.T.

Rejected by his mama, a miniature horse foal is destined to be therapist for people

By Hunterdon County Democrat

“It’s always a pleasure when ‘Feel Good Sunday’ rolls around and this installation will surely warm your hearts as well as your souls.  Keep the Faith my friends.” ~ R.T.

“The responsibilities of Koal’s care is a huge team effort between family, friends, and new found friendships,”

Koal, a miniature horse foal that was rejected by his mother is happy to have human companions. ~ Dawn Fry

Koal, a miniature horse foal that was rejected by his mother is happy to have human companions. ~ Photo by Dawn Fry

KINGSTON, N.J. — After coming home from work one day, Dawn Marie Fry of Flemington, N.J. was surprised to find a small black newborn miniature horse foal — no bigger than a greyhound.

Fry had no idea Koal’s mother was pregnant as she had only recently acquired the mare. It was luck that both the mother and the foal were perfectly healthy after birth as miniature horses have a harder time having a successful birth than normal horses, according to Fry.

“Koal,” as he has been affectionately named, was rejected by his mother only a week after birth. “We learned through video surveillance the first time mother would pick Koal up by the neck and toss him, kick him, and would trample him causing him to roll in the dirt and get stepped on,” Fry said.

Fortunately Koal suffered no serious injuries although his caretakers were faced with many obstacles. Without his mother’s care, Koal needed around-the-clock feedings. Fry worked full time, but fortuitously at a horse farm in Kingston called Hasty Acres. Every morning Fry would drive Koal to work in her car where he calmly fell asleep on the seat next to her.

Koal learned to drink formula from a syringe. At night time, Koal was kept inside Fry’s kitchen, often accompanied by her children who fell asleep on the floor together with the foal. Koal wore a diaper in the house and slept on warm blankets on the kitchen floor.

Koal is old enough now that he is no longer on milk pellets and lives outside with his goat friend, Iggy, eating “big boy” feed. “Koal has been practicing leading and he will proudly walk all over my property with me. He loves to get the mail with me too,” Fry said.

At Hasty Acres, Koal has touched many lives. “He is awe-inspiring with his small size and attracts visitors far and wide who would come to see the miracle foal,” Fry said. She encourages everyone who stops by the enter Koal’s stall and to pet him.

Initially after losing his mother, depression set in but with the help of friends and strangers who would come soothe and feed Koal, he soon thrived. “The responsibilities of Koal’s care is a huge team effort between family, friends, and new found friendships,” Fry said.

Koal enjoys playing with children. “The joy on the children’s faces is priceless as they frolic through the fields together,” Fry said. Koal follows his new “parents,” Fry and any other person he deems fit for the title, all over the farm like a shadow. Koal is fearless from being hand raised and handled by humans mostly of the time, he rarely shows any nervousness.

Fry encourages everyone to interact with Koal to get him accustomed to human touch so she may use him for therapy when he is full grown. She runs a therapeutic riding program called Heads Up Special Riders, Inc. which currently teaches therapeutic horseback riding, and equine assisted psychotherapy for battered/abused women. She hopes to extend the programs Heads Up offers and help more people — using Koal to launch a new program.

Koal will one day become a certified therapy animal and visit nursing homes and hospitals.

Not long ago, Koal made a trip to Petsmart in Raritan Township for training to get him used to automatic doors, meeting new people, animals, lights and just being in a new place in general. “I bought him little sneakers for his hooves (dog sneakers – very stylish) so he would not slip on tile floors for our visits. Not one single person could walk by us without saying hello and getting their picture taken with Koal. The store associates said they have never had a horse in their store before!” Fry said.

Koal also made a guest appearance at Eno Terra’s in Princeton Farm to Table Event. Proceeds benefited charity and Koal was one of the star attractions.

To learn more about Heads Up Special Riders see headsupspecialriders.com.

Click (HERE) to comment directly at NJ.com

Bail Revoked over ‘Bizarre’ Slaughter of Miniature Horses

Source: abc.net.au

Australian builder who used a butcher’s knife to kill six miniature horses in South Australia as revenge on clients who owed him money has had his bail revoked.

Michael O'Connell (L) has been taken into custody over the killings of six miniature horses.

Michael O’Connell (L) has been taken into custody over the killings of six miniature horses.

Michael Martin John O’Connell, 50, who owns Middleton Developments south of Adelaide, was taken into custody ahead of sentencing next month.

Clients Melvyn and Julie Jackson owed O’Connell a $37,000 final payment for about $200,000 worth of renovations carried out by his company.

Prosecutor Peter Cannell said after getting drunk at a Christmas party last year for his employees and subcontractors, O’Connell drove about an hour to the Jacksons’ horse stud at Clayton Bay and slit the throats of six miniature horses.

“The accused has entered through a locked gate … and then proceeded to one by one cut the throats of those six miniature horses,” Mr Cannell said.

“The horses were discovered deceased the following day by an employee.

“His intention was to make the victim Julie Jackson pay … get the victim somewhere where it would hurt.”

O’Connell later disposed of the butcher’s knife and blood-stained seat covers from his car at sea.

The court heard O’Connell made frank admissions about his actions when police spoke to him about the crime a week later.

A civil damages settlement had since been reached between O’Connell and the Jackson family worth about $60,000.

Ms Jackson read a victim impact statement in court, in which she said the “blood-fuelled massacre” had sent her family’s life into turmoil.

“I have lost more than six miniature horses, I have lost myself,” Ms Jackson said.

“I wish everyday for a different outcome for my babies.

“How could anyone expect a house renovation to result in the death of six horses.

“How could a builder plot and plan such a callous attack and carry it out?

“This has not just tortured me, it has tortured my family.

“My life is forever impacted and my heart forever broken.”

Mr Jackson told the court when he arrived at the stables he was confronted by blood-splattered walls.

“It was a scene that filled me with horror and heartbreak,” Mr Jackson said.

“They were part of our family in the same way that our children are.

“They can never be replaced. We have not used those stables since that night.”

Court heard O’Connell snapped

Surviving PonyO’Connell’s lawyer Nick Healy said his client had since lost about $2 million worth of contracts and was horrified by his actions.

“He simply snapped and he and the victim have been paying for this ever since,” Mr Healy said.

“At no time did my client try to excuse his conduct.”

Mr Healy described the married father of four as a respected member of the local community whose actions were bizarre.

He said at the time of the crime he had building contracts worth about $4 million.

He said about half of his staff had also left and a custodial sentence would see his business collapse.

But Judge Paul Cuthbertson questioned whether it was already too late for O’Connell’s business.

“I would have thought his business is gone already, who would want to deal with him?” Judge Cuthbertson said.

O’Connell pleaded guilty to aggravated serious criminal trespass, which carried a maximum penalty of 20 years in jail.

He also admitted to property damage for killing the horses, which attracts a term of up to 10 years.

O’Connell’s lawyer urged the judge to suspend any prison sentence.

But the prosecution called for a custodial sentence because of the seriousness of the offending.

‘World’s Smallest’ Horse Stolen In Italy, May Be Held For Ransom

Source: The Huffington Post  |  By

“We have been victims of a serious criminal act,”

charlieThieves in Italy may be asking the owner of the “world’s smallest” horse to pony up after stealing the steed and potentially holding it for ransom.

The animal was recently stolen from the 47th annual National Horse Show in Città di Castello, located in the country’s Umbria region. A representative for the show told The Local that the steed’s diminutive stature made him “particularly valuable,” leading authorities to speculate he may be held for ransom.

The pint-size pony’s petite proportions are particularly problematic, says his owner, Bartolo Messina, because at only 63 centimeters (2 feet) tall, “Charlie” can be easily hidden just about anywhere.

This was no precisely planned heist, either. According to Messina, the world’s smallest horse thieves are believed to have cut a hole in the fence surrounding Charlie’s enclosure Thursday night then absconded with him through a nearby tobacco field.

“We have been victims of a serious criminal act,” an official associated with the horse show told local paper Corriere Dell’Umbria. The official emphasized the event’s security, noting they “have always prevented … similar incidents,” and that this “shameful action … has nothing to do with the horse world and its values.”

Not to knock Charlie off his high horse, but a search of the Guinness World Records for the “smallest living horse” reveals the record is currently held by “Thumbelina,” a miniature mare that’s only 17.5 inches tall.

Watch a video of Charlie at an earlier performance:

Click (HERE) to visit the “Huff” and to comment

Rescue Pony Delivers Joy to Hospice Patients

Source: Horsetalk.co.nz

“There’s something about horses that seems to soothe her…”

“It is, once again, ‘Feel Good Sunday’ and our very, very good friends at HorseTalk have published an article that strikes deeply into my heart and also into the lives of valued volunteers and members of WHFF and SFTHH.

We, meaning family and friends, lost my mother to cancer several years ago and the very last words I ever heard passing her lips were “thank you” as she held the head of a miniature pony that we brought into her room to comfort her; her very last words and this story is about another human soul, comforted by the equine spirit.  It is real, in your face and tangible.  The horses bring us peace, hope and comfort.

Please visit our good friends at Horsetalk.co.nz.  Half way around the world in New Zealand these fine folks support the work of the Equine Welfare Alliance and Wild Horse Freedom Federation like no other.  They are not only our friends but our family.  Go comment and add their site to your favorites, you will be glad you did.  Keep the faith!” ~ R.T.


Debbie Hillery rode horses growing up in Minnesota – carefree summer rides through the prairie on a palomino named Sundance.

Now the horses come to her – specifically, a 30-inch tall, 250-pound miniature horse named Lilly.

Click on Image to visit HorseTalk and to Comment

Click on Image to visit HorseTalk and to Comment

On a Monday morning in August, Lilly and her owner, Brook Mortensen, arrived at Hillery’s MoonValley home in north Phoenix. They are a volunteer pet team for Hospice of the Valley, which is caring for Hillery.

After nibbling a little Bermuda grass in the front yard, Lilly sauntered into the family room, enticed by apple treats. Over the next hour, Hillery and her family members enjoyed petting and grooming Lilly, placing pink and white flower clips in her mane as they chatted with Mortensen.

The pet therapy visit was arranged by Hillery’s hospice home care team members after they heard how much she likes horses.

“It’s just so fun!” Hillery exclaimed, brushing Lilly’s white mane. Lilly responded with a soulful look and pawed the floor with her hoof (a signal for “more apples, please”).

Hillery, 59, was diagnosed with lung cancer last year. She’s had chemotherapy and radiation treatments, and has opted now for hospice and palliative care. Married and the mother of two grown daughters, Hillery had a career in sales and is a former cheerleader for the Minnesota Vikings.

A decade ago she served as a Hospice of the Valley volunteer.

“There’s something about horses that seems to soothe her,” said Margi Cook, Hillery’s sister. “In the last couple of months, she’s been talking about horses and enjoys being with them.”

Hospice of the Valley has about 200 pet therapy teams – mainly dogs and their “people” – who visit patients and families at their homes or wherever they reside. The visits perk up patients’ days and evoke pleasant memories of pets they have had in the past.

Like Hillery, Mortensen grew up with horses, but didn’t have much contact with them as an adult until three years ago. That is when her husband, who owns a pool company, brought home a video of a client’s miniature horses. “I said, oh, I have to have one!” she said. “But I knew miniature horses can’t be glorified pets – they have to have a job.”

Mortensen bought not just one but four miniature horses from a farm in Minnesota, including Lilly, a rescue horse purchased at auction.

Now the ponies’ day job is entertaining children at birthday parties and special events – Story Book Ponies, which can found on Facebook under that name or at storybook-ponies.com – based in the Northwest Valley.

Last spring, Mortensen started searching the internet for a charitable activity she could do with the ponies. She came across Hospice of the Valley’s website  and learned about the Pet Connections program. Within a month, Lilly became a registered pet therapy animal and Mortensen completed the requisite volunteer training.

“I can empathize with these patients,” said Mortensen, a breast cancer survivor. “I’ve been there. I’ve been bald. I haven’t felt well. That was my main motivation. These horses bring me so much joy. I want to bring joy to someone else.”

To view more photos of Lilly’s visit on Facebook, click here.

Reporting: Beverly Medlyn, communications director at Hospice of the Valley, a not-for-profit organization that provides end-of-life care.

Click (HERE) to visit HorseTalk and to Comment, PLEASE!

Wisconsin Mini Horse Rings Bell for Salvation Army

“It’s ‘Feel Good Sunday‘ folks and today’s installment, again, shows how our equine companions touch the hearts and spirits of so many…enjoy.” ~ R.T.

“He knows that this is his job and he does it very well…”

Nov. 17, 2012: In this photo Tinker, a miniature horse, rings a red bell for the Salvation Army outside a craft fair in West Bend, Wis. with his owners Carol and Joe Takacs. (AP)

Nov. 17, 2012: In this photo Tinker, a miniature horse, rings a red bell for the Salvation Army outside a craft fair in West Bend, Wis. with his owners Carol and Joe Takacs. (AP)

WEST BEND, Wis. –  Tinker may be miniature — as in a miniature horse — but he’s a big money raiser for the Salvation Army.

He uses his mouth to hold and ring a red bell and also picks up with his mouth a “Thank You Merry Christmas” sign. He can also bow and give kisses.

Major Roger Ross, a Salvation Army commander, said Tinker is one of their biggest money raisers in the area: He brings in 10 times the amount of a regular bell ringer.

“A good kettle for a couple of hours brings in about $250, and for the same time period (Tinker and his owners) have been known to bring in $2,500,” he said. “They line up to put money in the kettle.”

The 13-year-old horse, who’s brown, black, grey and white, has been ringing for four seasons.

“I actually save up all my donation and give it to Tinker because I have such a soft place in my heart for him,” said Karen Hammen, who gave money while Tinker stood outside a West Bend craft show on a recent Saturday morning.

One of Tinker’s owners, Carol Takacs, said she and her husband got Tinker 12 years ago. She said she went to look at a property, fell in love with the miniature horses there and asked that one be part of the deal.

“About three or four years ago I was walking out of a store and there was a bell ringer and I gave,” she said. “I started thinking `I wonder if I can, if I can help make this even more interesting.’ So I went home and I started working with Tinker.”

His name was Tinker when they got him, Takacs said.

“As fate would have it, I could not have named him more appropriately if I had tried,” she said.

Before appearances, she spends a half-hour vacuuming his mane and fur and puts glitter on his hooves, a bell on his backside and a Santa hat on his head. And — of course — Tinker wears the Salvation Army apron.

She also made pins with his face on it — a gift for every $5 donation.

While most people are wooed by Tinker and his decorations, she said some don’t believe he actually holds and rings the bell.

“We don’t do that with Velcro or glue. There’s nothing on his bell. He knows that this is his job and he does it very well,” she said.