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July 2011

Service horse to the rescue: A happy mini-picture

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Update (03/23/12) Man sues: Shops refuse mini horse access

US federal regulations now include miniature horses as service animals, just like guide dogs. I smile as I think:

  • I could take my mini-horse to work. Ongoing fantasy: Bring my regular horse to work. Not so fast: Regular horses do not qualify as service animals.
  • The handicapped parking spots around town could hold my mini hitched up to a little cart.
  • I could watch a movie at the theater, as my mini stands next to my aisle seat.
  • At the grocery store, we could pick out carrots together.
  • I could eat at my favorite restaurant, sit in the patio area, and hitch my little horse to the patio fence.
  • We could browse good horse books together at the library.
  • I could have a new business: A-1 Mini Service-Horses Are Us, LLC.

Sadly, I need a real disability to use my mini-service-horse; emotional need doesn’t cut it. Personally, I’d rather be healthy than disabled. Note to self: When I turn 80-something, forget the cane. I’ll get a miniature horse.

Problem: My mini-service-horse has to consistently, specifically, and obediently help me. If you know my current horses, this presents a challenge. The uneducated often mistake my horses’ behavior for disobedience.

Another challenge: Mini-service-horses have to be housebroken. My best friend in high school housebroke her illegal-resident, full-sized pig. I also once knew a horse that was trained only to go in the corner of its stall. But fully housebroken horses? I suppose anything is possible. If you do have a housebroken horse, show me the video. I want to see it, and know how you did it. We could quit cleaning stalls at our stable, and save tons of money, although for decency’s sake, we would have to add a few equine outhouses.

Kidding aside, I applaud anything that supports the inclusion of horses in human lives. The triumph of horses in riding therapy programs, and the success of movies like War HorseSeabiscuit, and Secretariat are testimony to the horse’s modern-day worth.

For more about what constitutes a proper miniature service horse, read on,

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Mouse-proof grain storage: Just file it!

Dani the Horse checks out her new grain storage solution - file cabinets and baggies - at Poudre River Stables - Fort Collins - Colorado - 80521

I spent weeks trying to find affordable individual grain storage solutions for our stable feed room, which suffered from several problems.

  • We were plagued with spilled grain and other supplements luring mice, which in turn left their disgusting poop “signatures”.
  • Our horse owners loved, almost more than anything else, I think, to tinker with their horse’s grain ration, and constantly changed plans, resulting in confusion.
  • Various buckets of supplements lined our feed room shelves, labeled with faded felt-tip ink horse names, and cryptic feed instructions decorated a dry-erase board above the shelves. It was hard for me to figure out, and find, who got what at feeding time, let alone other people. My gut said horses were not actually getting what was intended.

I knew other stables did this, and I wanted everybody to start providing their own pre-


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Oh happy day! Colorado lifts EHV horse quarantines

The Colorado Department of Agriculture has lifted all holds and quarantines related to the deadly EHV-1 virus in horses. As of July 9, horses traveling into Colorado revert to normal requirements including a health certificate 30 days old or less, and a negative Coggins (equine infectious anemia) test 12 months old or less.

For those caught in the EHV scare, this is truly a happy day!

EHV scare: Welcome to the new "normal"

As the Biosecurity Turns: Our stable awaits EHV-1 test

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