By: Bonnie Davis Guy
Cherokee Springs Groomers and Farm is owned and operated by Bob and Linda Frei. The couple moved to their Laurel Bloomery property in 1996 from Bucks County, Pennsylvania. What they have created for themselves and their animals is a very special farm filled with lots of unusual animals, most miniature in size and all very loved and well cared for.
Just walking into the barn it is more than obvious that the Freis take extreme pride in their animals. The walls are adorned with numerous medals and awards of championships won. The stalls are well kept and remind you more of a childs bedroom than an animal stall. Each has a plaque with the animals name on the wall and is equipped with special toys for each one. Open the barn door and several miniature horses, a couple of goats, a mini donkey, and an alpaca will march in and immediately head straight into their own personal space. No muss, no fuss. Even the newborns seem to know they are in a safe environment, meeting new faces with very little fear or distress.
What is the difference between a miniature animal and its full-size counterpart? In the case of ponies and horses, Linda explains that a mini must be under 32 in height; otherwise they are considered a pony. Miniature equine are DNA tested for the genetic markers and then registered. They are also micro-chipped. An ideal mini equine breeding couple is a smaller male stud and a slightly larger female mare. The Freis are fortunate in the fact that their mini-horse family is growing this month. Fancy, a registered mini-Appaloosa championship winner, just gave birth to a new little mini-filly in the wee hours of Good Friday. She is not alone, her next door neighbor, also a world champion mini named Rodeo Queen, will be having her own baby within the next couple of days. Proud papa, Bravo, is in the lower pasture waiting patiently to meet the newest farm additions.
Bob and Linda are not the only ones keeping an eye on the farm family. Handsome mini-donkey,
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