Miniature horse with pounds to lose

Have you met Trixie, the miniature horse? She came to Best Friends not long ago from a horse rescue group in order to keep a special-needs horse -- Luna from the Guardian Angel program -- company. They've really become great pals. Two miniature horses hanging out in the same pasture. So cute!

A miniature horse with weight to lose

Except that Trixie has gone and made herself not such a mini ... at least around the waistline. She's a walking vacuum! Every leaf, every blade of grass, every scrap of food Trixie can find ends up in her mouth. If you want to see a pair of well-honed begging eyes, stop by with half a horse cookie in your pocket. Holy cow, does she know how to turn on the charm.

Exercise for a mini horse

The main problem in keeping Trixie's weight down has been finding a way to help her get enough exercise (especially since she'd rather just lounge around). For one, you can't ride a mini horse. And, unless you have a marathon runner's legs, you can't walk or jog beside them long and fast enough to give them the workout they need. The solution? A four-wheeler!

Dr. Tara, Best Friends' vet for large animals, suggested using a four-wheeler and a long lead to take Trixie on trotting outings. Trixie is such a good-natured girl. Other horses might shy away from being so close to a motor vehicle, but not her. The very first time out, she took to it like a pro. A horse staffer drove all around the grounds and Trixie never even broke a sweat!

But she still manages to exercise on her own terms. Just because they're supposedly working off calories, Trixie doesn't see the harm in replacing those precious calories ASAP. Anytime they stray close enough to a patch of grass or some other tasty treat, she swoops down and grabs a mouthful in mid-stride. Waste not, want not, right?

Photos by Molly Wald

Is your own pet looking a little portly? Learn how to help your pet slim down.