As Maureen O’Sullivan agrees, Acer the miniature horse is certainly one in a million.
Born of two imported American horses both carrying a recessive gene on Maureen’s farm in Corringham, Essex, little Acer suffers with dwarfism.
Whereas most newborn miniature horses stand at rough 20 inches tall, this petite pony was only 14.5 inches!
Miniature horse breeder Maureen explains that she’d never had a dwarf before, and was worried because of his domed head, slight underbite and misshapen hind legs.
‘Most people would have him put down, but we persevered with him and he’s a lovely little chap,’ beams Maureen.
The Cambridge Equine Hospital soon fitted his hooves with extensions to improve Acer’s mobility, and while he would never get any taller than 22 inches, his personality only continued to grow.
He often invites himself into the main house for a nose around, usually sniffing things or watching the telly.
‘Acer’s really made himself at home here,’ Maureen says. ‘He just wandered in one day and we just let him come in now!’
Maureen admits that they have to keep an eye on him as he isn’t house trained.
‘He thinks he’s more of a dog than a horse,’ she adds.
Acer’s best mate on the farm is a 13-year-old black labrador named Demon. They bonded over their similar height and often run around in the fields together playing ball. Maureen once even found them both cuddled up in Acer’s stable fast asleep!
Though she’s had many a generous offer for him, Maureen would never consider selling little Acer, now 3 years old, as he’s become a beloved member of the family.
‘We’d never let him go anywhere,’ grins Maureen.
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