The Miniature Horse Show: Because You Need To Know

Photos by Paul Knight

The Greater Houston Miniature Horse Club was out in Katy this weekend hosting a horse show, and Hair Balls paid a visit to find out what the animal is all about.

Miniature horses look eerily similar to real horses -- exactly almost -- but smaller. The mini-horse club advertised horses that were 16 inches tall, but we didn't see any that small; most of the horses looked about three feet tall.


They're smart animals. According to Paige Yates, who runs the youth program for the mini-horse club, a mini-horse can turn a door knob and undo a knot with his teeth. When mini-horses are tied up, they apparently untie each other to go free.

Yates's 11-year-old daughter, Bridget, was showing her horse, Hogan, who is the number one horse in the world for "showmanship," according to Yates. Bridget competed in the buggy competition, and she demonstrated how she can drive Hogan like a car.

"He can also drink out of a straw," Bridget said.

A mini-horse like Hogan costs about $8,000, Yates says, but sometimes breeders will give them away if the horse can get a loving home. There were also a couple mini-horses for sale at the show for about $500.

Yates lives on one acre, and she has 11 mini-horses, so you don't need a sprawling ranch to raise a mini-horse. It costs about $35 a month for food and $100 a year for shots.

The actual horse show is like a dog show. Handlers trot the horses out into a ring and dance around for a bit, then pose the horses for the judges.

Most of the handlers are adults, but kids show mini-horses, too. The best horse of the day, in our opinion, was dressed up like a clown, wearing a rainbow afro wig and a big foam cowboy hat. Margaux Halek, who was showing the horse, also dressed like a clown.

Not to be outdone, Margaux's sister Mae wore a cow outfit and showed a horse dressed as a lamb. According to Mae's father, she is currently second in the world for showing miniature horses.

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