Harry Trotter is as close to a real life unicorn as you’re going to get. We first met him when he did us a huge favor on one of those horrible, sad nights horse people dread. The older of a bonded pair of elderly brothers (who were the only horses living on the farm at the time) had died suddenly, and the remaining horse was alone and hysterical (even though he was sedated). It was cold, raining (of course) and nearing midnight - but, we needed another horse to keep our grieving survivor company, and we needed one fast. A good friend of ours was able to secure us a young mini, who had recently arrived at her boarding facility, rescued from the kill pen at a local sale. His owners agreed to have him come in and babysit until we could find the remaining horse a new friend. So, at 1:00 in the morning, the rain stopped, a full moon had come out and Harry Trotter heroically stepped out of our friend’s trailer...and, even after the exhausting night we’d had, we couldn’t help but giggle. He was so tiny - maybe knee high - and the absolute picture of confidence. This little guy could not have been more sure of himself - shaking his head, all puffed up and prancing. He was the man for the job and he was ready to go to work - which is exactly what he did.
The horse he’d come to befriend was quite large and we wanted to keep everyone safe - so, we put Harry in a small paddock beside him. Harry proceeded to clown around - proudly showing off and efficiently distracting the sad horse who stood at the fence, completely fascinated and more than a little bit stunned. He was clearly wondering, “what IS that thing??” It was a fair point - we didn’t really know either - but, Harry did us a huge favor that night, and even though he left the next morning when we were able to bring in another (regular sized) horse, we were extremely grateful for his help.
A couple of months later, Harry needed a home - his owners had bought him as a novelty and hadn’t given a lot of thought to what his needs (or cost) would be in the long term. They were sad about it and wanted to be sure that he went to a good home, but, they didn’t want to keep spending the money to keep him - it was just more than they’d bargained for. Unfortunately, this happens fairly frequently with minis - they’re so tiny and cute, they’re mistaken for pets which sets everyone involved up for trouble. While they aren’t exactly house pets, they’re not really like full sized horses either &, treating them the same way can be a big health risk for minis. It’s also fairly difficult to find a safe home for them for the same reasons. By this point, Harry weighed less than 200 lbs and was being bullied by the 1,200 horses he was turned out with - even getting knocked over and kicked down hills. Because of his plucky attitude, Harry would jump to his feet and prance around after these events and the people who saw it happen thought it was funny - not understanding that he was in very serious danger. We knew his chances of finding an appropriate home were slim and he’d been such a little hero for us, we wanted to help him - so, when the owners came to us asking to place him, we built him his own scaled down environment and took him in...and he’s been here ever since.
Harry is a very fun, talkative and friendly little guy. He loves people and other animals but, even now, after over a decade, he’s either bullied or a bully himself so, he does much better in his own environment, with his friends nearby. Miniature horses have a number of health challenges inherent to their size and breeding - dental and metabolic issues, in particular, are very common. Harry has been carefully managed from a young age (he was 9-12 months old when we adopted him) and, luckily, he feels great as a result. When properly maintained, minis can live well into their 30’s and beyond - we very much hope that’s the case with Harry. He’s the same, quirky ray of sunshine that he was when we first met him and we’ll take as many more years with him as we can get!