A miniature horse from New Hampshire is becoming a huge media sensation … and raising issues about both judging on size and ostracizing differences along the way. The horse, named Einstein and the foal of two champion miniature horses Painted Feather and Finesse, is small even for a “mini.”
He’s currently 15 inches tall and weighs just 20 pounds. Even those who have experience with miniature horses said he’s something special.
“He is definitely my smallest mini foal, and we do see minis and we do see mini foals, but he’s definitely the smallest,” said Dr. Jacqueline Bartol of the New England Equine Medical and Surgical Center. “Still is. He’s growing, but he’s not very big yet.”
Einstein’s co-owners Charlie Cantrell and Rachel Wagner seem taken with the little guy … but a cynical part of me wonders if the paycheck and notoriety of having a so-called freak of nature in their possession means even more. They certainly talk the talk:
“We thought Einstein was special when we first saw him,” Cantrell said. “We fell in love with him. He was so small and so delicate, and we really felt he needed a couple people to take care of him. To give him everything, he needed to give him a good jump start.”
On the heels of that, though, WMUR points out:
His size has turned him into a celebrity of sorts in the horse world. He has been on TV shows like “Good Morning America,” English newspapers searched for their own Einstein, and his owners have fielded media requests from across the world.
Yeah, I bet they have. That’s about when this started to go sour for me, but here’s the real kicker:
The owners have now petitioned the Guinness Book of World Records to have Einstein bump Thumbelina as the current title holder of smallest horse.
“We did make an application to put in for Einstein because Einstein is 15 inches. Thumbelina is 17. He’s 20 pounds. She’s like 57 pounds,” Cantrell said.
Sucks to be Thumbelina, I guess. Uh, wish I could say I didn’t see that one coming, but I can’t. When you’re contacting the Guinness Book of World Records about the size of your horse and how it’s smaller than the one they currently have listed, you’re making a media play. The sad thing is, it’s working. There are articles about Einstein everywhere from The Huffington Post to Mail Online out of the U.K. to Fox News.
Many people show their miniature horses, but that probably won’t be the case with Einstein. His owners said that more likely, he’ll just be kept as a pet. When fully grown, Einstein will be the size of a regular baby horse.
You don’t see media reports on the smallest human midget. There are no international outcries when a model starves herself to death to the point where her corpse is “the average weight of a seven-year-old child”. The same holds true for those of larger sizes—the only place you see reports on exceptionally large human babies is supermarket tabloids, and models considered plus-size actually weigh less than the average for American woman.
All right, I know I might be turning a cute little (pun wasn’t intended when I wrote it, but I’m leaving it there because it made me smile) horse story into something bigger … but is it?