Is it a miniature horse? Or a Great Dane?
Knowing me, that’s a valid question. Raising Great Dane service dogs in the past, those guys have actually been bigger than this miniature horse foal. There’s a story behind all this…
I was in southern England in a magical place called The New Forest.
It was created in 1079 (!) by William the Conqueror. He created it as a hunting area. It is now a common area and farmers graze their cows, donkeys, horses, and pigs. They roam free 363 days a year. The other two days are dedicated to vetting and accounting for all the livestock.
Karen Pryor Academy is expanding it’s Dog Trainer Professional program to the U.K. and I went over to help the two newest instructors get settled in and comfortable with the course. After a long and productive day, we were headed out to a proper English pub for dinner when we spied a herd of miniature horses, one with this tiny little foal.
We whipped the car off to the side and began taking pictures of the cute baby.
I wanted a better shot so I got out of the car and walked a few feet away. The livestock there isn’t wild, but also isn’t interested whatsoever in lookie-loos like me. They went on grazing without batting an eyelash.
Except for one.
The little foal. She began to walk toward me, determinedly. Mouth agape, I stood stock still.
She came closer and closer until I could feel her soft fur. She wanted interaction!
We spent the next 20 minutes loving on this little foal. She was so very curious! At one point, I stopped petting her in order to let her decide whether or not she wanted more interaction. She definitely wanted more interaction: she nuzzled my hand and pawed at my leg with her tiny, adorable hoof.
We wanted to foalnap her and raise her as a clicker horse, but of course did no such thing. (But she was just so little. I could’ve easily carried her in my arms… I showed amazing restraint, I think.) The sun was setting and our bellies were growling, so we reluctantly left her to get to our pub.
I won’t forget this little foal.
I don’t think I’ve ever smiled so much or been in this much awe in my entire life!