Munchie stands out from the majority of the horses in the Texas refuge Habitat for Horses.
There, a horse stands 5 to 6 feet tall on average. Munchie, on the other hand, is just 21 inches (less than 2 feet) from the ground.
Munchie’s confidence hasn’t been impacted by his stature though.
“It’s like he doesn’t notice how big they [the other horses] are or care how big they are,”
Amber Barnes, adoption and media specialist for Habitat for Horses, told The Dodo. “He’s just kind of like, ‘So what you’re big? Whatever.’”
Before Munchie came to live at Habitat for Horses 11 years ago, he was living in a state of neglect on a property in San Antonio.
He was around two months old when we saved him, according to Barnes.
He arrived with both larger horses and a family of tiny miniature horses.
In San Antonio, there was a significant cruelty seizure case. When we arrived, there were literally a number of dead horses on the farm.
The situation is sad.
The majority of the animals were taken up by police and now reside at Habitat for Horses, including Munchie and his miniature horse mother, Melanie.
He was transported from the rescue location on a person’s lap in the front seat of a truck since Barnes said that he was so little.
He was really little. a little puppy on your lap kind of way.
Munchie wasn’t just a typical miniature horse; upon closer inspection, the sanctuary crew discovered that he was a miniature horse with dwarfism.
Barnes said that since small horses are occasionally inbred by careless owners, dwarfism is a problem that frequently affects them.
“There’s structural differences [as a result] … and this can often lead to health problems,” Barnes said. “It can even be fatal.”
Thankfully, Munchie is relatively healthy, although he does have a curved “roach” back and an underbite.
“It’s actually pretty cute when he looks at you and he licks his lips,” Barnes said.
Due to his dwarfism, he also has a protruding stomach.
He has a massive potbelly because several of his organs are larger than what would be expected for a horse his size, albeit not all of them.
But none of these things seem to affect Munchie’s quality of life, according to Barnes.
Like the other animals at the sanctuary, Munchie spends his days eating, napping and exploring his pasture.
In Munchie’s case, he shares a pasture with four other mini horses, including Gizmo, who also has dwarfism, as well as goats and a pig.
Munchie also makes the most of any chance to treat himself. Munchie enjoys having his hair combed out and braided because he enjoys being pampered, according to Barnes.
But there’s more to Munchie than naps and grooming — he’s the official sanctuary ambassador, and goes to schools and libraries to teach children about horses and animal welfare.
“When we talk about Munchie, we tell his story and talk about the plight of other horses,” Barnes said. “He’s a good example.”
He also visits nursing homes.
Munchie will also demonstrate to the bigger horses that he is not scared of them whenever he has the chance, despite the fact that, according to Barnes, Munchie is frequently the source of their fear.
He will say, “Sure, yeah, give me my hay,” while they are just close. My carrots are where? I have no concerns about you,” said Barnes. However, the same enormous horse will glance at Munchie and get rather confused. It’s humorous in a way.
But Munchie doesn’t seem to relish in his ability to frighten the big horses — he just seems happy being himself. “Munchie is a funny little guy,” Barnes said. “He’s a sweet, laid-back little dude.”