Just because they come in a smaller size doesn’t diminish the joy for horse lovers.
The Miears Miniature Horse Sale took place Saturday at the Stephens County Fair & Expo Center. The event gave the community an opportunity to view the small breed horses, while giving the miniature horse breeders and owners a chance to buy items for their horses or to purchase more miniature horses.
Georgetta Miears, who was running the sale with her husband, Harvey, said she was happy with the response to the communities response to the sale, although she had expected more people to turnout.
“It’s going good,” Miears said. “We didn’t have as many people as we hoped we would have, but it should pick up when the horses are sold.”
Miniature horses are different than many other show animals. While hogs and cows are often shown later to be sold for meat, miniature horses are used primarily as pets.
Miears said miniature horses are often used in therapy and nursing homes.
“They’re great companions,” Miears said.
John Tipton, who helped with the sale, has raised miniature horses for about 20 years. Tipton said many people enjoy the animals because they can be comforting animals.
“They make great pets, just like a big dog,” Tipton said.
He said the miniature horse show industry is open to people of all ages, which is another reason why many people choose to show the small animals.
Another reason people are often attracted to miniature horses as show animals is because they don’t eat much.
“The amount they eat is minimal,” Tipton said. “You feed them half a stewed tomato can of feed and a little bit of hay, not even a brick.”
Both Miears and Tipton have noticed trends in the miniature horse show industry. Miears said many people are discovering miniature horses, which has helped shows and sales to increase in attendance.
“It’s a big growing trend,” Miears said. “There were 3,000 entries in the Tulsa show.”
Tipton said miniature horses range in sizes in color, but one trend he has noticed in the last 20 years is the shape of the horses is beginning to change.
He said the horses are being bred differently to fit the more desirable look.
“They’ve gone from being short and wide to being slender, long legged with Arabian heads,” Tipton said.
Tipton said many people show miniature horses and some people breed the horses, but the main use for the animals has remained the same.
“The majority just keep them for pets,” Tipton said.
— Derrick Miller is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354, Ext. 160, or via e-mail at email@example.com.