July 30, 2014

Family horse may be evicted

Danedri Thompson
dthompson@gardnernews.com

Not everyone is a Blazer fan, and that’s turning into a problem for Ryan and Flower Souter, Gardner.

Blazer, a mini-horse, is being evicted from the couple’s home, courtesy of the Gardner Police

Flower offers Blazer a snack on Wednesday evening. Blazer eats a half cup of oats each day, and munches on about one bale of hay about every 10 days. Additionally, his neighbors throw grass clippings over the fence for him. Staff photo by Danedri Thompson

Department.

Ryan and Flower received a notice on May 17 that the special permit allowing them to house Blazer in the Parma subdivision is being revoked.

The pair doesn’t know how quickly they need to find Blazer a new home, or even if they’ll need to.

The Gardner Planning Commission will consider granting the family a variance that would save their pet during a June 27 meeting. In the meantime, Flower said, her family is in limbo.

City planners told them they didn’t need to do anything until the matter was decided at a commission meeting.

But that’s not what police told the Souters.

According to Ilena Spalding, Gardner Police Department Public Information Officer, Blazer’s time in town is limited.

“As far as we’re concerned, the horse needs to vacate,” she said. “It’s a reasonable amount of time. There’s no set amount of time, but we’re working with them just looking for proper conditions to take the horse to.”

However, she added, the police department considers what happens next to be a planning commission decision.

Police told Flower a reasonable amount of time is two-to-three weeks. The next planning commission meeting is more than five weeks away.

Brayden gives Blazer a pat Wednesday evening. He said Blazer follows people around the yard and likes to be petted. Staff photos by Danedri Thompson

High school sweethearts from Wichita, the family, which includes the Souters’ oldest son, Brayden, 6, and youngest son, Beckham, 1, moved to Gardner four years ago.

The horse moved in at Christmastime last year.

Flower was expecting to find a swing set, when Ryan announced there was a family present in the backyard days before Christmas 2010.

“When I saw it was a horse, my jaw hit the floor,” Flower said.

“Trying to keep the family going, you’ve got to throw a curveball sometimes,” Ryan said of his decision to surprise Flower with a mini-horse. “This was a screwball.”

Flower, Ryan knew, didn’t want another dog. Buddy, their golden lab, required potty training.
He barks. Buddy keeps Flower, a stay-at-home mom, on her toes.

When Ryan learned that a friend in Spring Hill was giving away a miniature horse, he scrambled to do a bit of research online.

He learned that miniature horses are similar in size to large breed dogs, and that they’re domesticated animals that frequently live with families.

He also researched Gardner’s codes and determined they’d need a permit from Gardner Animal Control, which is part of the police department.

A few weeks after Christmas, the family applied for a permit. They paid a small fee and waited as

Gardner Animal Control officers interviewed their neighbors and repeatedly visited their home to check the welfare of Blazer.

“It took them two months to approve us,” Ryan explained. “They came back to make sure he was

Brayden Souter, 6, sits on Blazer, the family’s mini-horse on May 18. Dad Ryan Souter helps steady him while Mom Flower Souter holds Beckham Souter, 1. The Gardner family is fighting to keep the mini-horse they received for Christmas after two neighbors complained that Blazer stinks up their Parma subdivision. Gardner Police revoked the family’s permit, but the Planning Commission will have a say in the matter during a meeting on June 27.

clean, and they went and interviewed all of the neighbors. It’s not like they just said yes.”

Once the permit was approved, the couple started building a small stable beneath their deck.

It’s a tiny room with three walls and a flat roof. Inside, there’s part of a small bale of hay and a bucket where Blazer takes his daily feeding of a half cup of oats.

He lives in the backyard surrounded by a six-foot tall privacy fence and shaded by a mature trees.
The lawn is bald, because of Blazer, but Ryan said that wasn’t much of a concern.

“We didn’t really have that much grass to begin with,” he explained.

There’s a drainage issue in Parma that sends water cascading through the Souters’ backyard. At one point, they spent several hundreds of dollars on exotic breeds of grass seed. They eventually gave up.

“There’s so much water that goes through here,” Ryan said.

That’s one of the topics a neighbor broached during a city council meeting on May 16.

“That’s another concern, (the pony’s waste) is contaminating yards as the river moves,” neighbor Keith Roach told council members.

Flower disagrees with that assessment, however. For starters, she cleans Blazer’s waste daily — typically, almost as soon as it hits the ground.

Only one home in the subdivision sits downstream from her house, and that belongs to the Henrys next door.

“As far as I’m concerned, there is no issue,” Kelly Henry said. “The only people who should be concerned about it are my husband and me and we’re not.”

Kelly is a Blazer fan.

“I have never smelled him,” she said. “If there was a smell coming from next door, I would tell Flower.”

Flower said that’s what she wants, and that’s one reason she’s so disappointed that a few neighbors took their concerns about Blazer to the city council instead of coming to her door.
She’s convinced the matter could have been addressed without intervention from the governing body.

“We went about everything the right way, because we didn’t want to bother our neighbors,” Flower said.

Tricia Peyton, who lives across the street from Blazer, said she can’t believe the council and police are taking action on the Souters’ gentle horse, when aggressive dogs nearby are allowed to stay.

Her neighbors have built fences out of fear of the German Shepherds nearby, and animal control has visited the dogs more than once.

“They’ve broken a fence. You can’t go outside without them barking,” Peyton said. “I don’t understand how this horse gets revoked and people have put up fences because they don’t feel safe because of those German Shepherds.”

At this point, Flower isn’t sure what to do about her eight-year-old mini-horse named with the community in mind, after Gardner Edgerton High School’s mascot. She’d like to curry favor with the planning commission and city officials by finding a place outside of city limits for Blazer to stay. But she doesn’t want to traumatize Blazer or her children by moving him if the commission might grant the pair a variance.

She’s considering inviting commissioners and council members to her home to introduce them to the docile animal stirring up so much controversy.

From next door, Kelly watches daily as the Souters clean up after Blazer, feed him twice a day and play with him.

“They clean up after him. They feed him. They brush him. They love him,” Kelly said.
“He’s a family member.”

Comments

  1. Jim Ross says:

    I am sorry but my eyes must be playing games on me, I think that would be a pony not a “mini-horse”. And no offense but I dont see the owners going out and picking up the waste the second it hits the ground therfore you are still going to have waste on the ground. I mean the owner did say that they have a lot of water go through the back yard so that means even if you are narrow minded and cant see it there is going to be water draining into the surounding yards. You cant honeslty think that a back yard in a subdivision is enough room for a “pony” to live in, come on give him the proper space to were he can roam and actually live the life of a pony instead of a circus animal.

  2. confused... says:

    http://www.kansas.gov/kahd/pdf/laws/KPAA.pdf

    Article 17.- PET ANIMAL ACT 47-1701. Definitions. As used in the Kansas pet animal act, )(1) “Animal” means any live dog, cat, rabbit, rodent, non-human primate, bird or other warm-blooded vertebrate or any fish, snake or other cold-blooded vertebrate. (2) Animal does not include horses, cattle, sheep, goats, swine, ratites, domesticated deer or domestic fowl.

    this is Kansas law. To each and everyone of you who are team blazer…

    The Animal Control reports to the Gardner Police Department. The Gardner Police Office is completely separate from the City of Gardner. The permit came from to the Gardner Police Department, Animal Control not the City of Gardner. They are two very separate offices. I can only guess the owner should have never received the permit in the first place. As an added note they had this horse since December and ask for permission/permit in January. So who really is at fault hurting your children when you brought the horse first, move it in your backyard… then wait a month to get the permit thru the Animal Control route vs’ going to the City of Gardner. Maybe the owner should have done all of their homework before getting the kids attached to a horse that NEVER should have been there in the beginning.

    Regardless of hearing the family side of this story and meeting Blazer… the law is the law. WE all have a story to tell… of hurt, pain or love but the LAW IS THE LAW. I can only hope each and everyone of you fight with such conviction and passion for all other issues in Gardner like our kids education, the city budget, our taxes. Supporting your Teachers extra… Most importantly let’s teach our kids to treat each other with respect like the golden rule: Treat others as you want to be treated. Instead of teaching them how to be a bully on the internet. Lead by example. God Bless

  3. For the mini-horse says:

    To confused: This is why they had to get a special permit because Ordinance states “farm animal” is not to be kept with in city limits. Also if you check the article you’ll notice they applied for the permit after the holiday’s and then had to wait to see if it would be granted. They didn’t wait a month to apply for the permit. They had the area inspected and were granted the special permit by Animal Control/Gardner Police Department, who is the “LAW” as you put it with regards to permits. The problem has arose because the one hand in Gardner did not talk to the other hand in Gardner, not because the family did anything wrong. It comes down to who is responsible for enforcing the Code, the Police Department who granted the permit, Or the City council who waived the fee for the second permit they needed. It’s a very odd situation and that is why it is getting all the attention.

  4. To confused: you are truly confused. You should go meet Blazer, then you could better assess the situation based on your expertise…. Oh wait, you have none. And no idea what you are talking about. Thanks for all of your irrelevant imput tho. It was comical.

  5. skeptic says:

    I want a mini pig and some mini chickens, is that ok? Maybe a cow if I clean up after it.

    Didn’t think that I’d agree with Judith but it happened.

  6. TeamBlazer says:

    I like ponies. I like happy children. I like families that get along. I like a neighborhood that has a small town atmosphere. I like living in a place that is just a little different from every other town.

    This makes me like Gardner even more.

  7. Let Blazer Stay says:

    Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay! Let Blazer Stay!

  8. Skeptic: Are you the same person that says if they let ppl marry the same sex ppl will start marrying animals and trees? Stay on topic! And if your thought is where we draw the line, it’s at common sense.

  9. Let Blazer Stay says:

    @WTF?!? if this were facebook I would “like” your post over and over.

  10. For the mini-horse says:

    To Jim: A pony on average stands 14.2 hands or about 5′ tall. That is one of the criteria. Under 10 hands or 4′ you get into miniature horses and dwarf horses. Ponies are rounder in the chest and have wider faces with thicker coats and stout legs. A miniature horse is exactly what it sounds like, a horse in miniature proportions.

  11. Teresa... says:

    It is a sad that this commentary on Blazer the mini-horse generates more public discussion than the homeless couple that had been squatting at a destroyed home due to they have no wheres to go. Whatever the outcome is regarding this horse this horse will have a home. What about this Couple who no one seems to be worried about…. How does reflect on our City of Gardner. Where is our humanity? Thank you to the Pastor who step in to help her… maybe all of us should stop reflect and look at what really is important a homeless couple or Blazer the house being sent to live on a land in the country.

  12. Darnell Jones says:

    WTF! really that back yard in the pictures on the interview given to the owners is nothing but hay. I would be furious if it was in my neighborhood, the horse pisses all over the hay and apparently most of the neighbors are ignorant on the matter. Piss stinks and that’s a fact piss on hay stinks even worse and I’m sure they don’t replace the hay on a daily basis, wow you neighbors are idiots I wish you would try to sell your house to see if it sell, you are so ignorant. I’m sure they named it blazer to get sympathy from the town well you are not getting my vote, man up and either get back in the country or get a couple of dogs or cats.

  13. People really, I tell you what I live on parma as you first go into the subdivision and I am going to apply to have mini cattle in my backyard I don’t see why I couldn’t get a permit and I will also name it blazer, the name will fit better than your mini horse and I too will get all my neighbors and family post on it to make it look good. Just sorry neighbor who is trying to sell your house you are on your own. My needs to have cattle are more important than you trying to sell your house. By the way no wonder it smells all the piss all over the yard. Darnell you are right I’m sure the hay is not cleaned up daily, they must think we were born yesterday. The owner knows about a drainage problem that the ciy will not correct and yet thinks it’s ok to send piss down through the neighborhood. Wow I’m glad I’m not his neighbor, good luck to you other neighbors when it’s 100 degrees outside and your kids want to play outside and say it stinks.

  14. Darnell Jones says:

    Damn people don’t compare the animal to a dog. Go ahead let it inside your house since it is so friendly and is the size of a dog let it sleep in your bed. I didn’t think so, don’t ever compare a mini horse to a dog. You all are worse than a teenager trying to plead your case.

  15. Mini-Horse Owner says:

    The reason why he is compared to a dog is in reference to the amount of urine and feces that comes from Blazer. So what your telling me is that a 38 inch mini-horse can deficate and urinate more than a couple of backyard dogs, or even one for that matter? Our 80 lb. yellow lab poops more than Blazer if that gives you any indication of how much Blazer poops. We send out an open invite to anyone who would like to come see or smell Blazer I know you can figure out were we live, just follow the stench right?

    ~Darnell -He is smaller than some dog breeds, I dont understand how you can make an assumption about how much waste comes out of him. And what on earth makes you think that he would shit or piss on his food? He EATS hay. Believe it or not he has potty trained himself and poops in the same spot everytime. This is no where near where the rainwater collects so the contamination argument is not even an issue. We had a planning commission member stop by tonight, they came in and met him and could not smell any type of odor so that goes to show that he is not a smelly animal. The reporter from KCTV 5 and from the Gardner news also could not smell a thing.

    98% of our neighbors love Blazer and just because two neighbors, who don’t even live on our street, said something this means we have to get rid of our family pet? He was named 6 months ago so this sympathy thing makes no sense. We agree that it is sad how Blazer is getting more attention than more important issues in Gardner. But we’re not just going to back down, we went about things the right way and aren’t going to throw in the towel when it comes to a member of our family. Would you back down if someone tried to abolish your pet?

  16. BlazerFan says:

    I don’t know these people, but I bet that they named their horse Blazer because, as I’ve seen on a lot of t-shirts around town, they have “Horn Fever”. I am guessing that their kids are Blazer (Blazer as in Bubba) fans and they thought it would be a good name for their pet. Since the family felt they were going about keeping the animal in the proper way by getting a permit, I bet they didn’t foresee that they would need sympathy to keep the animal.

  17. Developer Paul Licausi needs to get Blazer placed on his “farm” (rotten politicians allow this property to be appraised as farm land resulting in about an $8 a year tax bill) at the SE corner of Center St. and 183rd St, Gardner, Ks. As usual “poor” Licausi doesn’t have the money to harvest his crop (weeds) evidently and I wouldn’t doubt if the people will have to pay to get those weeds cut and then try to get the money out of Licausi – just like we took care of him by putting in his utilities on that corner and then he can pay the money back over a 10 year period at a low interest rate. Guess his credit rating is good enough to get a loan on the open market but more than likely he likes the low interest rates the people give him. Those politicians will take care of those lowlifes but they don’t care about raising citizens’ taxes to take care of these jerks. These same kind of developers in Leawood are paying the special assessment on their tax bills for these sweet deals but NOT PAYING THEIR TAXES.

    Or perhaps Blazer could be placed on some of the “farm” land the School Dist. is in the process of buying for two new schools (where are they getting the money since we are broke) so they can keep down the weeds on those properties. More fraud meisters in our society than fleas on Blazer.

    The real problems we face are much bigger than the problems we face with Blazer, the mini-horse and the stench is even stronger and longer lasting.

  18. Judith where and when is your pity party and can I come?

  19. What pity party is that Ryan??? Pity there are people like you out there – I might get my walker out and try to make that party.

  20. skeptic says:

    After watching the tv5 spot and seeing the grassless yard with standing water I understand why some neighbors want the 3 foot tall horse gone. Also adding the bare plywood stall as another eyesore.

  21. Confused... says:

    @ skeptic…. Double, triple like if this was a fb page!!! Question if all the other houses around this mini-horse house has grass… ALL except the horse’s house…. why can’t they grow grass again???? Maybe because it is literally covered in HAY that the horse uses at as a bathroom! Just wait til it really heats ups.

  22. Confused... says:

    oh… and you can thank the tv station… thru the interview you could see in the other back yard that had GRASS growing and not just a muddy mess :)

  23. Amy for Blazer says:

    I’m so confused on the water drainage issue. People prefer the water run-off to be contaminated with dog and cat poop and pee rather than Blazer poop and pee? Really? What’s the difference? It’s poop and pee either way!! And I don’t know many people who clean up their dogs/cats poop 3x/day! Applauding Blazer’s family for their dedication!

  24. Confused... says:

    If the horse is pooping like a cat… then their probably wouldn’t be an issue some dog too. Bottom line is Cat and Dog DO NOT use or need hay… ummmmmmm hay retains all it… and even if they “Clean it up” where are the putting the dirty/contaminated hay… Please everyone stop and think we have not had several days in a row of 80 plus weather and nights in the 60-70′s either. Once the weather warms up for longer periods of time this will carrie an order with it!!

    If ALL the neighborhood had large dogs the size as this horse then I am sure there would be an order to … and we all would complain the same!

    Yes Miss Mini-Owner the animal does urine on hay… Oats is his food. All farms I’ve seen and visit use hay to soak up too.

    Doesn’t really matter… Blazer will be relocated. The city will not want to give out permits for chicken, hens, little cute pot belly pigs or ponies… to everyone in town. If one person gets it then all will. You can not do case by case basis… with OUT A LAWSUIT OR someone said your being PREJUDGES they can’t have a Goat in their back yard due to they do not have kids who will be DEVASTATED cuz Billy is part of the family!!!

  25. I was taught not to trust anyone that did not like animals. This little horse issue won’t be anything compared to the coming rail yard/intermodal.

  26. We will see what the complaints are when all the truck traffic and construction and noise and pollution come with the rail yard/ intermodal. Wait until emergency vehicles can’t arrive promptly to a fire or heart attack due to waiting for train or truck traffic.

    I am thinking of getting a Billy billy goat to keep the weeds down in the easement behind our neighborhood since the city council can’t afford to take care of it and had special meeting to ask the neighbors to take care of it.

  27. Confused... says:

    Yes you are right Granny that is/will be a whole other issues. No one is saying they do not like animals. Please read all comments. What they are saying a horse does belong in a backyard in a subdivision. This horse should be out on land enjoying life. The subdivision doesn’t want to smell stable or the stank of a farm animal in their neighborhood. At lease the intermodal will be on the outer limits of Gardner… where the horse should be too.

    Again…. No one hates the animal… they just all need to be in their right places.

  28. To Confused:

    We have a tick, snake infected easement in our subdivision around children playing; and, we the neighbors have been asked to keep it up because the city can’t afford to.

  29. next door visiting grandma says:

    reading all these comments bashing someone’s love for an animal….you all seriously need to get a life. This family will probably need to find another place for this animal….instead of all the negativity….does anyone have some plausible suggestions as a nice place for Blazer to go live? Any family farms, rescue groups, a petting zoo place…..? Maybe a call to Deanna Rose or even the Kansas City Zoo. To those of you throwing stones…maybe you need to take a look at your own life!

  30. Confused... says:

    @next door visiting grandma…. here is a quote from your very OWN post about bashing and negativity… There are no award winning landscapes in any backyard that I can see so I’m pretty sure nothing is going to be damaged. The city might want to do some investigating in looking at what is being stored in backyards too….very unsightly!

    Shame on having a city council meeting about Blazer without his owners there to present their side of the story and shame on the complaining neighbors not going to the owners first to try to resolve the problem!

    We all need to remember we don’t live in glass houses!! I am sure Blazer will find a happy home where all the kids can go an ride him and he will be in a place where there is more land for him to be happy instead of being in a back yard of someone subdivision.

  31. Mini-Horse Owner says:

    To Confused:My yard is the eye sore? Yet the neighbors house with 2 ft of grass and weeds full of dog poop with a broke down car in the back yard behind me is ok? The shed is partially finished only because of a slight interuption that is taking place, wonder what that is. I also understand that you have been to a petting zoo and believe now that you are an expert and all but blazer does not deficate on the hay. When you say there is hay all over the back yard you all do realize that all you saw was a quarter of the yard, and of course i have less grass then my neighbors i have a mini-horse in my back yard.
    By the way animal control approved a pot belly pig last year, but wait i thought you knew it all. And your right, we all need to be in our right places… that includes you knowing yours!! Until you have been to my house and witnessed my situtaion, keep your accusations to your self. In the mean time you and anyone else for that matter are more than welcome to come over anytime, just like the city council member and the random kids and parents that have been stoping by. My yard is always open to you.

  32. next door visiting grandma says:

    to confused…yes…I bashed the neighbor’s yard that probably made the complaint…shouldn’t have done that and I apologize. I’m just not sure why the rest of you are so concerned about this horse that is not a problem for you. If the horse owners are not worried about grass in their yard, why are the rest of you? They have a 6 ft. privacy fence so you can’t see what’s in their yard anyway. Plus, I can assure everyone that they do clean up their yard daily and I have been to my daughter’s home, who lives next door, many times and have never smelled an odor. Plus…the hay is something he eats! Animals do not poop or urinate on their food. They do eat more than oats!

    Again….anyone have any suggestions as to where the horse could go in the meantime while the city figures out what they are going to do? Enough with the bashing of the horse or his owners!

  33. Confused... says:

    At mini-horse owner… I would be focusing on finding a place for your horse. If you have an issue with your neighbors maybe you should be the good neighbor and start going door to door and talk to them about their grass and dog poop and the 6ft fence that is hiding the car that’s unsightly. That is one of the reason why we all have rights!!! The same rights your neighbors have for NOT wanting a farm animal in their subdivisions.

  34. Confused... says:

    The City Planning Commission voted to deny a special use permit to the family that hoped they would be allowed to keep their pet miniature horse, Blazer, in their Parma backyard.

    The members of the Planning Commission voted unanimously to follow the staff recommendation, which cited odor complaints, landscaping upkeep and stormwater as concerns related to housing the horse in a residential neighborhood. Allowing the horse to remain at the family’s residence could also set a bad precedent for future situations of keeping farm animals in residential areas, as the family’s circumstances and property are not exceptional enough to merit a special use permit, City Planner Amy Kynard said in the staff presentation to the commission.

    An odor complaint is what jumpstarted the controversy. One neighbor from Valerie Lane – the street behind the Souter family’s backyard where Blazer was once kept – spoke at the commission’s meeting and said she smelled a foul odor one day in the spring; her home is situated so that she can see into the Souters’ backyard and she knew they kept a horse there, she said.

    She called Animal Control, and the officer who came out to check on the situation said he smelled the odor, too, she said.

    “He said they knew this would be a problem,” the neighbor told the commission, adding that the odor could negatively impact property values. A second Valerie Lane resident echoed this complaint.

    Two other neighbors voiced concerns that it would be difficult to monitor the upkeep necessary for Blazer’s health, as well as to ensure that the odor did not persist. Though the staff presentation included a list of recommendations in case the commission voted to approve the special use permit, Kynard said during the presentation that they are not staffed to check on the situation regularly.

    Ultimately, Commission Chairman Jason Burnett said there were better options than keeping Blazer in the Souters’ backyard, while Vice-Chairman Greg Godwin voiced concern that the lot was not big enough to contain the horse.

    During public comment, Ryan Souter said he would have preferred that his neighbors consulted him about the odor – something that other neighbors have denied smelling, he said – before going to the City. “It’s something I wish would’ve been brought to my attention,” he said.

    He told the Gardner EDGE after the decision that most of his neighbors on their street have been supportive of Blazer and the family, and that he was disappointed that “two comments can sway a whole decision.”

    Flor Souter was not surprised by decision, but it still disappointed her and her family, she said.

    As reported last week, Blazer was relocated weeks ago to a farm outside of the city limits. The Souters still plan to keep him there and stop by to visit with him when they can, as per the agreement with the farm owner

    ****** Notes from PLANNING COMMISSION STAFF REPORT PROJECT NUMBER SUP-11-01 Cedar Street Miniature Horse **************************

    APPLICANT: The application is filed by Flor and Ryan Souter.

    Conclusion
    Due to the lot size and proximity to other residences, staff believes the odor could be a significant issue for surrounding properties, even if measures are taken to keep the odor to a minimum. Additionally, the property would be unlikely to maintain compliance with landscaping regulations pertaining to sod if the horse is allowed, and downstream properties could potentially be adversely impacted as a result of this. Due to these concerns, as well as the precedent that would be set for future applications if this special use permit is approved, staff recommends denial.

  35. Merrnryn says:

    First off, Horses Eat hay and oats and use straw as a bedding type. Most horses will not even urinate or defecate in their stalls if they have trained themselves, or they will go in a very specific spot every time usually along a wall or in a corner. Many cities have special permits to allow these animals, which by the way can and are used as service animals for the disabled. It is -not- the fault of the family that the permit also did not get recorded with the city. The city council should also look upon the facts of how much time was spent interviewing neighbors and investigating the land the horse could be on.

    As for miniature horses they -can- be kept indoors, and even in apartments. as most are 29″-34″ tall, as for any fecal matter, many people buy horse manure for fertilizer, and use it around their houses and backyard gardens to help grow their plants.

    For the run-off that is the only real concern, and the city and family should look into that to get that fixed.

    I have been around and worked with horses 17.2hh to 32″. They are for the most part clean animals, like to be clean, and can be housebroken or potty trained, can hold their bladders for up to 6 hours. Miniature horses can be taught to ride in cars, so yes you -can- compare a mini-horse to a dog easily. They are just as loyal and loving, and form bonds to their human companions, so what they neigh instead of bark?

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