Have a look around the Serenity Barn at New Life Children’s Center and you’ll spot the two newest, cutest residents – miniature horses Fred and Little Ricky.
These adorable additions to the “barn therapy” program were donated to New Life by Dr. Joni Baker, a friend of New Life’s clinical director Phyllis Turner. They were bred and raised by the Franciscan Poor Clare Nuns at a Monastery in Brenham. Breeding the little horses for sale served as a source of income for the monastery, which has since closed. [Note: we hear there are still some irresistible minis available for sale!]
To get an idea of the size of these little guys, mini horses are usually less than 34–38 inches (or 86–97 cm). The official show names of our New Life minis are ‘Monastery Milagro’ and ‘Monastery Lord of the Hunt,’ but we gave them the less lofty nicknames of Fred and Little Ricky.
Little Ricky recently participated in his first horse show, the Alamo Area Youth Horse Association Open Horse Show in Seguin on June 11. Three New Life girls have been working closely with the miniatures by getting them used to their halters and running them through obstacle courses.
The New Life girls and staff members left the New Life campus at 6:45 am on the day of the show, which had an early 8:00 am start. When they arrived, they only had about 10 minutes to learn the pattern they would use to guide Little Ricky. You don’t get to practice the pattern they assign you until you are at the show! This was a double-judged contest and New Life competed in the first three classes: Miniature Halter, Miniature Color Class, and Miniature Obstacle. Little Ricky won 1st place under both judges for Halter; 2nd place under both judges for Color Class; and a 1st and 2nd place for Obstacle. Not too shabby for their first try!!
The Serenity Barn Program is a great way for the girls to learn empathy and caring for animals and others. They are raising chickens, goats, rabbits, ducks, donkeys, a Longhorn steer, horses, and now these two sweet minis. It costs about $1,000 per month including feed, hay, and vet needs. If you would like to donate to this wonderful program, please contact Lisa Brown: [email protected] or 830-964-4390 x216.