Munchkin is one of our miniature horses, standing at only 33 ½ inches, and came to us on an emergency rehome. Though she was well loved and cared for, her owner’s health issues meant that Munchkin (and her current companion Poppet) had been through many moves in a short period of time. Unfortunately, a lack of understanding about miniature horses meant that Munchkin was suffering with laminitis on her arrival (an extremely painful condition that affects the hooves). Miniature horses and Shetlands need very little to live off and are best suited to high mountain grassing where there’s little sugar in the grass. On lush lowlands the horses have to be restricted to tiny paddocks to prevent laminitis. This can lead to arthritis and wasting away of muscles.
Luckily we spotted this immediately and Munchkin quickly recovered. She’ll always be susceptible to laminitis, but with careful management we hope to never have another attack. She now enjoys more suitable grass in our 3-acre field along with 6 other miniatures in her herd – an idyllic life for a miniature equine. She’s second in command in the herd and is a cheeky little character. She is inquisitive, good-natured, loves people and has an incredible hairdo. She has a predictable temperament, and we’re currently working with her so she can have an active role in our ‘meet and greet’ with holiday guests. She’s desperate to be a part! We hope you get to meet her soon.
Like most of our wonderful rescue animals, Munchkin has taken plenty of care to allow her to live healthily and happily. Our animals aren’t cheap to care for, so if you’d like to gift Munchkin some fruit for snacking, fly spray for the warmer months, or even a farrier’s visit, we’d all be so grateful.
We opened the Far From Holiday Retreat in order to provide us with funds to enable us to continue our work with these beautiful animals. All new arrivals must be microchipped and passported (and normally they aren’t), vaccinated three times, rasped, wormed and given a general health check by the vet – with the majority requiring many more visits to ensure that they are happy and healthy.
If you are unable to come and visit us, you can still help us to continue our work by supporting us financially. We have included a couple of options below.
Ponies are used to eating small meals throughout the day and breaking up the treats will help maintain their eating schedule. Almost any fruits, and many vegetables, are safe treats for healthy ponies. Apples and carrots are traditional favourites especially with our miniature ponies!
Salt is the one nutrient that ponies will self-supplement to balance their diet and is a real treat for Starburst! She gets very excited when he gets a salt lick and becomes great entertainment for her and us!
We feed Chaff to our ponies to bulk out their concentrate feed and to prevent them eating too quickly. Chaff is dried forage that has been cut into small pieces, in contrast to the long grass stems in hay and haylage. All of our ponies absolutely love it!
We use fly spray for our horses and ponies especially in the summer months. Flies are a general nuisance, but for some of our horses their bites can lead to reactions and persistent itching and discomfort, so this really is a lifesaver as they are highly effective and long-lasting!
Sweet Itch is extremely common and one of the most difficult skin conditions to control. The disease is caused by an allergic skin reaction to midge saliva introduced when the midges bite. Most cases are seen from March to October and remission usually occurs in the winter.
Farrier bills every equine needs their hooves trimmed every 6 to 10 weeks depending on the pony. To have a happy healthy ponies it is essential to have a fully qualified, caring, reliable farrier.
Pro earth is designed to make sure they get all the vitamins they need. Because they can’t be on lots of grass, they are either in large bare paddocks or tiny paddocks with very little grass.
All our miniatures have come to us either with or struggle with laminitis. Making sure minis get their vitamins is really important. Now because we have the landscape that these miniature are designed to live on, they probably don’t need all the supplements.