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Miniature horses exhibit miniature perfection

The weekend of May 20th found the Hendricks County Fairgrounds in Danville, Indiana fairly flooded with miniature horses. The AMHA Hoosier Gold show featured 172 different classes of competition featuring tiny. miniature horses.

Miniature horses, when photographed without anyone or anything else in the picture, could be mistaken for their full-sized counterparts. The little steeds are perfectly proportioned when they are in show shape and are judged on all of the same criteria.

“I think probably what would surprise people the mist is the versatility of them,” said former AMHA President Joe Kahre as he stood by the show ring on Saturday morning. “There are so many things they can do. They’re great starter horses for kids, and they’re great finishing horses for us old people. In between they’re just enjoyable.”

The versatility of the miniature horses can’t be overstated. The miniature horses go over disproportionately towering fences on lead lines, pull carts with full-sized drivers, and everything else equestrians can dream up.

“Everybody thinks that just because you can’t ride them, there isn’t much you can do with them,” said Brookanna Pickett as she tended to her blue-ribbon-winning champion named Ricky (his show name is much longer). “You can do a lot with them.”

The competition is at once serious and friendly between these tiny horses and their handlers.

“We’re competitive in the ring,” said Kahre. “We come out, we’re friends. You have almost an extended family of people. When you have troubles they’re there for you. When you have triumphed, they’re there rejoicing. It’s great.”