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Equines

Horses were first domesticated in the steppes of central Asia around 3000 to 4000 BC. These animals were used for meat and milk. Oxen were the first cart animals, followed by Onagers or Ass hybrids. Horses were used later when the speed of their gaits was discovered.

Horses thru the later centuries have been animals of burden, helping pull plows and carts, carrying loads including people, and lightening the tasks of Human kind. Most of the horses in United States are now used for pleasure, doing the same things but not for dire need. Some farms do use horses for plowing, planting and haying but they are in a minority.

By clicking on the button below you can see our photo album of pony rides. You can also visit our other album pages for more pictures.

Some friends trying out riding a pony.

Mini Donkeys.

Charlie is our miniature donkey, sometimes called Mediterranean Donkeys. These donkeys come from the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, most were imported to US in 1920. They are becoming scarce in their native lands. The donkeys that were brought to US have been bred and improved increasing the numbers of Miniature donkeys.

Donkeys come in many colors, but the most common is gray with the dorsal stripe and donkey cross over the shoulders. The Class A donkeys are 36" and under and the Class B are 38" and under. The average life span of mini donkeys is 25 to 40 years.

Mini donkeys are friendly and affectionate, they become quite tame and gentle returning affection. Their bray is enough to wake up the whole neighborhood, but the also have assorted noises like whining when they want attention. Charlie will whine if his food is not given out first or if he hasn't gotten his hay or if no one is paying attention. He loves children and as much petting as he can get.

Mules

Mules are a cross between a horse or pony and a donkey, usually a mule is a result of a female horse being bred by a jack donkey. The other cross, a jenny donkey being bred by a stallion is called a hinny. Hinnies tend to be more like donkeys in body appearance and like horses in ears, mane and tail while mules are more like a horse in body and a donkey in ears, mane and tail.

Mules come in all sizes from miniature to mammoth, depending on the size of the parents. Mules tend to be stronger then horses, longer lived, and have longer useful lives. A mule will mature later then a horse but has tremendous stamina and resilience and are very sure footed, along with enduring frugal rations.

Male mules are always sterile and females are usually sterile. Most males are gelded for temperament, a female may come in season but are usually not as temperamental as mares.

The long standing stories about stubborn mules have given mules a bad name. Mules are more intelligent then horses and need to trust the owner. Many a mules stubbornness has saved a person or cargo from harm. Mules tend to stand back and figure out what is going on before leaping, a trait received from the donkey heritage.

Our mule, Ralph, is a pony mule just 10.2 hands high. Ralph has pulled carts in competition, and will be put to work pulling our cart for parades. Ralph is a bay with 4 white feet.

Ponies

Ponies in the United States come from all kinds of backgrounds. Most of the smaller crossbred ones have some Shetland in them, and occasionally are a mix of a Miniature horse and a Shetland. Other common crosses are the Welsh and Shetland or the Hackney and Shetland.

Ponies generally live longer then their larger cousins, horses and often have a reputation of being stubborn. Frequently the stubbornness is a result of not enough discipline by the rider often a child. Supervision by an adult will sometimes correct bad habits developing in the pony and will make riding a more pleasant experience for the child.

Blackie, our pony, is just 5 years old. He is starting on pulling a cart and gives pony rides.

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