Munchie is a mini horse with a big job. Born with dwarfism, he stands just 21 inches from hoof to domed head. But Munchie hasn't let his size stop him from doing amazing things for Habitat for Horses, the rescue organization that saved his life.
He serves as their official ambassa-horse, spreading joy to nursing home patients and teaching school children about animal welfare.
Munchie and his mother, Melanie were among the horses rescued from animal cruelty on a property in Texas 11 years ago. Habitat for Horses took in most of the survivors, but several others weren't so lucky.
“He was about 2 months old when we rescued him,” Amber Barnes, adoption and media specialist for Habitat for Horses, told The Dodo. “He came in with a family of smaller miniature horses and also larger horses. It was a very large cruelty seizure case in San Antonio. There were actually several horses who had died that were on the property when we got there. So it’s a sad case.”
Barnes fondly recalls the way in which little Munchie arrived at the sanctuary.
“Because he was so small, he was driven from the rescue [site] on somebody’s lap in the front seat of a truck. He was itty bitty. Like a tiny dog in your lap.”
Despite having dwarfism - which can come with many problems - Munchie is relatively healthy. He has a a curved back, an underbite, and some of his internal organs are oversized for his body, giving him a potbellied appearance.
Due to his delicate health, Munchie was not offered up for adoption like most of the animals Habitat for Horses rescues. Instead, he is a permanent resident - and residency has its perks!
When he isn't visting with community members or representing the organization at an event, Munchie spends his time eating, napping, greeting visitors and playing with his pasturemates, including four other minis, a pig and some goats.
He also adores attention from his human companions.
“Munchie loves being groomed, so he likes getting his hair brushed out and braided,” Barnes said.
Maybe it's the fact that he came to the sanctuary so young, but Munchie has no problem interacting with the larger animals. In fact, Barnes says the average sized horses are often frightened of him!
“They’ll be right nearby, and he’s like, ‘Yeah, yeah, give me my hay. Where are my carrots? I’m not worried about you,’” she said. “But you’ll have the same giant horse look at Munchie and get kind of startled and not know what to do. It’s kind of amusing.”
Find out more about Habitat for Horses and the many different ways you can help them continue their mission - with Munchie leading the way as ambassador, of course!
H/T to The Dodo
Featured Image via Habitat for Horses