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Big News! Free Rein Foundation Will Soon Welcome Minis to the Rescue

Welcome Minis

Edith & Ernie Garcia are fiercely protective and fond of their 20 charges at their Itty Bitty Mini Horse Sanctuary & Encounter in Norco. In the coming weeks, when Free Rein’s Mini sanctuary is ready to open, they will help us select those best for our sanctuary’s therapy and learning sessions. They sat down with Free Rein team members to talk about the outsized impact of encounters with Minis.

How would you describe Minis?

Precious. Sensitive. Intelligent. Heartwarming. Playful. Friendly. Heart-touchers. The good energy they put off is magical!

What do Mini caretakers need to avoid?

Overweight and overfeeding. In the summer, especially, they need to avoid dehydration and colic by drinking enough water. Also, minis’ backs are not built for riding. With a proper diet, annual dental care and vaccinations, Minis can live into their 30s. As herd animals, they do best when they have a friend.

How have you seen people respond to Minis?

Because of their small size and sweet personalities, Minisserve as a bridge. For those who have an “animal fear-factor,” after helping halter, brush and walk a Mini, they start to bond. Even the kids are no longer afraid of our full-size horses.

We had one little girl who was brushing her Mini’s mane and tail, softly talking, in her own little world. Afterwards, the parents thanked us profusely and told me their daughter hadn’t talked in months. Another child, who hadn’t smiled and had no emotional projection, left us with a smile on his face and his parents in tears. A disabled boy with very poor cognition had been sitting in his wheelchair unresponsive for a year. In a short while here, his parents watched in amazement as he began reaching out to touch one of the Minis.

We brought the Minis to the Chino Women’s Prison on Mother/Daughter Day. Those relationships are often marred by animosity and alienation. I observed one mother and daughter, sitting together in silence under a tree until a Mini approached, breaking the strained awkwardness. The two started talking. After the Mini had moved on, they were still talking to each other.

I can personally attest that these animals help heal you. I love the serenity that comes from spending time with the Minis.

To learn more about minis and Free Rein Foundation, please contact us at