While Nowlin uses mounted patrols for town festivals, Strawn started using mini-horses Bo and Bean Dip to pull a wagon for local youths.
“They help break the ice and the miniature horses are gentle,” Strawn says.
The minis pull an antique doctor’s buggy from the late 1800s that was used locally. Strawn’s dad, Norm Harder, rebuilt and modified the wagon to have interchangeable tops, including a princess cart, chuckwagon and surrey.
“The kids love it,” he said. “In the 1960s, mini-horses were used to pull a feed cart to livestock at the sale barn.”
Strawn said the minis are just like horses but smaller. They have similar work ethic and personalities, and have some advantages. For example, they are more affectionate and easier to train, and they have more stamina, she said.
“They want to go and go, where a quarter horse would rather be put up after a couple of hours,” Strawn said. “They have a lot of reserved energy.”
While mini-horses make good pets, they should never be kept inside because they get bratty and are more prone to health issues, she says.
“They require the same work and expenses as regular horses,” Harder says. “They’re easier to handle, but you got to get a lot lower to work on their hooves!”
Look for Strawn’s mini-horses on the streets of Dolores and elsewhere during special events.
“We’re excited to reach families and kids with this team,” she said.