Tiny surprise after earth moved
A miniature horse foal has been welcomed into the world after the earth moved for his determined father.
The tiny colt was conceived on the night of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in November last year. His New Zealand grand champion father, Rocket, was so spooked by the shakes he jumped over three fences into a paddock full of mares.
Marlborough owner Angela Smith said he was just making sure they were safe, but the wily stallion took advantage of his freedom to create a lasting memory of the night.
While unsteady on his feet and measuring barely 84 centimetres tall, the as-yet-unnamed foal has all the makings of a future champion.
Proud mum Fly, 9, delivered the colt two weeks early last Wednesday. And staff at the Vet Centre, in Blenheim, who helped care for the tiny new arrival, are running a competition to name the colt.
Little rescue horse Fly was one of 18 miniature horses cared for at Withaview Miniature Horse Stud in Koromiko, north of Blenheim.
Angela took her in six years ago after saving her from being put down.
‘‘She’s a great mum and is very protective. ‘‘Once I moved them into the shed, I had to leave the light on for him as he couldn’t see where he was going and kept bumping into things,’’ she said.
Staying close to mum’s side, the miniature silver dapple Pinto has been getting a lot of attention since his early arrival.
Two pet lambs and two calves have kept a close eye on him.
Both mare and colt have been put on antibiotics to be on the safe side, Angela said.
A miniature horse must be no taller than 86cm, measured to the top of the shoulders, where the mane ends.
A full-grown mini weighs between 68 kilograms and 114kg.
Although some minis resemble ponies, the goal of miniature horse breeders is to create a tiny horse, with everything about it the same as a full-sized horse, only smaller.
Angela said she planned to keep the new addition. ‘‘There’s something really special about him,’’ she said.
Visit the The Vet Centre Marlborough’s Facebook page to suggest a name for the new foal.
Barely 84 centimetres tall, the tiny foal can be easily swept up by owner Angela Smith.