Ethel Diercks used to ride the work horses on the farm when growing up. On every birthday, she would go to the barn and fix a place for a pony in hopes there would be one for her in the morning.
"My dad never did buy me a pony so in 1946, I bought my own saddle horse all on my own," Diercks said. "I've had a horse ever since."
Diercks began raising miniature horses in 1986 when she and her late husband Jack purchased their first stallion. Diercks said the miniatures seemed to be a little less work for them than the large horses.
Once again this year, she and one of her tiny horses will be on hand to thrill kids at the Festival of Trees today and Sunday. Diercks has owned 39 different miniatures and has raised 27 of them. One of Diercks' mares will turn 17 years old this year and will always remain one of her owner's favorites.
"Hemlock Brooks Amber Lace is pretty special," Diercks said. "I've had some real good colts out of her. She's a real good horse."
Each one of Diercks miniatures are double registered with the American Miniature Horse Association (AMHA). In order for a miniature to be registered with the AMHA, the horse can not exceed 34 inches in height at five years of age.
"Over the years, I've only had one that had to be registered as a subdivision of a Shetland pony," Diercks said. "In that B division a horse can range from 34 to 38 inches tall."
Read the rest of this article in the 11/18 Pilot Tribune.