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Small Horses Bring Big Smiles

July 31, 2013

Miranda Mattheis

Top: Pat Foster raises miniature horses at Impressible Minis in Wilmer, Ala. Middle left: Rodas Domingo assists Foster in caring for nearly 90 miniature horses on the Fosters’ farm.

Small horses make a big impression on almost everyone who visits Frank and Pat Foster’s Impressible Minis just outside Mobile in Wilmer, Ala. The tiny equines are known for their gentle nature and striking beauty.

“They were just so precious,” recalled Shirley York of Coffee County, who toured the farm last year. “They look just like a big horse - but they’re short. The horses would let you pet them, and they weren’t overprotective with their babies.”

Interested in the breed for a half-century, the Fosters began their farm more than 30 years ago.

“When I lived in Florida and my children were younger, we would visit a mini horse farm,” Pat recalled. “I’d walk around outside the fence and talk to people and find out what I could learn. After my children were grown, I was able to start raising miniature horses, and I love it.”

Pat recommends minis to anyone who loves animals, whether they’re looking for a show horse or a pet.

“Minis are intelligent,” she said. “They try very hard to please. They’re just wonderful animals to have.”

Ninety miniature horses, including five stallions and a group of older, retired horses live on the Fosters’ farm.

Caring for that many animals isn’t a one-person job, Pat explained. That’s why she has help from Rodas Domingo, her full-time assistant at Impressible Minis. Domingo helps with breeding and grooming the horses and preparing them for sale.

“I don’t show horses anymore,” Pat said. “We just sell them and try to pick good homes for our show horses. It always makes my heart feel good to know our horse is out there doing well and making people happy.”

After years of breeding quality horses, Impressible Minis has a big following across the United States.

“Every stallion here is either a world champion, a reserve world champion, honor roll champion or has produced world champions. I think that’s one reason a lot of people come to us for horses,” Pat said.

Miniature horses are popular, and the Fosters say the market for them is growing.

“The miniature market is very good,” Pat said. “There are two types of markets-pet quality and show horses.”

Pet quality miniatures cost from $500 to $1,500. The price for a quality show horse usually begins at $1,500, according to the Fosters.

“People think they are ponies, but these are smaller than a pony,” Pat said. “Raising miniature horses is a good thing to do that’s enjoyable, and the whole family loves it.”

For more information on Impressible Minis, visit www.ImpressibleMinis.com.


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