It goes without saying that miniature horses are, well… pretty small. They’re so tiny, in fact, that it can be difficult to tell how old they are. Each one of them looks like a baby horse—even when they’re fully mature!
Diana Gilger felt the same way about her mini horse, Jazz. Jazz was naturally petite, but there was something special about her that even Diana’s closest friends didn’t know. One morning, Diana walked into her stables in Gutherie, Oklahoma, only to find that little Jazz had a very big surprise waiting for her…
Diana Gilger always knew her miniature horse, Jazz, was special. She was smaller than an average horse, but even more than that, she had a surprise for Diana. One morning, Diana walked into the stables to find a precious sight…
Her mini horse had given birth to the tiniest baby that Diana had ever seen! No one had any idea how this baby—whom they later named Itty Bitty Hope—had turned out so tiny, but one thing was certain: Hope’s tiny stature and big attitude made her extra special.
Weighing just 13 pounds, Itty Bitty Hope’s weight and height made her the smallest mini horse ever born! However, her record-setting status wasn’t important to Diana and her family…
They just wanted to make sure that this new addition was safe and healthy. While she might be a record breaking horse, Hope was also an animal who needed to be cared for. That was their top priority.
Diana asked a veterinarian who specialized in the care of miniature horses to come to the stables, where they could give the newborn foal a thorough checkup. Even though she was supposed to be small, Hope was still at risk for health issues.
Although everyone was worried about potential complications, they could finally breathe easy: Hope was given a clean bill of health! She might’ve been minuscule, but she had an enormous future ahead of her…
Diana wanted to make sure that, when she found a permanent home for Itty Bitty Hope, it would be one where her size would be seen as a positive attribute and not a drawback. She adored mini horses, and she needed to find Hope a home that would feel the same way!
Sometimes horses who are Hope’s size have a very hard time finding people willing to adopt them and treat them with the love and respect they deserve. Thankfully, this wasn’t true for Hope. She got really lucky, actually…
Hope was purchased by a couple named Jim and Linda Woods, who were the owners of a non-profit organization called Mini Hooves of Love. It was the perfect fit for all parties involved…
Jim and Linda were eager to add Hope to their family of helpful little horses! They knew as soon as they met her that Hope would be the perfect addition to their growing family, and there was a very special reason why.
That was because their service provided something that was like nothing ever heard of before. True to their company’s name, Jim and Linda offer therapeutic mini horse visits to nursing homes, hospitals, shelters, and hospices!
Services like this can make all the difference in the world, and it was something that Hope was made for. From the minute she began working with Jim and Linda, she has been a favorite member of their team.
Hope’s speciality was working with children who have come out of abusive homes. Maybe it was her size, or maybe it was her tender demeanor. Perhaps it was even a combination of the two! Either way, Hope really had a knack with connecting with the people around her.
She was a soothing presence, especially among children. It seemed that even the most skittish of kids were drawn to her, and they were eager to give her a big hug. Naturally, Hope was just as eager to be there for them!
It seemed as if little Hope had really found her calling! Jim and Linda couldn’t have been happier with how well she fit in with the rest of their team. It was like she was where she was born to be.
Of course, people asked about her size all the time, but Jim and Linda said they wanted her to have a quiet, happy life away from the spotlight. They could’ve made a lot of money putting her on display, but that wouldn’t have helped the community at large, now would it?
Though many miniature horses can suffer from serious medical problems, Hope has stayed healthy so far. There were concerns that this would change as she got older, but she’s still in great shape!
Her coat and mane began to turn gray and white at a very young age, but that hasn’t slowed her down at all. She’s still trotting with a true spring in her step. It’s as if she knew her mission was to help people and bring a smile to their faces.
From children who were in need of a companion to senior citizens who delighted in meeting a new friend, everyone seemed to light up whenever Hope entered a room. This mini horse was truly special!
Once you see her on the go, you’ll understand exactly why everyone who met Hope immediately fell in love with her! She might’ve been small in size, but she definitely wasn’t lacking in the personality department…
Good things really do come in small packages! With such a sweet disposition, it’s no wonder that this little horse has been so successful as a therapy animal.
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