This November the Beardsley Zoo located on 1875 Noble Ave. in Bridgeport is welcoming two new guests to the New England Farmyard exhibit — an adorable pair of miniature horses! Miniature horses are derived from many sources and are the result of nearly 400 years of selective breeding. In prehistoric times small horse breeds were most likely the products of surviving harsh natural climates and limited feed. Today, knowledge of genetics has made the possibility of breeding specifically for size a reality. The first mention of a miniature horses dates back to 1888 and research shows little public awareness until the 1960s.
Typically, miniature horses are no bigger than a large dog and can be found in many color patterns. The pair of miniature horses now residing at the Beardsley Zoo are approximately 9 hands high or about 36 inches at the withers which refers to the ridge between the shoulder blades.
The male, Nutmeg, and the female, Caramel, are both 8 years old and are part of a rescue operation and living on a horse farm in Vermont managed by one of the Zoo’s former employees. Now they are safe and sound at the Beardsley Zoo and waiting to meet many new friends.
When visiting the Zoo, don’t miss the construction zone by the Rainforest Building. This new space will be a 760 square foot addition and will house an expanded animal commissary. When finished visitors will be able to watch staff prepare food for their charges. There will also be an above ground refrigerator/freezer for animal food, new dry food storage space, an office for the Zoo’s Animal Registrar, and zookeeper locker rooms. Expected completion is early 2017.
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